New Issue: U.S. breast cancer awareness coin design unveiled

The U.S. Mint unveiled the winning designs in the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Design Competition earlier this week at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s headquarters in New York.

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

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.”

U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill sculpted the design.

The reverse design depicts a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly in flight, which is a symbol of hope.


Damstra’s reverse design depicts a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly in flight, a symbol of hope. Other 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.

U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Renata Gordon sculpted the design.

As authorized by U.S. 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. Coin prices include surcharges of $35 for each gold coin, $10 for each silver coin and $5 for each half dollar coin.

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


Every year, thousands of women and men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S.; however, earlier detection, increased awareness and improved treatment have caused death rates to decline since about 1989.

The Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act was signed into law last April and “recognizes the many Americans who are impacted by the disease and the effort to prevent it through research.”


In response to a call for artists earlier this year, several U.S. artists applied for the opportunity to submit designs for the new coin. The mint invited certain artists to submit designs along with plaster models, which were then evaluated by an expert jury chaired by the U.S. treasury department assistant secretary for management and budget, and composed of three members of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and three members of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). Based on the designs chosen by the jury, the treasury secretary chose the final design.

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