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Mint looks to silver medals for its future

The path to the future is paved with silver for the United States Mint.

Two new silver medal programs are coming.

Yesterday, members of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee were briefed on the details.

The Mint likes Presidents.

The dollar coin program that ran 2007 to 2016 will have a successor in medals.

A series of silver Presidential medals struck on silver American Eagle-sized planchets will begin in 2018.

The first two designs will be released this year.

In each of the following years, four silver Presidential medals will be produced.

Ann Bailey, who is in charge of numismatic and bullion coins, provided the information.

She said these silver pieces will contain an ounce of .999 fine silver and be struck in proof.

These medals will have the same designs and be an alternative to the bronze medals that currently exist.

There will be no fixed order period.

Once sales start, Bailey said they would be available in perpetuity.

Because of known collector preferences for silver, she expects the medals to sell well.

In 2020, tentative plans have the Mint striking silver medals to honor the branches of the military, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force and the National Guard.

They will not be tied to any specific anniversaries.

The designs will include emblems of the service branches.

They, too, will be struck on Eagle-size silver planchets and be available indefinitely.

Small versions in bronze will also be made.

Bailey said kids often want to buy something at Mint sales sites and the small bronze will fit their budget.

Research is still being done into the Mint’s authority to do this. It does not want to pre-empt possible future commemorative themes, or step on Congressional toes.

In addition to the medal programs, it was revealed that the Mint has already selected themes for the platinum proof $100 coin program for the years 2021-2025.

It will be “Five Freedoms.”

These are Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, the Right to Assembly, Freedom of the Press and the Right to Petition the Government.

The goal is that a single artist would do all five designs.

We will get a strong indication of the future of silver medals by how collectors respond to those being offered today beginning at noon Eastern Time along with the World War I commemorative silver dollar.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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