Will collectors overcome their well-known preference for coins rather than medals?
That is the question the Mint hopes will be answered affirmatively June 20 when it places up to 2 million proof 1 ounce silver medals on sale commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.
A sales kick-off ceremony will be held in New York City.
Perhaps in hopes of inducing collectors to buy, under terms of the legislation, the Mint is minting half of the medals at West Point and putting a “W” mintmark on their reverse and the other half at Philadelphia with a “P” mintmark on the reverse.
Collectors will be able to buy both mintmarked versions from the Mint and there is no order limit placed on the offer.
The special pre-issue price is $56.95, It will be held at that level until Aug. 18, when it rises to $66.95. Both prices include a $10 surcharge to raise money for the non-profit National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum (www.911memorial.org), which oversees the design and funding of the memorial and museum at the World Trade Center site, the Mint says.
Tom Jurkowsky, Mint director of public affairs, says the 9/11 medals are struck on the same 1 ounce blanks provided by Sunshine that are used for the silver American Eagle coins. As a consequence, the medal will have the same diameter as the coin and .999 fineness, but the edge will be plain rather than reeded.
The obverse shows Liberty holding a Lamp of Remembrance. Beacons of light appear behind her. ALWAYS REMEMBER and 2001-2011 are inscribed. Designer is United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Donna Weaver, whose work was then sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
An eagle is shown on the reverse against a backdrop of cascading water. The flowing water is emblematic of peace, serenity, healing and the continuity of life, according to the Mint. HONOR and HOPE are inscribed.
Weaver was the designer and Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna executed it.
Visit the Mint’s website at www.usmint.gov for more information, or telephone (800) USA-MINT.