September 11th Silver Medal Designs

Later this year, the United States Mint will issue silver medals in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the establishment of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center.

Originally, there had been proposals for commemorative coins, but after two programs were already authorized for 2011, another bill was introduced seeking National Medals. This bill was passed by the House of Representatives and Senate and signed by the President on August 6, 2010 to become Public Law 111-221.

Each September 11th Medal will contain one ounce of silver. The maximum authorized mintage is set at 2 million. A recommendation is included that one half of the medals should be struck at West Point and one half at Philadelphia. The law states that the design “shall 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.”

The Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) recently reviewed the 10 obverse design candidates and 16 reverse design candidates provided by the United States Mint.
Both the CFA and the CCAC recommended the obverse design shown above. The figure of Liberty holds a Lamp of Remembrance. Two shapes in the background represent the Twin Towers and inscriptions read “Always Remember” and “2001-2011”.

The CFA made a recommendation that the circle around the flame should be removed since it is “an unnecessary and distracting feature.” They also recommended removing the shapes in the background since the medal commemorates events at multiple locations.
The CFA recommended the reverse design pictured above. The eagle is intended to symbolize the strength of the survivors and all Americans while the background depicts falling water, reminiscent of the waterfalls at the Memorial. The quote “No Day Shall Erase Your From the Memory of Time” is from Virgil’s Aeneid.

The CCAC recommended an alternative candidate that features the same basic design but includes the words “Honor” and “Hope” rather than the quote.

Final design selections will be made by the Secretary of the Treasury.

The US Mint has previously indicated that they intend to release the medals close to the anniversary date. The authorizing legislation allows the medals to be struck until December 31, 2012. There is no sales ending date indicated.

The price of each medal will include a $10 surcharge payable to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center to support operations and maintenance following its completion.

For images of all obverse and reverse design candidates for the September 11th Silver Medals, as well as specific coverage of the CCAC’s discussions, please read today’s article on Coin Update News.

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  1. Anonymous says

    I like the obverse very much. I would not agree with the CFA recommendation to remove the mentioned features. I think the piece works well as designed.

    I would like to see the alternative reverse designs with fewer words.

    Will this have a satin finish?

  2. Anonymous says

    "Always Remember" is a positive message that commemorates a day we will never forget.

  3. Anonymous says

    The quote "No Day Shall Erase You From the Memory of Time" from Virgil's Aeneid; I personally think the quote from the Greek classic is a nice homage to the Founding Father's extensive study of Democracy, and individual man's desire for Liberty. There will always be those tyrants who will attempt to take it away….that is what we NEVER FORGET.

    I like the medal. I typically don't collect them, unless they have some special meaning to me. i like this one for the design & motto, and not for personal reasons.

  4. Brian says

    The law states, "The medals struck under this Act shall be made available for sale in the quality comparable to proof coins."

    Sounds like an interesting numismatic item. The design is spectacular and much better than any recent commemorative coins. I hope some of the CCAC and CFA recommendations to move away from amateurish story-board type coin designs to the more abstract symbolic designs will gain momentum with this product.

    I'm curious why Public Law 111-221 doesn't mention the medal's specifications (e.g., size).

  5. Anonymous says

    I surely would hope that both these designs are just preliminary, I mean really, surely they can do better than this.

  6. Anonymous says

    This is a serious subject and I mean if the coins are going to look like that just scrape em.
    The trade centers should be better represented as should American strength. I just don't see this in these coins. So like what are these coins for again our grandchildren will ask?

  7. Anonymous says

    Is this the US Mint? Or the National Collectors Mint? What a sad day, this is just an exploitive money grab by the Mint.

  8. Mint News Blog says

    Congress passed a law requiring the Mint to produce these medals.

    The sales price of each medal includes a $10 surcharge payable to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center to support the operations and maintenance.

  9. Anonymous says

    I really do not like the reverse at all.

    It looks like confetti or maybe some rain, but not at all like a "waterfall". Very amateurish looking to me.

    Terrible reverse and ok obverse.

    I also think, "never forget" is better than "always remember".

    As much as I support the memorial efforts, I am going to skip this quasi-numismatic item.

  10. Anonymous says

    Where are the Twin Towers?
    What exactly are we supposed not to erase?
    What is the phrase Never Forget too aggressive?
    This concept is politically correct mush
    Regardless of the subject matter, the designs are amateurish following the pattern of most recent coin designs, in my opinion.

  11. Anonymous says

    The twin towers are the two vertical parallel bars on the obverse. I like the design and will be in for the medal. This medal will be popular with the general public.

  12. Anonymous says

    What do the pitch forks rising from the earth and the references to the oak tree have to do with 9/11?
    These are cool designs, I just think for a Sept 11. Silver Medal they could have done better.

  13. Anonymous says

    The motto "Never Forget" is the only acceptable choice. When we are all dead and buried and tomorrows children look back in to the archives. "Always Remember" will only be found on these medals. Everywhere else it will be "Never Forget!"

    How about sticking with history instead of making new stuff up!

  14. Anonymous says

    I prefer "Always Remember" as it is a much more positive sounding message than "Never Forget". I associate the phrase "Never Forget" with people with bloodlust and revenge on their minds.

  15. Anonymous says

    As a government teacher, I feel this coin is quite controversial. We have to be aware this event marks the beginning of one of the darkest periods in American history, after which 2 wars resulted which many think were not justified. We also have to remember that not everyone is convinced that 9/11 was not an inside job. As a government teacher, I feel this medal may be covering up possible truths that our youth have to be aware of. Especially when it comes time to vote. Nevertheless, I think the coin is a good idea from the standpoint of paying our respects to those who lost their lives and the firefighters who braved the intense heat and danger to save our fellow humans. God Bless them.

  16. Brian says

    I wholeheartedly agree with the comment that "Always Remember" is better than "Never Forget". It is a medal that stands on its own, it doesn't need to cater to any bandwagon of "never forget" that has already been infused into the societal consciousness. Give me a break, independence and creative thinking are a foundation of our country.

    "How about sticking with history instead of making new stuff up!"

    I'm sorry, but this is just closed minded thinking that is indicative of mass conformity for the sake of conformity. "Always Remember" is vastly superior to "Never Forget", it is active as opposed to passive.

    Thankfully, the law was written such that the term "Always Remember" is included as part of the design: Sec 2(b),(2)(B).

  17. Anonymous says

    "I associate the phrase "Never Forget" with people with bloodlust and revenge on their minds."

    It's called payback and retribution here in America. In case you missed it, we've been making war in places around the world to "thank" the perbs for their action of trying to destroy freedoms in America. Iraq, Afghanistan, Paristan…and there may well be more in the future.

    American military might will certainly offer a message of how we will never forget. My son worked in tower #1 on 9/11 and I for one will NEVER FORGET. Sorry, back to numismatic concerns. ~Grandpa

  18. Anonymous says

    Since the law states these "shall contain one ounce of silver" and "shall be made available for sale in the quality comparable to proof
    coins", can we expect they will be 1.5" in diameter and be 90% silver?

  19. Anonymous says

    March 5, 2011 8:14 PM

    "Government teacher"? Good Grief, and teaching our little ones it was an inside job. And we wonder what has happened to our country!

  20. Anonymous says

    Yeah right…GWB had a few American terrorists fly some planes into a couple buildings and the pentagon, killed off thousands of US citizens, and started two wars just to do a little war mongering. Did I mention I saw a UFO last night? Thank goodness my kids do not have government teachers pushing their own political agenda instead of facts

    Is the world a safer place under obama/clinton? Do our children have a better future under obama/clinton? I think not! The man-child is way over his head and even the liberal media agrees with that assessment these days.

    The only thing I am surprised about regarding this coin (and all of our coinage) is that obama hasn't mandated that his picture be on all of them…hail Caesar.

  21. Brandon says

    Has anyone else noticed that the subscription for the 2011 uncirc silver eagles is listed at $25 and some change ea? Think they forgot to update their pricing?

  22. Anonymous says

    "Always Remember"…"Never Forget"…I don't think it makes much difference.

    When the brave Texian soldiers were wiping out Santa Ana and his troops in the Battle of San Jacinto (1836), they weren't hollering, "Never Forget the Alamo".

  23. Anonymous says

    I had family members on my mother's side killed in the Holocaust. When I attend an interfaith Holocaust remembrance service yearly the common theme is "never forget." You even find it written everywhere in relation to the Holocaust. (Maybe the government teacher here entertains that the Holocaust really didn't happen). I don't think there is anything blood thirsty or vengeful about that phrase. Haven't we all heard "Those Who FORGET History Are Doomed to Repeat It?"

    I worked in NYC and watched the second tower come down. I was on the phone with my co-worker who lived in Battery Park City and was screaming to me that he was watching people jump from the buildings. I had to walk 60 blocks uptown to a friend's apartment since transportation was shut down. People who survived began to walk by me looking like ghosts because they were covered head to toe in white powdery rubble dust. Fighter jets were scrambling overhead, military vehicles were in the streets.

    Let me tell you, I will never FORGET it.

    I think the coin can do without the circle around the flame and the Twin Towers. There were other areas that were hit as well. I don't like the water feature but don't know what should go in its place. I think the Eagle could have been designed better. I love the Eagle on the 1918 Illinois Commemorative. Much more powerful, detailed and pretty to look at.

    It's not a bad coin, it just can be tweaked a bit more. All this new stuff lacks detailing like old numismatic pieces that were in circulation.

  24. Anonymous says

    We should always remember that the events of 9/11 impacted individuals who lived and worked in places other than the Twin Towers in New York.

    I was in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. I will always remember that day….

  25. Anonymous says

    "Never forget" is used to refer to the holocaust in a positive way.

    I don't think most folks today have "bloodlust and revenge on their minds" concerning the holocaust.

    "Never forget" is a phrase that makes us as Americans feel a sense of responsibility to our nation and to people in other nations that suffer oppression.

    I actually think "always remember" is a little strange sounding to me. I will never forget the images of the World Trade Center on 9/11, but it's kind of something I don't try to remember, I merely can "never forget".

    Medal is a poor design.

  26. Tim says

    And there was nothing wrong with 1920 coins or their designs back then either ! I will get this coin as designed in Micheal's article. If it stays this way.

  27. zeeboop says

    I would have loved to see this minted as a coin. I think it puts some of the coins being minted today to shame. I would definitely buy this as a coin but as a medal, maybe. Maybe it's just the coin collecter in me……

  28. Anonymous says

    "I prefer "Always Remember" as it is a much more positive sounding message than "Never Forget". I associate the phrase "Never Forget" with people with bloodlust and revenge on their minds."

    That is why I like "Never Forget"…nobody should get away with what they did.

    "Always Remember" sounds too much like "That's ok, we forgive you!"

  29. Anonymous says

    Off topic, the UHRs are skyrocketing, more than the spot increases. They are going for $2400 raw, with fewer offered than before. This is more than the much less minted proof platinums (less than 10% the mintage of the UHR). How do you explain this?

  30. Anonymous says

    Regarding the UHR's, I remember my boss bought 10 of them from the mint. When I saw it, I was turned off by it's size. What a mistake in not buying one. I even balked at one on eBay a long time ago for $1350.00. I submitted all 10 to PCGS for him and 8 came back as MS70. Now they are giving out Proof-Like designations like NGC. I guess they are sky rocketing because of the rise in gold coupled with the popularity and demand. It seems to mirror the 08 W Buffalo demand. It all goes back to a popular, classic design I guess. Oh, I won't even tell you how many 2008 W sets both proof and UNC. my boss bought in 2008. In fact he had no idea the premiums they were carrying when I told him. He can't recall how many sets he has! It pays to be a doctor, or at least it used to given this new age of health insurance reimbursement.

    For me, I keep buying silver. I'm happy that I've roughly broken even with my 5oz ATB set from one of the authorized dealers.

  31. Anonymous says

    The designs don't quite nail the theme as well as they should. I remember "Never Forget" as being the words of the people at the time. A simple dove with an olive branch and the words "Never Forget 9-11" would do it for me. Also, I would much prefer a coin to a metal.

  32. Anonymous says

    I`m not thrilled about any of the designs for this coin. No where on any of them does it make mention of September 11. Nor do they make mention of the NYPD and NYFD that lost many brave individuals that went into the towers to save others. One design has a 93 on it but not the other flight numbers. By just saying 2001-2011, it could sound like we are just paying honor to a ten year period. Also whats the deal with some of the designs depicting the WTC towers as forks ? In addition, the phrase "no day shall erase you from the memory of time" does nothing for me. Perhaps "no amount of time shall erase you from our hearts" or " the memory of you will live on forever through us" would sound better.

  33. Anonymous says

    IMO …the PCGS WTC Recovery coins are the true meaningful numismatic antiquities from that day and something that I can not put a price on.

  34. Anonymous says

    Wow, I think it was just a few weeks ago the UHR was selling for around $2,000 raw. Now it HAS been going for $2,400-$2,500. Now I kind of wish I hadn't sold one for $1,952 a few months ago!

    I still have one left. Is now the time to sell? 🙂

  35. Anonymous says

    I was not in NYC on 9/11, but I was there from 9/12 – 10/31 as a volunteer digging in rubble initially for surviors, and finally for remains. I slept on the floor in Trinity Church many an hour, and still have my gear in my duffle bag covered in grease, dirt, fuel, muck, grime, dust, and whatever else was ground into them on that pile.

    I am not impressed at all by this medal, and am very, very happy that it was not a coin. At least there is an oppurtunity to do it right on a coin in the future.

  36. DSTIEBS says

    In my opinion they all get a F. What happened to the good artist who designed coins. They should make it simple. The Twin Towers on the obverse and In remembrance of the (Insert the Number of all that died) that horrible day on the reverse. Simple and straight to the point.

  37. Anonymous says

    "Always Remember"…"Never Forget"…
    9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB!!! Look who profited (George Bush, Dick Cheney). Look who lost (the American People, loss of Constitutional Rights). Coin collectors are some of the brightest people I know, but they still fall for the propaganda. Let really remember and honor the dead but launching a real investigation in 9/11.

  38. Anonymous says

    Michael, I think the above "9/11 conspiracy theory" (anon 11:19)may have made it through the "comment moderation"
    9/11 was caused by Islamic extemist (ie. not main-stream Muslims) terrorists, Muhammad Ata and co.
    It was a tragic time we will never forget. I guess the poster must also think the holocaust was made up and Obama was born in Kenya (and part of the Islamic conspiracy to make us all obey the Koran).
    The 9/11 design doesn't do it for me, so I'll pass.

    What's going on with the UHR pricing? As pointed out, it has surpassed the low mintage Proof platinums. The proof platinums are not commanding more of a premium over spot than they were last year…


  39. Anonymous says

    Those junk after market 911 coins advertised on TV are also using the theme "Remember." Come to find out, those Junk 911 clad coins are made in China and distributed out of Hong Kong. As mentioned by a previous poster – "Always Remember" sounds like we forgive you. My how weak we've become. "Never Forget" is the true message to all Americans.

  40. Anonymous says

    Clip art designs with no meaning for the most historic day in US history. We can do better.

  41. Anonymous says

    These designs make the nation look weak. They also say that we don't want to face the factual truth about that day. Since there are so many images from 911; I am just shocked that the mint didn't produce a commemorative coin set made in Platinum, Gold and Silver. What a Joke. Far to PC for me. Seems like social brain washing. Get real.

  42. Anonymous says

    And so we each have an opinion, each one valid in its own right.

    The voices here are comments of the common people. The decisions regarding the approved designs happened without anyone inquiring the thoughts and or wishes of the common people.

    In my case, and each chooses what they care to do, I'm NOT buying them since neither offering items agree with MY thoughts and opinions. Maybe I'm the odd ball out, but I'm not hungry to swallow what does not please me. Good luck folks, its a free country filled with personal choices. The medals aren't terrible, they just seem to have no pizazz for me.

  43. Anonymous says

    Never forget…We are vulnerable.

    Never forget…To be vigilant.

    Never forget…We are strong enough to survive a day like 9/11.

    Always remember…what?

  44. Anonymous says

    Platimum "eagle" are wallowing because they are P.C. junk, whereas the UHR is a beautiful classic piece of coinage.

  45. Anonymous says

    Always remember…We are vulnerable.

    Always remember…To be vigilant.

    Always remember…We are strong enough to survive a day like 9/11.

  46. Anonymous says

    Man oh man, whats all that fuss about whats written on the medal,
    we should remember what happened on that day and the tragedy and sadness it caused, insted some are worried what the medal says,for example it looks negative, makes us look weak etc,if it was up to those guys the will have a some country map on the medal and shwoing a B-52 dropping nukes on that, be realistic guys , who cares what the design is or what it says, look at the broad message

  47. Tim says

    Picked up 1 UHR around $1800 little while back, I have not regretted it once. I think they were around $1100 when first released and they have always been going up, never down.

  48. Anonymous says

    After reading all of the negatives on this thread I definitely will acquire one or more from each minting. Let's keep the hobby positive regardless of personal opinions on "designs." "Always remember" on the medal is to memorialize the fallen who were living normal-everyday lives until the tragedy of 9/11. May they rejoice in Heaven with their welcoming Creator!

  49. Anonymous says

    We have really lost perspective to suggest that 9-11-2001 is "the most historic day in U.S. history." How many of you know what "the day that will live in infamy" refers to, or what day it was? The fact is, we will always forget, as we must. Who knows the names of even one of his great-grandparents, let alone all? There is a difference between knowing something about history, and being mired in the very recent history. The fact of making medals so that we "always remember" a mass murder ten years ago is, to put it mildly, a mistake.

  50. Anonymous says

    Well…we got that settled!

    It's been four (4) days since the last MintNewsBlog article and I'm having coin new withdrawals!

  51. Anonymous says

    Warning – I have decided to start investing in UHR. Based on my previous foray into the stock market and housing market, the bottom will fall out as soon as I have aquired a few at current market prices.

  52. Anonymous says

    The value of your UHRs will fall when they start making new ones.
    Oh yea, they never will.

  53. Anonymous says

    re: Recent UHR price spike

    The reason "buy low, sell high" is such good advice is that it is very difficult to actually follow. Our evolutionary instincts still tell us to follow the herd!

  54. Anonymous says

    cntofma is selling ATB 5oz coins by phone. I was able to talk with representative and he told me that the price is 1100 and some cents.I did not ordered because of the price. I have already 3 sets so I do not want to pay more than I paid to others AP.

  55. Anonymous says

    What a bunch of off topic nonsense. Blah…Blah,UHR Blah,UHR Blah. Shallow minded capitalists. Just a reflection of the times I guess. Everywhere you go – marketing and advertising noise (blah). Nothing numismatically interesting here.

  56. Tim says

    I only have 1 and I am not what you say I am in your posts. UHR coins are very special, always will be, and the topic comes up quite often in numerous posts. Your comments are the kind Micheal has had to discourage time and again.

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