The coin was authorized by statute in 2014 with bipartisan Congressional support.
“Missouri is home to the National World War I Museum and Memorial, which is why I’m especially proud to see that history remembered on the World War I American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin,” said Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt.
“Our nation is forever indebted to the millions of Americans who served our nation in WWI. I hope this tribute will encourage future generations to recognize their sacrifices and gain a better understanding of how the ‘war to end all wars’ has had lasting implications for the world we live in today.”
First World War Centennial Commission Chair Terry Hamby also expressed support for the coin’s mission.
“World War I was the war that changed the world. Millions of families across our country were impacted by this war, and we all continue to be touched by it every day. This coin is a tangible way for those families, and for all people, to be a part of this special centennial period.”
The obverse design of the new coin is titled “Soldier’s Charge” and depicts an almost stone-like soldier gripping a rifle. Barbed wire twines are featured in the lower right hand side of the design.
The wire design element continues onto the reverse of the coin in a design titled “Poppies in the Wire,” which features abstract poppies mixed in with barbed wire. Barbed wire was part of the trench warfare of the First World War, and poppies are the symbolic flower of veteran remembrance, a tradition that began during the war.
The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury selected the winning coin design following an open design competition in 2016 judged by a six-member jury comprised of three members each from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, and chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury’s designee.
The coin will be produced in limited quantities and will be available for purchase from the U.S. Mint beginning next month.
In support of this coin program, the mint has created companion medals honouring each of the military branches active during the war. These medals will be available as part of five different silver dollar and medal sets.