Congressionally-authorized Coin Honors America’s Veterans of World War I
WASHINGTON, DC: The United States Mint has opened sales for their new 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar. This new coin honors the 100th anniversary of American participation in World War I.
A ceremonial ‘first purchase’ of the coin was made on Wednesday at U.S. Mint Headquarters by Colonel Gerald York, grandson of World War I hero, Sergeant Alvin York. He made the first purchase at the Mint’s lobby gift shop, in Washington, DC.
Onhand for the event was Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Mint David Motl, who expressed his support for the coin’s mission. “This new coin gives us all a symbol that we can hold in our hands, a way for us to directly participate in the World War I centennial period.”
Terry Hamby, Chair of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission agreed. “These veterans should be remembered. During World War I, nearly five million American men and women placed their lives on hold. Many deployed to places that most had never visited, to fight for the freedom of people they never met. They did not do this for personal gain, they did it solely to bring peace to the world.”
The World War I Centennial Silver Dollar was authorized by statute in 2014 with bipartisan Congressional support. Sponsors of the legislation included U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-Missouri), and U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado).
Speaking for the co-sponsors, Rep. Lamborn said “The World War I Centennial Coin honors the sacrifice of more than 4 million Americans who served in uniform, and more than 100,000 who gave their lives. As we approach the 100th anniversary of the armistice marking the end of World War I, this coin serves as an appropriate tribute to veterans who made America and the world a safer place to live.”
The obverse design of the new collectible silver dollar is titled “Soldier’s Charge” and depicts an almost stone-like soldier gripping a rifle. Barbed wire twines are featured in the lower right hand side of the design. The wire design element continues onto the reverse side, in a design titled “Poppies in the Wire,” which features abstract poppies mixed in with barbed wire. Barbed wire was part of the trench warfare of World War I, and poppies are the symbolic flower of veteran remembrance, a tradition that began during the war.
Designer of the collectible coin was Leroy Transfield, and sculptor was Donald Eberhart. The Secretary of the Treasury selected the winning coin design following an open design competition in 2016 judged by a six-member jury comprised of three members each from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, and chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury’s designee.
Surcharges from the sale of these coins are authorized to be paid to the United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars to assist the World War I Centennial Commission in commemorating the centennial of World War I.
The Centennial Commission is a Congressional Commission, whose mission is public outreach and education about American involvement in the war. The Commission was authorized by Congress to create the new National World War I Memorial in Washington DC. This memorial will be located at DC’s Pershing Park, on Pennsylvania Avenue NW and 14th Street NW, a block from the White House. The Centennial Commission receives no taxpayer funding.
The World War I Centennial Silver Dollar will be produced in limited quantities, and will be available for purchase online from the Mint through to December 28, 2018. Sales website is www.catalog.usmint.gov.
The U.S. Mint has also created special companion medals, honoring each of the military branches that served in World War I. These silver companion medals will be available from the Mint as part of five different World War I Silver Dollar and Medal Sets. Information on these sets can also be found at www.usmint.gov
The U.S. Mint’s lobby gift shop at the Mint Headquarters is open to the public, and is located at 801 9th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20220. The sales counter conducts business from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is closed on federal holidays.
Chris Isleib, Director of Public Affairs
U.S. World War I Centennial Commission
301 641 4060
Sharon McPike, Public Affairs Specialist
Office of Corporate Communications
United States Mint
About the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission
About the Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars
World War I American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 113–212)
About the new National World War I Memorial