Revisiting the 2011 September 11 National Medals

Public Law 111-221 authorized the minting and issuance of up to 2,000,000 one ounce silver medals in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the establishment of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center.

The law called for the designs to be “emblematic of the courage, sacrifice, and strength of those individuals who perished in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the bravery of those who risked their lives to save others that day, and the endurance, resilience, and hope of those who survived.”

From a field of 10 different obverse design candidates and 16 different reverse design candidates (see the original design candidates here), the Secretary of the Treasury selected the designs shown below. His selection followed consultation with the Commission of Fine Arts and National September 11 Memorial & Museum, as well as review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

The obverse design depicts Liberty holding the Lamp of Remembrance with two beacons of light stretching skyward in the background. Liberty, the lamp, and the light symbolize not just the immeasurable loss on that fateful day, but also the resiliency and triumph of those who persevered. The inscriptions read “Always Remember” and “2001-2011”. The reverse design features an eagle against a backdrop of cascading water. The eagle symbolizes the strength of the survivors, families, and Nation, and the water is emblematic of peace, serenity, healing, and the continuity of life. The inscriptions read “Honor” and “Hope”.

The obverse was designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, and the reverse was designed by Weaver and sculpted by Joseph Menna. The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee has added the medal to its “Visual Definition of Coin Design Excellence.”

Sales of the proof quality medals began at the United States Mint on June 20, 2011. The medals were available carrying either the “W” mint mark for West Point or the “P” mint mark for Philadelphia.

During an introductory period which ended August 18, 2011, the medals were priced at $56.95 each. After this time, regular pricing of $66.95 went into effect. The price of each medal includes a $10 surcharge which is distributable to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum to support the museum’s operations and maintenance. Orders placed during the introductory period received a document showcasing the artwork for the medals designs.

Through the most recent sales report, orders for the September 11 National Medals have reached 171,481 units. This is made up of 105,266 with the “W” mint mark and 66,215 with the “P” mint mark.

The authorizing legislation for the program provides that no medals may be struck after December 31, 2012. There is no specific sales ending date provided, however the US Mint has separately indicated that sales will conclude in December 2012.

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  1. says

    There is no specific sales ending date provided, however the US Mint has separately indicated that sales will conclude in December 2012.

    Michael, do you happen to remember roughly when they last said this? I wonder if they might change their stance on it given their revenue problems.

    Also a bit OT, but the mint’s product schedule is looking rather thin again. There are only two upcoming items on it that aren’t TBD.

  2. Mint News Blog says

    They said this shortly after the release in 2011. Even though they have stretched out the offering period for other products, I think they are likely to stick with this ending date. Commemorative coin (or medal) programs typically have a sales ending date written into them so that the program can be wrapped up and surcharges can be distributed rather than waiting indefinitely.

    Re: product schedule

    Besides the items listed, there should also be Denali National Park Quarter and related products around November 5, and Grover Cleveland Dollar products around November 15. Also, the 2012 First Spouse Bronze Medal Set, as well as the First Spouse Medal & Presidential $1 Coin Sets, which are pending on the First Spouse Gold Coin situation.

  3. Shutter says


    Look at the Mint’s page. It says: The 2011 September 11 National Medal is limited to 2 million medals (across all product options) and will be available until December 2012.

  4. auxmike says

    I had the Document but it arrived bent by the stupid mailman who folds everything. Do you think the document has any real collector valuye? I think I tossed it….

  5. Mint News Blog says

    Some collectors like to collect or have all of the documentation, but I think there are enough of them out there that the document by itself probably won’t fetch a big premium.

    Mine actually got wet, so it is a little bit water damaged.

  6. Sam says

    I bought one last year and took it to the Shanksville dedication ceremony on the 10th anniversary to have it stamped with the postal cancelation stamp for the ceremony. Something I felt I had to have for my collection.

  7. Mint News Blog says

    Right now the US Mint still holds the surcharges, but yes eventually $10 from the purchase price of every coin will be distributed to the Museum.

  8. VA Bob says

    I like the medal, bought one of each mint mark, but I believe it’s a bit too stylized. I like liberty with the flame, but the towers feel like an afterthought. It also kind of leaves the Pentagon and Shanksville PA out.

    Still, all things considered, it’s a nice medal with an overly ambitious mintage.

  9. Wally in Cincy says

    I bought both mintmarks. I thought they were very nice. Since then I visited the Memorial and they have much more meaning now.

    P.S: Agree “Never Fordet” would have been appropriate.

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