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American Legion – Silver Dollar and Medal Set Released

May 27, 2019 0 Comments

We already looked in some detail recently at the three coins being released by the US Mint to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Legion. These coins – a silver dollar, a gold 5-dollar coin, and a clad half-dollar, feature designs drawn from both the history of the Legion, and the Pledge of Allegiance.

On May 20, 2019, the mint released the first of several sets featuring these coins. This first set is for the silver dollar, and with it is a commemorative medal. It makes a great collector’s item, or a gift for a member of the Legion – or any veteran at all. The proof set is presented in a padded case, with a certificate, all enclosed in a large box.

The silver dollar has been discussed already in some detail, but to recap, it features on the obverse the five-star emblem of the American Legion emblem, with ‘U.S’ in the center and AMERICA LEGION around it. On each side is an oak leaf and acorn, which symbolize longevity and humble beginnings, both attributes of the Legion. Below is a stylized lily, in the French fleur-de-lis manner, which symbolizes both the origins of the Legion in Paris, France, and the innocence of young men who died in battle, because the lily has always been a symbol of purity and innocence. The words, LIBERTY, and IN GOD WE TRUST are at the top, and 2019 at the bottom. The design is by Paul C. Balan, and the die was sculpted by a Mint sculptor-engraver, Renata Gordon. Their initials, PCB and RG can be seen on either side of the design.

The reverse design has crossed American and American Legion flags. A more formal fleur-de-lis is above, pointing again to the founding of the Legion in France. The Inscription is, 100 YEARS OF SERVICE. The dates ‘1919’ and ‘2019’ flank the design, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above, and E PLURIBUS UNUM below. The mint mark ‘P’ for Philadelphia is visible, with the $1 sign and PLM and MG for the designer, Patricia Lucas-Morris, and the sculptor, Michael Gaudioso, respectively.

The medal is unique to the set, and it also is in silver, and the same size as the dollar coin. They each weigh 26.730 grams, with a diameter of 1.500 inches. The dollar’s edge is reeded whereas the medal’s is plain.

The obverse shows a bald eagle spreading its wings, and symbolizes the initiative, determination, and personal courage of Americas soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guard. There are 5 stars to the right of the eagle, representing those five branches of the U.S. Armed Services. The words, HONORING AMERICA’S VETERANS surround the eagle. The design is by author and artist Benjamin Sowards, part of the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, and the die was sculpted by Joseph F. Menna, of the Mint.

The medal’s reverse shows a field of 5-pointed stars again, in 7 rows, with one central star transposed to a blank field at the bottom. The main stars symbolize past, present and future veterans, and the lone star is for all who made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives, for their country. The reverse was designed by Richard Masters and sculpted by Renata Gordon. The words, SERVICE AND SACRIFICE complete the design on this side.

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