Raoul Wallenberg Bronze Medal, Other US Mint News

During a ceremony held at the Capitol Rotunda, a Congressional Gold Medal was posthumously awarded to Swedish-born business man and diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. The medal was authorized to be awarded under Public Law 112-148 in recognition of his achievements and heroic actions during the Holocaust.

While serving as Sweden’s special envoy in Budapest between July and December 1944, Wallenberg had issued protective passports (German: Schutz-Pass) and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory. His actions helped to save more than 100,000 Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust, many of whom later immigrated to the United States. Today, hundreds of thousands of American Jews can directly or indirectly attribute their own lives to Wallenberg’s heroic actions.

Initially, the United States Mint had prepared thirteen different obverse and six different reverse design candidates for the medal, which can be seen here. The official design selection was made earlier this year during an event attended by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden. At the ceremony held yesterday, the medal was received by Ms. Nina Lagergren, half-sister of Raoul Wallenberg.

Raoul Wallenberg Medal

The obverse design features a close up portrait of Wallenberg with the inscriptions “Raoul Wallenberg”, “Act of Congress 2012”, and “Hero of Heroes”. The obverse was designed by Don Everhart.

reverse

The reverse features a view from Wallenberg’s perspective as he extends a Schutz-pass while in the background those he could not reach are being boarded on a train bound for a concentration camp. The inscriptions read “He Lives on Forever Through Those He Saved” and “One Person Can Make a Difference”. The reverse was designed by Phebe Hemphill.

The United States Mint has made available bronze duplicate versions of the Congressional Gold Medal. A 3-inch version is priced at $39.95 and a 1.5-inch version is priced at $6.95.

Other News

In other news, the United States Mint has lifted the long standing household ordering limit which had been imposed on the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Half Dollars.

Along with the sold out silver dollars and $5 gold coins, the half dollars had originally gone on sale March 27, 2014. During the introductory period, the half dollars were priced at $18.95 for the uncirculated version and $19.95 for the proof version. At the conclusion of the introductory period on April 28, 2014, the regular pricing of $22.95 and $23.95 went into effect. The household limit imposed was 100 coins for each version.

As of the most recent sales report, orders have been received for 192,976 proof half dollars and 111,229 uncirculated half dollars. This makes for a total of 304,205 from the 750,000 maximum mintage. The Young Collector’s Set containing the uncirculated version of the half dollar is scheduled for release on July 28.

gold-kennedy

On their Facebook page, the US Mint has posted images of the upcoming 1964-2014 50th Anniversary Gold Kennedy Half Dollar, as well as revealed additional details related to the offering in response to posted questions.

The images provide a much different impression than the mock ups which had been released earlier in the year for discussion at meetings of CCAC and CFA, although this may simply be due to the style of the rendering. As opposed to the mock ups, the “W” mint mark appears on the reverse of the coin near the eagle’s left talon, which matches the original mint mark position for the series. The inscription “3/4 oz. .9999 Fine Gold” has also been added beneath the eagle’s tail feathers to indicate the precious metal weight and purity.

According to information previously provided or announced, the coins are scheduled to go on sale August 5, 2014 at 12:00 Noon ET and will be available for purchase at the ANA Chicago World’s Fair of Money starting on August 5. A pricing chart was also released showing the price points based on various weekly average gold prices.

In response to questions posted on Facebook, the US Mint responded that order limits at retail sites “may be limited to two units” and “the household order limit (via website and phone orders) is five units.”

In response to a question on the production level, the US Mint responded “To ensure fair and equitable distribution of the 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Gold Proof Coin, the product will be sold based on consumer demand.”

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Comments

  1. says

    Gotta love the Swede’s! After all I’m one.

    Gotta love the US Mint as well for adding tight sells limits on the gold Kennedy. It should do well to honor J. F. K . and not create a fiasco over the sell of the coin.

    I think they made the right decision.

  2. Jon in CT says

    I say remove the household order limit and treat all orders received on a given day as if they were all received by the Mint at the same instant. Then fulfill/ship each day’s orders starting with the smallest and ending with the largest. Finally, all orders received within the first 60 hours of availability would be considered “First Day” orders and treated as if they were all received by the Mint at noon on the first day of availability.

  3. Jon in CT says

    In conjunction with my “no household limits” proposal, a mintage limit would be established as the larger of 50,000 or the number sufficient to satisfy all ‘First Day Orders’ as defined above,

  4. fmtransmitter says

    Wow, that what I call TRUE HIGH RELIEF or Modern HR Tuvalu American Buffalo showed up today. What a beautiful coin. Just something about those deep pressure small diameter thick HR’s. Love it. Only 5k I got 34XX so they may be going going gone…Buffalo is striking!

  5. Clark says

    For some previous “mint to demand” issues, didn’t the mint set a deadline for orders and then wait to begin production and fulfillment until all orders were in? This approach created a de facto mintage limit, but still allowed greedy warehouse retailers to buy large quantities, wait for the mint to stop direct sales, and then take advantage of unsophisticated buyers…usually well-intentioned family members of coin collectors and, in this case, Kennedy admirers not familiar with mint sales. Sales of gold Kennedys at ANA-Chicago makes this approach less likely, but I suppose a deadline for orders is still possible. I would have much preferred a one per household limit. Time to appoint a mint director to institute consistently fair and equitable sales and distribution practices. How long will the deputy mint director continue to run the operation?

    As for lifting clad BHoF limits, big deal.

  6. Jerry Diekmann says

    The gold half dollar looks beautiful, and I think the Mint made the right decision to limit the purchase of these coins to two at the convention and five by ordering online or phone.

  7. Bob R says

    @Jon in Con, your mint order proposal is about the funniest thing I have heard in some time. I like the way they set up this sale, it is logical, common sense, and good business practice!

  8. BearMetal says

    I like the Gold Kennedy Half Dollar. I am trying to save up for one, so the mint’s high limit of 5 is way beyond my reach.

    Today, I had my CC pinged for a BHOF Half Dollar clad order and the most amazing part is that the order also shipped today. Yesterday, the coins were not even in stock. Now that was one unexpected changeup pitch.

  9. MarkInFlorida says

    HR buff is nice but $77 for 1 oz silver? When you’re gone your heirs will get melt for it from the local coin dealer. But then hopefully melt will be $100 at that time!

  10. thePhelps says

    That HR buffalo looks comical to me. It looks like a cartoonish buffalo enhanced to look…like a cartoonish buffalo. Sadly to me that is one coin that the Queen looks better than the reverse.

  11. VK says

    @MarkInFlorida Valid point. I would rather leave 3.5 ounce of silver that I can buy for $77 today. Hopefully its $350 worth @100 an ounce.

  12. stephen m says

    Received 2ea. clad proof BHOF coins from the mint today. The boxes had a ribbon in them for ease of getting out the capsule by pulling up on it. The silver and gold proof didn’t have them and it was a chore to get the capsule out of their boxes. Go figure.

  13. VA Bob says

    IMO Buffalo’s are a bit more majestic from a slight distance. Up close not so much.

  14. Sith says

    If memory servers Wallenberg had balls the Nazis were rounding up Jews so he picked up two children threw them in his car, and told the Nazi in charge if he took them out it would be a international incident as he just declared his car Swedish territory…the nazi in charge was Eichmann

  15. Sith says

    I’m glad the mint has gone back to a method of distribution/sales that works, I would still love to see an end date for sales or a mintage limit but I can’t complain it’s fair.

  16. tinto says

    About time the Mint did something right for regular collectors … they should maintain the proposed household limit up to the end ….but not holding my breath.

  17. fmtransmitter says

    Look like the hair has LESS detail in this rendering…Makes sense for that all important 70 grade…May have been much tougher since this is such a soft metal to get the strands of hair just perfect in the striking process. Striking silver is a whole diiferent ball game than striking 4 9’s pure gold…

  18. VA Bob says

    Pity a pristine 1964 example wasn’t in the JFK set. First and (what would hopefully be) the last would be nice. Of course I’m sure some third party will put such a set together.

  19. Jerry Diekmann says

    Hopefully, the new JFK clad and silver half dollars will have more definition than the poor excuses the Mint has been producing over the last 20-some years. The relief is so low now that it looks one-dimensional. The silver, silver-clad, and early clad coins were of higher relief and much better looking than what is now being produced. But the coins don’t circulate, so maybe it dopesn’t matter. Since there are so few coins minted nowadays, it certainly isn’t a problem of worn-out dies. I agree with others – make 2014 the last year for this half dollar. And, make a decision – if half dollars and dollars no longer circulate, then stop making them. And, as for the cent, anything that is so worthless that there is no metal (even aluminum?) that can’t be used without costing the Mint more than one cent to produce it, then it’s time to get rid of it. Canada and some of the Euro countries have already done so. The United States did the same thing with the half cent about 160 years ago. It was quickly forgotten, as will be the cent. We don’t have a “mil” coin, yet gas is priced in mils, and everyone is just fine about it.

  20. Hidalgo says

    I do not see much difference between the “high relief” and “lower relief” Kennedy half dollars. Or any of the denominations (e.g., the Lincoln cent, Peace dollar, etc.). What should one look for?

    I agree with many of the bloggers here that the Federal government should stop minting the Lincoln cent — at least for general circulation. I would like to see the U.S. Mint continue to produce the Lincoln cent, Kennedy half dollar, and all dollar coins (Presidential and Native American) for collectors. By doing so, the U.S. Mint can accrue profits through their sales.

  21. fmtransmitter says

    john says
    JULY 13, 2014 AT 10:16 PM

    that fg on the back of that half mean fool gold.
    Frank Gasparro was a great artist and great man!

  22. Brad says

    Hidalgo,

    Just put a recent Kennedy half dollar beside one from the 60’s, 70’s or early 80’s and you’ll see the difference immediately. It will be so nice to see the portrait in all of it’s original glory on the special 2014 coins.

  23. says

    The Mint’s excel spreadsheet is out and I am Surprised at the BHOF uncirculated clads. I track the excel spreadsheet against hard numbers ever week and they have never been different on the clads. Just for a reference point this is the most clads in total sold since 04/27 and the most uncirculated clads sold since 04/06. I know the limits were raised last week but I would assume if that had anything to do with it then the proofs would have increased accordingly and they did not. 17,070 uncirculated clads sold in one week. They sold a total uncirculated clads of 19,554 in the previous 8 weeks. The Young Collector set is due out two weeks from today and that is supposed to be only uncirculated but that should have nothing to do with current sales .Sales possibly for the All Star game tomorrow night? Hmmm…..

    Mint BHOF excel spreadsheet update for 07/13/14:

    Gold proof BHOF 38,722 down 21
    Gold unc. 21,789 down 15
    Silver proof 283,359 down 275
    Silver unc. 147,657 down 254
    Clad proof 196,378 up 3,402
    Clad unc. 128,299 up 17,070

    Gold BHOF oversold 10,511
    Silver BHOF oversold 31,016

  24. Longarm says

    Worthless cent? Are you kidding me? For all those who think the penny is worthless let me remind you that a $100 of pennies are actually worth $61 in metal value. The only coin worth more is the lowly nickel, which I’m sure they’re already planning on making it worth less. But , that $200 dollar bag of nickels I bought last week from a local bank is actually worth $204 in metal value. Bad money drives out good money.

  25. fmtransmitter says

    Thats why the old man has those 10 gallon buckets full of pennys weighing his classic car down on Pawn Stars…

  26. Ray says

    I dont see a single mention of the words “HIgh Relief” in the Unc Kennedy half set description. Am I missing it? Was it intentionally left out of the desc? Personally, I dont think these are truly high relief. NO respect for the reverse. boooo

  27. Brad says

    Ray,

    You’re right, the coins aren’t truly “high relief” in the same sense that the 2009 Double Eagle coins were. It’s just that the original portrait of Kennedy for the half dollar was higher relief than the one presently in use. It’s gotten much flatter over the years. Just compare the older Kennedy’s with a recent one and you can see (and feel) the difference.

  28. Jerry Diekmann says

    Brad and Ray – Th JFK half dollar is really in low relief now. Compared to the coins from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the portrait is flat, a little smaller, and the inscriptions have moved away from the edge. The difference is very noticeable, although why the Mint went to the low relief I’m not sure – it can’t be from using too many dies too long, as very few of these coins are even made. The series has been unimpressive for a long time and hopefully it will be discontinued after this year.

  29. fmtransmitter says

    2cents says
    JULY 14, 2014 AT 12:40 PM

    Isn’t “fg” the guy who made the something wedged up its tail eagle coin for the mighty queen?

    Uh, no…

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