U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder, the son of two veterans, unveiled before thousands of American Legion members Wednesday the designs of three commemorative coins that go on sale next March to honor the organization’s 100th anniversary.
“Every day across the nation, the Mint connects America through coins,” Ryder said. “And next year, it will be our great privilege to connect America to the legacy of the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization.”
Sales of a $5 gold piece, a silver dollar and a clad half-dollar honoring The American Legion’s legacy stand to raise up to $9.5 million for the organization’s programs and services, Ryder said.
The coin required congressional action. On Oct. 6, 2017, Congress passed Public Law 115-65 allowing the Mint to strike and issue 50,000 of the gold coins, 400,000 of the silver dollars and 750,000 of the half-dollars.
“Since the beginning of the commemorative coin program in 1992, the U.S. Mint has raised more than $506 million to help preserve or enhance museums, preserve historical sites and support important national programs,” Ryder said. “If we sell this program out, it should raise somewhere in the neighborhood of $9.5 million for the organization.”
Ryder said that over 36 percent of the U.S. Mint’s 1,700 employees are military veterans. “Since our institution’s founding in 1792, the men and women of the United States Mint have taken great pride in rendering the story of our nation in enduring examples of numismatic art,” he said. “To hold a coin or medal produced by the U.S. Mint is to connect to the founding principles of our nation and the making of our economy.”
The commemorative coins were designed through the Artist Infusion program and U.S. Mint sculptors and engravers, in consultation with The American Legion, the Citizens Coin Advisory Committee and the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts.