Summary of Upcoming or Proposed Commemorative Coin Programs

To conclude this week’s coverage of upcoming or potential United States Mint commemorative coins, I wanted to provide a complete summary of approved upcoming commemorative coin programs as well as legislation introduced for potential programs.

Along with a brief run down of what each program includes, there are links to the most recent Coin Update or Mint News Blog articles which contain more comprehensive details.

Approved Commemorative Coin Programs

2013 Programs

United States Army 5 Star Generals

Up to 100,000 $5 gold coins, 500,000 silver dollars, and 750,000 clad half dollars to honor the United States Army 5-Star Generals, George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry Arnold, and Omar Bradley.

See CCAC and CFA recommended design candidates

Girl Scouts of the United States of America Centennial

Up to 350,000 silver dollars to celebrate the centennial of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

See CCAC and CFA recommended design candidates

2014 Programs

Civil Rights Act of 1964 Semicentennial

Up to 350,000 silver dollars to mark the semicentennial of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This bill became law back in 2008, so I haven’t written about it specifically.

National Baseball Hall of Fame

Up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 silver dollars, and 750,000 clad half dollars in recognition and celebration of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Here is the post from earlier this week.

2015 Programs

225th Anniversary of the United States Marshals Service

Up to 100,000 $5 gold coins, 500,000 silver dollars, and 750,000 clad half dollars to mark the 225th Anniversary of the United States Marshals Service. Interestingly, the legislation calls for a limited number of coins to be made available to the Director of the United States Marshals Service and employees during the 225th Anniversary celebration, which will take place in 2014.

Most recent Coin Update article.

Proposed Commemorative Coin Programs

Included below is a summary commemorative coin proposals and the status of the bill. Since only two programs may be approved for each year, I have not included proposals for commemorative coins to be issued in 2013 or 2014, which already have two programs approved. In order for any of the proposed programs to become a reality, the bill must be passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate, then signed by the President.

2015 Proposed Programs

Marine Corps Aviation Centennial Coin Act [Coin Update coverage]

Up to 100,000 $10 gold coins (although specifications are those typical of $5 gold commemoratives) to be issued for the centennial for the Marine Corps Aviation, the air component of the United States Marine Corps.

Status: Referred to Committee

March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Act [Coin Update coverage]

Up to 500,000 silver dollars for the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the March of Dimes. The original bill called for the coins to be issued in 2014, but this has been amended to 2015.

Status: Passed by House

Panama-Pacific Exposition International Exposition and Panama Canal Commemorative Coins Act [Mint News Blog article]

Up to 50,000 octagonal $5 gold coins, 50,000 round $5 gold coins, 100,000 silver dollars, and 500,000 clad half dollars.

Status: Referred to Committee

2016 Proposed Programs

Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act [Coin Update coverage]

Up to 100,000 $5 gold coins and 350,000 silver dollars in commemoration of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain.

Status: Passed in House

James Monroe Commemorative Coin Act [Coin Update coverage]

Up to 20,000 one ounce $50 gold coins, 275,000 silver dollars, and 500,000 clad half dollars in commemoration of the bicentennial of the election of James Monroe as President.

Status: Referred to Committee

U.S.S. Cruiser Olympia Commemorative Coin Act [Coin Update coverage]

Up to 500,000 silver dollars in commemoration of the legacy of the U.S.S. Cruiser Olympia, the world’s oldest steel warship still afloat.

Status: Referred to Committee

Pro Football Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act [Coin Update coverage]

Up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 silver dollars, and 750,000 clad half dollars in recognition and celebration of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Status: Passed by House

National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act [Coin Update coverage]

Up to 100,000 $5 gold coins, 500,000 silver dollars, and 750,000 clad half dollars to mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the National Park Service.

Status: Referred to Committee

2017 Proposed Programs

Ronald Reagan Commemorative Coin Act [Coin Update coverage]

Up to 50,000 $5 gold coins and 300,000 silver dollars in commemoration of Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States.

Status: Referred to Committee

Lions Clubs International Century of Service Commemorative Coin Act [Coin Update coverage]

Up to 400,000 silver dollars to mark the centennial of the Lions Clubs International.

Status: Passed by Senate

World War I American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin Act [Coin Update coverage]

Up to 350,000 silver dollars to mark the 100th anniversary of America’s entrance into World War I.

Status: Referred to Committee

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  1. CW says

    Can someone explain the reasoning behind the clad half dollars? I find it funny that I can get a proof set with a silver half, but not a commemorative that’s supposed to be an even greater honor to something or someone. Are there really 750k people who care about clad halves?

  2. Eddie says

    Why can’t they use silver for the half dollars in all of the commemorative coins instead of making them in clad? I know I would rather buy a silver half dollar any day over a clad one.

  3. Mint News Blog says

    I think they are supposed to be a low cost option that can appeal to the mass market general public. In the earlier days of the modern commemorative era, prices were $5 or $7 each, and sales could reach well into the hundreds of thousands. The highest was 7.8 million for the Statue of Liberty Half.

    Here is an article with an overview of the modern commemorative halves:

    Nowadays, I think the majority of commemorative coin sales are to collectors, so switching to silver might actually improve sales.

    It seems like everyone just reuses the same template for their commemorative coin bills, so what was done in the past keeps getting redone, even if it doesn’t make as much sense anymore.

  4. Crohnos01 says

    I agree wrt the silver content. Clad coins? Ewww… I mean, yeah I have a collection of them because I also collect proof sets, but come on… a commemorative coin deserves the 90% silver content.

  5. Jeff in TX says

    Yes silver halves is the way to go. Even commemoritives with low mint ages don’t do well unless there’s an interest in it. Look at last years clad half. What if the mint did a silver eagle dollar and silver eagle half from Denver. That might be a hit out of the park.

  6. Hidalgo says

    I’d like to see a commemorative coin honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. or Ted Kennedy. Both are historical figures.

  7. dan says

    If we did a coin for Ted, we should honor simon and garfunkel at the same time. Ted could have the obverse and simon and garfunkel could have the reverse with a Bridge over troubled waters.

  8. oldfolkie says

    For the proposed National Park coin I’d love to see Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir replicated in their famous shot from Yosemite, on the high overlook with the falls in the background. Can you imagine a president actually misleading the press and the public to spend a couple days sleeping under the stars to discuss the future of nature and wilderness. He gave us the most beautiful coins in history, and preserved the most amazing places for the future. I think Teddy deserves his own coin but I’m sure he’d willingly share the spot with Muir. What a fitting centerpiece to a partial collection to all the ATBs he had a hand in preserving that would be.

  9. JEFF IN TX says

    What if the mint sold commems raw or graded. When a proof in raw sells out you have to buy it graded.

  10. auxmike says

    The Generals series should have Patton. Also, who the heck want a Girls Scouts coin? What’s with all the Clad commems, worthless!
    I DO want a Reagan coin though…

  11. auxmike says

    A Ted Kennedy coin!? Yeah, he was a real “prince”. A defensive driving coin, perhaps….

  12. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    To Michael,

    I’m confused. Is the Gen. Douglas MacArthur with sunglasses coin $5 gold or half dollar. It’s written $5, but the coin says half dol.

  13. VABEACHBUM says

    @ Scrooge – You have to go back to the original “Generals” blog thread. Basically, the Committees determined that they preferred the designs for the “halfs” over all others, and indicated that they wanted those “half designs” incorporated into all of the denominations.

    @ Simon – Yeah, I’m another huge NASA / Space Program proponent, and continue to be frustrated by the lack of support for commemoratives, but especially when the 50th for the Apollo 11 Landing would be coming due in 2019. As I continue to think about the fund raising / “foundation” aspect of each commemorative program, I have started to realize that NASA really doesn’t have those types of qualifying programs – other than their very own existence. If those programs do exist, then they’re getting even less public advertising that most of the US Mint numismatic products!!! Still, the 50th of Apollo 11 will be an auspicious occassion. I would hope the Mint has the intestinal fortitude necessary to recognize the event – without any guidance from anyone. We already know they have the lattitude to take those actions, when inclined to do so.

  14. Jeremy says

    The increase of silver prices is obviously what the US Mint was holding out for and wasn’t interested in adjusting the ATBs any lower. However, does anyone recall at which price an adjustment upward is likely to occur?


  15. simon says

    VAB : I worked at JPL – NASA, and was / am still looking forward to this set. I’m saving up since the set is due to be extensive and will be pricey based on current PMs.

  16. Two Cents says

    Yes, a set of NASA and/or space exploration coins would be highly popular and collectible, not to mention different. Even a solar-system set would be nice.

    As for an organization to receive the program surcharges, perhaps the money could go to help set up and fund an Apollo 1 and Challenger/Columbia Space Shuttles memorial. (if one does not already exist).

    Or … when the ATB-Quarters program run out, a 50-coin series (not by state) commemorating space exploration would be appealing. Subjects for the program could include manned missions, spacecraft, rockets, space probes, robotic rovers, individuals (iconic as well as memorialized), satellites, etc. People could collect the entire series or concentrate on subsets or whatever interests them. The educational value would be immeasurable.

    Failing a coin program, a series of medals could be minted, and the large 3-inch size would be great to show off details, as well as give room for wording to explain their significance.

  17. oldfolkie says

    I’m so sick of the political crap, Ted Kennedy, Ronald Reagan. The only way these two gentlemen deserve to be on a coin would be if is was two sides of the same coin. That way Reagan worshippers could say their side is “heads” and the Kennedy side is tails. And of course the Kennedy worshippers could do the same.. A perfect example of polarized posturing, and political narrow-mindedness. They both did good things, they both made mistakes, let it go. Might as well make a coin with an elephant on one side and a donkey on the other. Either way they could be flipped repeatedly, or spun to your hearts content. Release coins and commemoratives with the art, history and ideals of the Walking Liberty, Standing Liberty, or the space program as many have suggested. Are we so devoid of creativity that we have to copy the past instead of making something new. The ASEs, St Gaudens UHR, the Buffalos are nice, but it’s sad these “copies” seem to be our best releases. At least the ATBs represent some of Americas best ideas and history that shouldn’t be forgotten. It is pathetic that the accomplishments of the space program have been so overlooked in our coinage when it so nicely illustrates what we can do as a country and a people when we actually work on achieving a goal together.

  18. Wes says

    I am looking forward to another SF eagles set to commemorate the 225 anniversary of the US Mint and the 80th anniversary of the New Mint in San Fransisco.

  19. Two Cents says

    I’m just curious …

    Have any of the recently issued commemoratives with the “classic” designs spurred anyone to collect or buy the original coins?

    I’m talking about coins like the Walking Liberty Half Dollars. I haven’t done the math, but it would appear that the money spent on a complete set of American Eagle Silver Dollars in Proof could also buy a “short” set of the original WL Half Dollars (1941-1946) in Unc., or a few pieces in Proof.

    There is also the original St. Gaudens $20 gold piece, which is comparable to the current bullion or even Proof $50 pieces.

    And the old-time Buffalo Nickel (or more accurately, the Indian Head), which in high-grade Unc. is comparable to the Unc. or Proof Buffalo $1 commem..

    Then there is the reverse eagle design of the SanFran commem $1, which replicates the eagle on the Morgan Silver Dollar, which can be bought in Unc. for about the price of the commem.

    There may be others, but I haven’t gone through the entire history of numismatics to compare.

    Some people fret about the high cost of recent commems, or that the recent designs show no originality, but has anyone been inspired to go back and collect the original classics at similar prices?

    I already had Morgan Silver Dollars in my collection and a few WL Half Dollars and Buffalo Nickels, but I have been adding different dates of these coins in Unc., not really trying to complete a set, but collecting them at comparable prices to the recent coins. As bonuses, they are more historical and maybe even better investments in the long run.

  20. hi ho silver says

    I still buy the old coins Two Cents. My favorite are DMPL Morgans and Shipwreck Effect. Looks like I will add a few more over the next 5 years. I don’t see any doors being broken down to buy a Statue of Liberty clad comm.

  21. Hidalgo says

    Does anyone here have any advice about keeping or cancelling their 2012 – S two coin American Silver Eagle proof sets?

    I have a set on backorder, but looking at what they are selling on eBay, I would not be surprised if they sold for slightly more than the US Mint’s original sales price in the long run.

    Should I keep or cancel my order? Any advice?

  22. Val says

    I would like to see the final sales numbers on the S 2 coin ASE set. The mint has these numbers, and for some reason, they are not releasing them. Now, I have been reading that there are quality problems with these coins.

  23. stephen m. says

    It’s hard to create a great coin like the beauties of the past. I don’t think anyone can make or design a coin on demand to match the great ones. Kinda like trying to recreate Woodstock only better than the original.

  24. george glazener says

    Well here’s one person we all should be able to agree on for an upcoming commemorative:

    Neil Armstrong with the classic moon reverse from the old Ike Dollars.

  25. Hidalgo says

    @George – The New Frontier medal honors Neil Armstrong (along with other space pioneers). I realize that you are saying that there should be a commemorative dedicated only to him…. However, there are so many great Americans. Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman…. to name a few.

  26. ClevelandRocks says

    Any guess for next “sell-out”? Hayes FS proof? 2011 Buff?
    Wonder if the 2012 proof plat may actually “sell out” at a lower mintage than max if it doesn’t sell well (like FSs).
    I still think they should pull the plug on the ATBs after a reasonable amount of time on sale (ie. one year).
    I’m in for an Neil Armstrong commem.

  27. Hidalgo says

    @Cleveland – too hard to predict any sell-out. I find it odd that the US Mint would sell about 2,250 UNC Lucy Hayes FS coins and about 2,500 UNC Lucretia Garfield FS coins — then viola! Sell out of both of them unexpectedly. Perhaps this sell out was planned to generate greater interest in both coins. Or perhaps not. I am certain that no believable explanation could be provided.

  28. VA Bob says

    Two Cents – I collect (and spend) everyday circulating bills and coins… they are part of the (US economic) shipwreck series. LOL

    Seriously. Those are coins that were recovered from an at sea wreck and rehabilitated, then slabbed with a label usually indicating the name of the vessel that sank and the “Shipwreck” status of the coin in lieu of a numeric grade.

    These coins are nice history pieces. They are labeled so because sea water is bad for silver (not gold per se) and they require conservation or would otherwise turn black in short order. You can get both silver and gold “shipwreck” coins, but silver seems more prevalent. This may be because common gold coins that can be graded may fetch higher prices (possibly unethical). It has a lot to do with how well they were stored when found. Laying loose on the ocean floor would cause lots of wear and scratches as opposed to in a chest. There are exception of course in any case, usually depending on the fame of the ship.

  29. hi ho silver says

    Well put VA Bob !! I’m still waiting for a RP Buffalo silver or gold comm. in 2013 !! 🙁

  30. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    To be bestowed upon to live in this great period in History when humans actually broke the barrier and travelled into space is a total honror… The Honorable Neil Armstrong is not only an icon of the United States, but he represents the evolutionary step of all humanity becoming a space-faring species, reaching and groping our weak, tiny fingers into the vastness of space. Almost any technological idea by man on this small rock called “Earth” copies nature itself… candle to light bulb… birds to airplanes… fish to submarines… horses to cars… photosynthesis of plants to solar panels… bone and wood to advanced cutting edge materials… eyes to cameras… sending a message by walking, or going by horse to the internet… and countless others…
    However, anything in nature we know of here on Earth cannot project itself into space… Neil Armstrong, a humble man who was a great aircraft pilot, professor and most famous astronaut did this representing all Americans who came together and had success… and all the peoples of the world…

    I hereby recommend the US Mint produce 50% of the half dollars (or any other circulating denomination) with Neil Armstrong’s likeness, before any other country does so. The other 50% of half dollars should continue to bear JFK’s likeness.
    I wish I could be the engraver, but I’m bad at art.

  31. george glazener says

    You may be bad at art,(I wouldn’t know) but you’re quite skilled with your prose. That was a very interesting read. I second your motion for a Neil Armstrong Half Dollar for a year or two. Well said.!!

  32. chris says

    merryxmasmrscrooge :

    you forgot to mention grain to alcohol – it keeps things merry on this earth for those of us who exposure to space is limited to a quick jump in the air.

  33. Tom says

    If the National Park Service Commemorative Coin Act comes to fruition, it has the potential to put forth the first commemorative gold coin that I will ever purchase. I will be keeping an eye out for that one. Other than that one and Reagan, there is not much else on that list sparks my interest.

  34. george glazener says

    James Monroe? Great President, great Statesman. I’d love to see it, but I bet that one never makes it to the presses. And the Lions Club? NOT!


  35. george glazener says

    Here’s a thought for any USMINT peepers reading this blog tonight. In the same vein as the “Defenders of Freedom” set, the Star Spangled Banner set, and the “Making American History” set, let’s create a 2013 “America’s Space Pioneers” 3-Coin set. For the low LOW price of $99.95, you get a 90% Silver 2013 Kennedy Half Dollar, a .999 Fine Silver Neil Armstrong Commemorative Dollar with the Lunar Module on the Reverse, and finally a Clad Half Dollar showing the Command Module orbiting the moon. And as a bonus, an Apollo 11 replica patch in real cloth. All attractively presented in a stunning tri-fold package with fact sheets, full color photos of the astronauts and their vehicles, and a gorgeous shot of the moon against a star field on the front cover.
    Wow! Wouldn’t that be something?

  36. Two Cents says

    For those of you who want a Neil Armstrong commem, he has been depicted on several USPS stamps in the past:

    1. 1969 10-cent Airmail – First Man on the Moon – Armstrong is taking his historic step off the lunar lander. At over 152 million stamps issued, it’s not rare by any means, but still highly collectible.

    2. 1989 $2.40 Priority Mail – 20th Anniversary – Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are raising the U. S. flag on the moon. It was designed by Chris Calle, son of the designer of the 1969 stamp (Paul Calle).

    3. 1994 29-cent First Class – 25th Anniversary – Armstrong is holding and saluting the U. S. flag with the Earth in the background. It was issued in a special Commemorative Edition pane of 12 stamps, with Armstrong’s famous “That’s one small step …” quote superimposed on a photo of the earth above and the moon surface below.

    4. 1994 $9.95 Express Mail – 25th Anniversary – Depicts an extended scene of the First Class stamp to include Aldrin and the lunar lander in the background. Both the First Class and Express Mail stamps were designed by Chris and Paul Calle.

    Also consider the following:

    5. 1999 33-cent First Class – Celebrate the Century: 1960s – As part of a series of stamps celebrating events of the decade, this one shows an astronaut’s bootprint on the dusty surface of the moon. The astronaut who made the bootprint is not identified, but text on the stamp’s back indicates that Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon on July 20, 1969. While not designated as an anniversary stamp, 1999 was the 30th anniversary of the first moon landing.

    The full-color designs of these stamps are very attractive and extremely affordable, especially when compared to precious metal coinage and medals.

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