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Designs for the American Legion Commemorative Coin Revealed

September 3, 2018 0 Comments

The American Legion was founded in 1919 by veterans of World War I, and its continuing power and influence is reflected in the fact that the US Mint is issuing not one, not two, but three coins to commemorate the Legion’s 100th Anniversary in 2019. The designs were revealed at the Legions national convention on August the 9th, 2018, in a joint event.

From an initial selection of 63 designs, in March the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts selected six designs, and from these the Legion and the Mint made a final selection. The relevant legislation (Public Law 115-65) calls for maximums of 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 silver dollars, and 750,000 clad half-dollars to be minted, in proof and uncirculated strikings. At the Legion’s convention the final designs for the three coins were revealed, and these will now be produced, for release in 2019.

The gold coin will show on the obverse ‘V’ for victory, over an image of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, where the Legion was founded. The outer rim design is taken from the Legion’s emblem. The words, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, and 1919 – 2019 are engraved on this side. The reverse shows a soaring American Eagle on the right, which symbolizes the country in war and peace. To the right is the official emblem of the American Legion. The words, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, $5, and E PLURIBUS UNUM, are engraved on this side. The design for the obverse is by Chris Costello, a well-known graphic designer and typographer, with the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, a sculptor-engraver with the Mint since 2006. The reverse is designed by Paul C. Balan, an artist born in the Philippines and a naturalized American citizen. He is also part of the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program. The coin is sculpted by Joseph Menna, another sculptor-engraver with the Mint.

The silver coin has n obverse showing the emblem of the Legion, surrounded by oak leaves, a symbol of longevity and humble beginnings, and the lily, which stands for purity, and innocence after death. The words, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, and 2019 are also on this side. The design is again by Paul C. Balan, and sculpted by another Mint sculptor-engraver, Renata Gordon. The reverse Designed by Patricia Lucas-Morris and sculpted by Michael Gaudioso, the reverse design is dominated by crossed American and American Legion flags, with a French fleur-de-lis and the inscription, ‘100 Years of Service’ above the flags. As well, the engraved words, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 919, 2019, $1, and E PLURIBUS UNUM, are on this side. This design is by Patricia Lucas-Morris, with the Artisitic Infusion Program, and sculpted by the Mint sculptor-engraver Michael Gaudioso.

Finally, the design for the half-dollar was shown. The obverse shows a young boy and a young girl, hands on their hearts, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The girl is wearing her grandfather’s battered American Legion hat. The inscriptions are, LIBERTY, 2019, IN GOD WE TRUST, and I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG…The design is by Richard Masters, a retired professor of art with the Artistic Infusion Program, and again sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. On the reverse is an American flag, seen from below, as the children might see it. Above the flag is the American Legion’s emblem again. The inscriptions are, E PLURIBUS UNUM and HALF DOLLAR.  The design is by Richard Masters, and sculpted by Joseph Menna.

These three coins will be released next year, and are a fitting tribute to the endurance, strength and patriotism of the American Legion.

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