The obverse features Liberty holding the Lamp of Remembrance with two beacons of light in the background. These elements 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 depicts an eagle against a background of flowing water. The eagle symbolizes “the strength of the survivors, families and Nation” while the water is “emblematic of peace, serenity, healing and the continuity of life.” The inscriptions below are HONOR and HOPE.
The obverse was designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The reverse was designed by Weaver and sculpted by Joseph Menna.
When the CFA and CCAC reviewed the design candidates provided by the US Mint, both had recommended the selected obverse. The CFA recommended the selected reverse, while the CCAC recommended a version with the same image but a different inscription.
Initially, there were ten obverse design candidates and 16 different reverse design candidates. All of the candidate designs can be viewed here.
The September 11 National Medals will be struck at the Philadelphia and West Point Mint in proof quality. Medals bearing either the “P” or “W” mint mark can be ordered separately. The maximum mintage across both options is 2,000,000.
Each medal contains one troy ounce of .999 fine silver. The diameter of the coins is 1.598 inches (the same as the American Silver Eagle). The edge of the coins is smooth.
The US Mint will begin sales of the September 11 National Medals on June 20, 2011. However, the medals are not expected to begin shipping until September 1, 2011.
Pricing for the medals will be $56.95 during an introductory period from June 20, 2011 through August 18, 2011 at 5:00 PM. Any medals ordered during this period will receive a document showcasing the artwork for the designs, descriptions, and the signature of the Acting Mint Director. After the introductory period, the medals will be priced at $66.95. A sales ending date is not provided, however the authorizing legislation stipulates that no medals may be struck after December 31, 2012.
A surcharge of $10 is included in the purchase price. These surcharges will be distributed to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum to support operations and maintenance.