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Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin

October 30, 2017 0 Comments

Few families are untouched by breast cancer. Everyone wants to see the rate continue to fall, and more women be saved, and go on to enjoy their lives. Now coin collectors can collect a unique coin, and at the same time help a truly vital cause.

For 20 years now, since 1998, the US Mint has been issuing two special commemorative coins each year. These commemorate the lives of people or organizations that raise funds for noble causes, and there can hardly be a more noble cause than this one. What makes it special for coin collectors is that the gold coins in the release will be in a special alloy that will make them pink, something that has never been done before by the US Mint.

The complete release will be up to 50,000 pink-gold alloy $5 coins, up to 400,000 silver $1 coins, and 750,000 clad half-dollar coins. The design was made public on October 23, 2017, and was found through a competition. The winner was Emily Damstra, an illustrator from Michigan, who has already worked for the Mint under their Artistic Infusion Program. She has also designed coins for the Royal Canadian Mint.

Ms Damastra’s designs feature, on the obverse, two women. The older woman has an expression of calm relief on her face, and her hands are crossed and pressed to her chest. The younger woman has a scarf covering her head, and defiantly holds one hand over her chest and the other raised in a fist. Above them flies a butterfly, and the looped ribbon which is a universal symbol of breast cancer awareness. Above their heads is the word ‘LIBERTY’, with 2018 and ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ below.

The reverse shows a tiger swallowtail butterfly, which is a symbol of hope, transformation and re-birth. Above the butterfly are the words ‘UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’, and ‘FIVE DOLLARS’. Below is engraved ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM’ and ‘BREAST CANCER AWARENESS’. The coin is made of 85% Gold, with 14.8% Copper, and 0.02% Zinc. This particular alloy gives a unique pink sheen to the coin, a feature that has never been used in the US before, although pink-gold coins have been released by other mints. The coin has a diameter of 0.850 inches, and weighs 7.931 grams. The silver coin is 90% Silver and 10% Copper, with a diameter of 1.5 inches, and weighing 26.73 grams. The last coin in the release is a half-dollar, with a copper core and a Nickel cladding. It has a diameter of 1.205 inches, and weighs 11.34 grams.

To raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, each coin will have a surcharge on it, when they go on sale next year. The gold $5 will have a $35 surcharge, the silver $1 a $10 surcharge, and the half-dollar will contribute $5 to the cause. Given the importance of this cause, it is hoped that substantial sales will help more research, and keep the mortality rate falling, as it has done by 38% over the last 25 years.

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