United States Mint Unveils Designs for Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coins

NEW YORK – The United States Mint today unveiled the winning designs in the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Design Competition. The event took place at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s headquarters in New York.

The designs were created by Emily Damstra, a member of the United States Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, and will be featured on a clad coin, a silver coin, and the nation’s first-ever pink-hued gold coin. The three-coin program is authorized by Public Law 114-148, the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act, in recognition of America’s fight against breast cancer.

Hover to zoom.

Damstra’s common obverse design features two women. The older woman has her hands on her chest and a relieved expression on her face. The younger woman, with a scarf on her head, holds one hand over her chest and the other raised in a fist as if she is ready to fight. A butterfly flies above the two women. Inscriptions are LIBERTY, 2018, and IN GOD WE TRUST. United States Mint sculptor-engraver Phebe Hemphill sculpted the design.

Silver coin reverse design.

Damstra’s reverse design depicts a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly in flight, a symbol of hope. Inscriptions include United States of America, E Pluribus Unum, Breast Cancer Awareness, and the respective denomination of each coin—Five Dollars for the gold coin, One Dollar for the silver coin, and Half Dollar for the clad coin. United States Mint sculptor-engraver Renata Gordon sculpted the design.

As authorized by the law, surcharges collected from coin sales are authorized to be paid to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for the purpose of furthering breast cancer research funded by the Foundation.

The Mint will announce additional details about the coins’ availability and pricing prior to their release in 2018.

About the United States Mint
The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792, and became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873. It is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces numismatic products, including Proof, Uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver and gold bullion coins.  Its numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to taxpayers. The Mint is celebrating its 225th anniversary in 2017 (#USMint225).

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  1. mccam36525 says

    Did they understand that these coins were gonna be sold by the mint and not thrown at a parade or given away?

  2. Jerry Diekmann says

    Not great, but better than the WW I coin for next year. Looks like the ATB quarters are the only thing going for the Mint next year. The commemorative coins for the last several years have really been losers in terms of designs. If you collect butterflies, the coin might be a winner, but what’s the catch with a swallow-tailed butterfly and breast cancer awareness? I looked forward to a better design, since my mother died of breast cancer metastisis at age 45 when I was 12 years old. Disappointing design, IMHO.

    Along with some other bloggers, I buy less and less from the Mint every year.

  3. earthling says

    Does the Mint intentionally design Coins with Plates in mind? If they did sell these designs as Plates they might do very well. But as Coins? Well we are all witnesses to declining Sales over the years. This Plate design process doesn’t help anything related to Coins.

  4. earthling says

    You thought the Boys Town was headed for a “crash and burn” ending to rival the Hindenburg Disaster? Well just wait until the Breast Balloon makes it’s special trip down disaster avenue.

  5. Joe M. says

    What’s next, colon cancer, testicular cancer, brain cancer, ….IT’S A FOUR-PIECE SET!!! YAY!!!
    Isn’t coin collecting fun with these awesome designs to draw in new collectors…
    and keep the long-time collectors too?
    Gotta make all the SJW’s happy, not the coin collectors…

  6. Joe M. says

    I understand the good intentions, but as someone who took care of his father for 25 years until he died from cancer, and watching him take his last breath, THERE’S NO WAY I WOULD EVER BUY A COIN ABOUT CANCER!

  7. datadave says

    It is fun to look at the sales report and look for the biggest percentage gainers as a % of previous sales. The Boy’s Town Gold UNC, up 3.5% and the 2017 Proof Gold 1/10 oz Eagle, up 2.4% both seem to be making year end moves.

    It looks like a lot of potential low marks are in danger of falling this year. This should spur some year end buying but unlike last year where it was focused on the Gold UNC commemorative, this year there is a lot more to choose from.

  8. cagcrisp says

    Politico is reporting that Yellen is Out of consideration.

    The PM markets reacted accordingly.

    Now it appears that it is between Taylor and Powell…

    …OR…As some would say , It’s between Taylor and Not Taylor…

  9. cagcrisp says

    Politico is reporting that Yellen is Out of consideration

    PM markets reacted accordingly

    It’s now between Taylor and Powell

    …OR…Between Taylor and Not Taylor…

  10. Ryan says

    Wow who knew they’d make a marijuana legalization coin before its federally legal! Times they are a changin

  11. smalltimecollector says

    I think a coin commemorating Stem Cell Transplantation could work. A portion of sales could go to research. If the right to life segment of our government could separate solid medical reality from ambiguous personal belief it could happen.
    But, as a recipient, I am biased.
    This coin strays far from what the mint should be producing. Perhaps Franklin Mint?

  12. datadave says

    I think the only reason they chose this subject for a coin was because they wanted to experiment with pink gold.

  13. datadave says

    The PM markets are saying Not Taylor for the FED choice. If he chooses Taylor, expect to see drop.

  14. Ryan says

    Should’ve used the concave strike used on the baseball coins and made a breast. Lol sales would be through the roof!!!

  15. Gary Not Dave says

    I like the idea of percentage of sales going to these organizations…But if they are going to charge triple spot for these poor designs they wont make any money for these organizations….I don’t know why the US Mint doesn’t just start a Series of something and each year announce what organization the proceeds will go to. The prospects are unlimited.

    A Series on Airplanes, Trains, Birds, Wildlife, History of Baseball, Military Series(tanks or all military vehicles), Medals of the Military, History of anything. IDK…somebody out there a lot smarter than me should be able to figure out, POOR DESIGN POOR SALES!!

  16. Gary Not Dave says

    I don’t mean to knock Emily Damstra…she has some AMAZING work out there. This just isn’t one of them. IMHO

  17. Gary Not Dave says

    There you go US Mint….a series on Ducks…2 Ducks a year…50k BU and 50k Proof! 10 year Series…Dedicate each Coin to whatever Organization….Sales will BOOM! Who doesn’t LOVE Ducks!

    @Louis G…..You have my permission to steal this idea and take it to the Mint! Since you have the inside connection!

  18. Jeffrey says

    Why not just the breast cancer awareness ribbon colorized pink. How come Canada, Australia, and a host of other mints make those beautiful colorized coins and all the mint can crank out is proof, bu, and an occasional bent coin.

  19. John Q. Coinage says

    Col Sanders chicken popped up in 1930, I think a chicken bucket coin for the 90th Anniversary wold be kool. As long as we do that add in a 100 years of Kayopectate………. Should have been a caterpiller on obv w/the butterfly on reverse, that wold be different. PInk gold great idea o/w new lows for mintage #s would result……

  20. NCM Collector says

    @Ryan – yes the mint struck bronze duplicates of the Walt Disney Congressional Gold Medal. All are 3 inches. You can find it on the bay for a reasonable price.
    As for the BC coin above, I think it will be very well marketed by the recipient organizations. It has potential to sell well outside numismatics.
    I am underwhelmed by the obverse.

  21. Anthony says

    Beautiful designs on both sides!
    Congratulations to Emily Damstra for her excellent work.
    The designs should read very well on all three sizes of coins.

  22. NcCoinCollector says

    There is a really good article on this site that discusses the use of Women on coinage. It’s worth reading. While I was not blown away by the artistry at first upon reflection I think
    1. The images are of REAL WOMEN , non glamourized, non idealized but real women coping with a all too real unglamorous issue.
    2. It was designed by women (for the consideration of all) so the sensibilities are feminine and express that.
    3. It’s touching.
    4. The butterfly is beautiful and certainly symbolic.
    Harvey Weinstein types may not dig it but I think for women and the men in their lives it gets the point across e.g. That the struggle is real.
    I think it’s fair to critique it for visual appeal but it must be done in context.
    Cancer is a terrible scourge.

  23. Ryan says


    Yes cancer is horrible but this design looks exactly like an aging Hillary Clinton and a black lives matter protester. The poor sales of this coin will do nothing to raise money for the cause. Someone said the butterfly was nice and I agree with that, it’s interesting because it’s not an eagle but takes its place.

  24. NcCoinCollector says

    Ok, I asked a lady friend her thoughts and here is what she replied ver batim, “I think the imagery is pretty and would be fine for a women’s suffrage or feminist coin. There’s no need to politicize breast cancer though.”
    When I asked if it was the raised fist that was political she said yes and that the other woman actually looked like a younger Hilary Clinton. Nothing about the image made her think of breast cancer.
    Perhaps my perception is clouded by empathy for the subject matter.
    I stand corrected.

  25. smalltimecollector says

    I did not realize a butterfly held a position in the fight. One site says it signifies change and beauty.
    Perhaps a more appropriate coin could be done with the image of a hand with outstretched fingers touching the base of neck top of chest with a butterfly lit on the back of the hand.
    Anonymous w/ no facial features. This and a pink ribbon on the back. A butter on the front and back seems redundant and seems toput too much emphasis on insects. Not knowing the butterfly’s significance one would not know a connection the breast cancer, rather womans rights, or ???

  26. earthling says

    I saw the upcoming designs for the Platinum Eagles and one of them has a Butterfly on it. Seems like the Mint is using Hands, Birds, and Butterflies a lot lately. Well whatever makes THEM happy. Maybe some potential buyers will be happy also ?

  27. A&L Futures says

    However, there’s “currently” one American Eagle 2017 One-Tenth Ounce Gold Proof Coin available.

  28. Felson says

    I think the field on the reverse are filled with far too much oversized lettering… they distract significantly from the target. (IMO)

  29. Dustyroads says

    The butterfly on the reverse is almost an exact replica to a large 3′ wide mosaic I made in an art class that I gave to my mother. When I made it, I intended it to represent change.

    I don’t see any politics in the design here. When I see the woman with the raised hand I think of the fact that she has lost her hair and apparently fighting for her life. I rather doubt “Black Lives Matter” or any present movement has anything to do with this design.

    The design on this coin may not be appealing to most hard core collectors, but it will reach out to women in a sensitive way.

    In all reality, commemorative coins rarely have any strong imagery of Liberty. These are money raisers.
    On the other hand, if they don’t have appeal to the core collectors, they WILL flop.

  30. cagcrisp says

    PM are reacting accordingly to a Bloomberg report that Trump is leaning towards Powell as the Next Fed Chairman.

    I’ve always been a fan of Yellen and as such I am a fan of Powell.

    Powell has been a Fed governor since May of 2012 and he has NEVER descented…

  31. JSM says

    94 Enhanced uncirculated sets left in stock (for now) at the mint. If you are on the fence, its probably time to jump. Just my thoughts.

  32. Louis says

    Butterflies have long had a symbolic connection with breast cancer as a symbol of hope and change, and survivors have said they identify with the way butterflies change and spread their wings as they go through their own journeys. Also, some women dealing with breast cancer get tattoos of butterflies. The young women raising her first has nothing to do with politics. She is showing her determination to fight the cancer.

  33. Ikaika says

    @ Louis

    Thank you for enlightening us. For one moment, a “kneeling for the anthem version 2” was about to start.

  34. John Q. Coinage says

    EU sets are gone (4 now…) Also the 2016 PROOF PRE sets long discussed as a ‘key’ we’ll see…… When is the nniversary silver center large cent appearing?? Or maybe a $4 Stella or mabe a ‘1804″ dollar, or a anything else….nope, the SLQ & W/L are there still, so the mint moved onto medals & semi-enhanced UNC sets….ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz As to all the other major coin produced over the past 225 years that SHPOLD have been honored…that WE can neverh ope to own…NEVER…

  35. JSM says

    So If the Enhanced sets are really gone this time, they would have sold out in almost 3 months. It honestly feels to me like these things have been on sale for a year. So is it better for long term value for the set to have sold out in a few minutes to flippers or in 3 months to what we have to assume is more end users. We all know hype drives short term pricing but can a coin be successful without a quick sellout. I don’t know, but I did buy some at mint cost for the penny. What do you think?

  36. Junior says

    I Received the AE 225th Anniversary Silver Medal Set. Pricey but beautiful. I’m glad I made the purchase after vacillating about it. The different finishes in this set are stunning. I appreciate the artistic work that goes into these medals and coins in general. I’m considering the gold version.

    As far as the Breast Cancer Awareness Coin, one should simply consider the struggle involved with fighting this and any cancer. The designs depicted translate better on the actual coin. Just my two cents. Enjoy the hobby!

  37. Erik H says

    I know it’s a little late but I just saw this video from Provident https://youtu.be/BB4tiflFhBM

    They say they don’t sell graded rejects which is good to know.

    They also just posted a video of the 10 Oz Queen’s Beast, looks awesome.

  38. VA Bob says

    Boy, the one time you want the Mint to have an accurate representation of the subject matter. It’s not even dome shaped. Some of us appreciate the female form US Mint and would like to see something, tasteful that would actually help such a worthy cause raise a lot of cash. Instead the Mint pretends women don’t have breasts . I’m not suggesting coin porn, but we don’t need to be 1600’s prudish either. Our coins fared better 100+ years. And they wonder why they have to go back to the classic design well so often. Don’t want to offend anyone, god forbid. Well, at least we got a butterfly.

  39. VA Bob says

    This kind of reminds me of the Civil Rights coin a few years back. An important event, and the Mint blew it. It’s been proven over and over, the coin has to appeal to the coin hobbyist, because most coins target subjects believe spending over 3 times the value of a coin (silver) is silly and they have better things to do with their money. The Mint refuses to learn this simple lesson. It helps when the collector has a passion for the design subject, unfortunately these conditions haven’t been meshing consistently now for years. The BBHoF and the huge number of baseball fans, illustrate what I’m talking about. If 10% of BB fans would have bought, all those offerings would have sold out in minutes. It’s first of its kind (in the US) uniqueness is what carried it, mostly among coin enthusiasts.

  40. Louis says

    VA Bob- The French Mint has a new 2 euro coin in several versions just for you. A breast cancer coin with a woman holding one hand over her breast and on the colored version a pink ribbon added.

  41. Jerry Diekmann says

    Louis – “The young women raising her first has nothing to do with politics. She is showing her determination to fight the cancer.”

    That might very well be, but she looks a lot like the images on the Civil Rights dollar.

    This coin is being issued for an admirable purpose, but just like the Civil Rights Act and the National Park Service, and other coins (Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts), the Mint just doesn’t seem to be able to capture the essence of what the coin is supposed to commemorate. For a coin collector, it’s disappointing to see such substandard efforts like these examples being produced more and more now.

  42. Joe M. says

    @Jerry Diekmann
    I totally agree!
    I was planning on buying the 2018 platinum based upon the designs presented about 6 months ago. Now that I see the design they’ve chosen, I’LL PASS! There were some BEAUTIFUL choices, and they chose one of the designs I don’t like… I only liked a few because I’m VERY picky if I’m going to pay $350++ over melt!
    Even though I would never buy a coin about cancer, the mint surely could’ve have done a MUCH BETTER JOB THAN THIS CHOICE.
    I do have to admit, the butterfly looks pretty cool, but the rest of the coin is sub-standard when it comes to BEAUTY!

  43. VA Bob says

    Louis, while I spend very little on non-US coins, I have to admit the French coin you mentioned is superior to the US design. The use of a pink ribbon in the design, left nothing to interpret, you know it’s about breast cancer. While some might not like it, it achieves the objective. I still believe we as a nation are a bit prudish, and overly concerned about offending in the name of political correctness. I really want my money to go to causes being addressed here, as I have no idea how it is handled abroad, or if the cause even gets a cut. Thanks for the heads up. Our designers should take note of what other artists are doing.

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