The U.S. Mint joined the American Legion at its national convention in Minneapolis this August to unveil the designs for the 2019 American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program.
The artists in the mint’s Artistic Infusion Program created the designs that will appear on gold, silver and clad coins, the release date of which has yet to be announced, while the mint’s sculptor-engravers will execute the designs.
The American Legion was founded March 15, 1919, in Paris, France, out of concern for the welfare of soldiers and the communities they returned to in the U.S. after the First World War. The non-partisan organization is the nation’s largest veterans group with nearly two million members in more than 12,000 posts throughout the U.S. Membership is open to men and women alike, regardless of ethnic background or religious affiliation.
The Legion focuses its efforts in four areas—veterans affairs and rehabilitation; children and youth; national security; and Americanism. These areas are known as “the Four Pillars” of American Legion service. Throughout its years of service to the nation, it has been a catalyst for social change and it has recorded myriad accomplishments. The Legion’s advocacy on behalf of veterans has been instrumental in the passage of numerous legislation including the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the “GI Bill,” and multiple legislation to advance government recognition and promote effective treatment of service-connected conditions.
The Legion has awarded millions of dollars in Child Welfare Foundation grants and college scholarships, and has implemented numerous programs and services to assist veterans, their families, and the community.
$5 GOLD COIN
A total of 50,000 $5 gold coins will be issued as part of the forthcoming program.
The obverse, designed by Chris Costello and executed by sculptor-engraver Phebe Hemphill, commemorates the inception of the American Legion and its mission to serve America and its war veterans. The outer geometric rim design from the American Legion emblem, the Eiffel Tower, and V for victory represents the formation of the organization in Paris in 1919 at the end of the First World War. Inscriptions are “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “LIBERTY,” “1919,” and “2019.”
The reverse, designed by Paul Balan and executed by sculptor-engraver Joseph Menna, depicts a soaring eagle, a symbol of the U.S. during times of war and peace alike. The American Legion emblem is depicted above the eagle. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “$5,” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.”
The $5 gold coin has a weight of 8.359 grams and a diameter of 21.59 millimetres.
A total of 400,000 silver dollars are also slated for issue.
The obverse, designed by Balan and executed by sculptor-engraver Renata Gordon, depicts the American Legion emblem adorned by oak leaves and a lily, commemorating the founding of the American Legion in Paris, France. Inscriptions are “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and “2019.”
The reverse, designed by Patricia Lucas-Morris and executed by sculptor-engraver Michael Gaudioso, represents the founding of the American Legion in Paris in 1919. Above the crossed American and American Legion flags is a fleur-de-lis and the inscription “100 Years of Service.” Additional inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “1919,” “2019,” “$1,” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.”
The silver dollar has a weight of 26.73 grams and a diameter of 38.10 millimetres.
CLAD HALF DOLLAR
A total of 750,000 clad half dollars will also be issued as part of the program.
The obverse, designed by Richard Masters and executed by sculptor-engraver Hemphill, depicts two children standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, the little girl proudly wearing her grandfather’s old American Legion hat. Inscriptions are “LIBERTY,” “2019,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and “I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG …”
The reverse, designed by Richard Masters and executed by sculptor-engraver Joseph Menna, completes the phrase from the obverse with “… of the United States of America.” It depicts an American Flag waving atop a high flagpole as seen from the children’s point-of-view from the ground below. The American Legion’s emblem is featured just above the flag. Additional inscriptions are “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and “HALF DOLLAR.”
The clad half dollar has a weight of 11.34 grams and a diameter of 30.60 millimetres.
The authorizing legislation for the American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program also calls for the U.S. Mint to collect surcharges from coin sales—$35 for each $5 gold coin, $10 for each silver dollar coin and $5 for each half dollar clad coin. The surcharges are authorized to be paid to the American Legion to support the Legion’s programs for veterans, members of the Armed Forces, and other purposes specified by the authorizing legislation.
The mint will announce the release date for the forthcoming program prior to its release in early 2019.