Earlier this week, the Congressional Gold Medal was presented to Professor Muhammad Yunus to recognize his contributions to the fight against global poverty and his effort to promote economic and social change. He is credited with developing the concepts of microcredit and microfinance, through which very small loans were extended to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. He received the Nobel Peace Price in 2006.
The obverse of the medal features a portrait of Professor Yunus with the traditional Bengali jamdani fabric design, intended to represent his optimistic and cheerful demeanor. Inscriptions include “Professor Muhammad Yunus” and “Act of Congress 2010”. The obverse was designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.
The reverse depicts a lotus in open in full bloom, rising above the water and carry a depiction of the globe in its petals. This is intended to symbolize Yunus’ dream to end world poverty. The inscription reads “Banker to the Poor” and in Bengali “Let us send poverty to the museum”. The reverse was designed by Richard Masters and sculpted by Jim Licaretz.
These designs were selected from 12 original obverse design candidates and 8 different reverse design candidates, which can be seen here.
The United States Mint is offering bronze reproductions of the Congressional Gold Medal. The 3-inch bronze medal is priced at $39.95 and the 1.5-inch bronze medal is priced at $6.95.
Other bronze reproductions of Congressional Gold Medals recently offered by the US Mint have included those honoring Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Arnold Palmer, Constantino Brumidi, and the Montford Point Marines.
Late Update: The US Mint has reduced the price for the upcoming 2013 American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set to $139.95. When details were first released, the price was $149.95.