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New Coins of the American Legion – $1 Silver

March 11, 2019 0 Comments

Last week we looked at the $5 gold coin being currently released by the US Mint, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Legion in its present form. Now we will take a look at the $1 silver coin, that is part of the set of three coins created and released for this important patriotic anniversary.

This commemoration in coins is of course part of a larger global recognition of the 100th anniversary of World War I, which was fought between Germany and the Triple Entente – an alliance of England, France, and Russia (which was convulsed by revolution during the course of the war). Japan, Italy, and the United States joined the Entente through the course of the War. It may come as a surprise to see that Italy and Japan fought that war on the same side as the Western Powers – a very different situation from WWII. America financed the war on the Allied side, but only began to send troops towards the end of the war. Almost 2 million US soldiers were tsent to Europe in crowded ships – so crowded they had no room for weapons, so they were given them by the Europeans when they arrived. They were largely untrained, and before very many could see active duty the war was over. Left idle for months, the American Legion began in Paris in 1919 to provide activities and recreation for them, before gradually evolving into an organization for veterans of all America’s wars.

The $1 silver coin is available in proof and uncirculated form, as well as in a three-coin proof set of the coins. The maximum minting is 400,000 coins. The final chosen design shows, on the obverse, the emblem of the Legion. This is a 5-pointed star, which many people would see as like a sheriff’s badge from a Western movie, with the letters ‘US’ in the center. The words, AMERICAN LEGION, surround the star, lying over a laurel wreath, a symbol of victory going back to the Roman Empire. Around the emblem are oak leaves, which symbolize longevity and humble beginnings, and a lily. The lily is widely used to stand for purity and innocence, and here symbolizes the innocence of young men who die in battle. The words, LIBERTY, and IN GOD WE TRUST are at the top, and 2019 at the bottom. The design is by Paul C. Balan, who also created the design for the reverse of the $5 coin in this series. It was sculpted by a Mint sculptor-engraver, Renata Gordon.

The striking reverse design features crossed flags – the Stars and Stripes, and the flag of the American Legion. The words, 100 YEARS OF SERVICE are inscribed above the flag, and above them is a fleur-de-lis, a French symbol, which makes the link with the origins of the Legion in Paris. An arch design, similar to the crenelated border of the Legion’s own badge, completes the design, with the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 1919, 2019, $1, and E PLURIBUS UNUM, also on this side. The design of the reverse is by Patricia Lucas-Morris, an artist with the Artistic Infusion Program, and it was sculpted by the Mint sculptor-engraver Michael Gaudioso.

Filed in: Informative

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