Coin Community Family of Web Sites
Like us on Facebook! Subscribe to our Youtube Channel! Check out our Twitter! Check out our Pinterest!
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?


Welcome Guest! Need help? Got a question? Inherit some coins?
Our coin forum is completely free! Register Now!

Commems Collection Modern: 1992-93 US Mint Bicentennial Commemorative

 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.
Author Previous TopicReplies: 12 / Views: 14,465Next Topic  
Pillar of the Community
Learn More...
United States
8273 Posts
 Posted 03/14/2013  8:40 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
One of the more disappointing "failures" of Congress regarding the modern commemorative series, for me, occurred back in 1992-93. At that time, the US Mint was in the midst of its bicentennial. The Mint was created by the Coinage Act of 1792 and struck its first official coins in Philadelphia in 1793. If there ever was a time to recognize the achievements of the US Mint via a commemorative coin or coins, it was in either 1992 or 1993.

There was a minor attempt in Congress to get such coins authorized but it would have to be characterized as "half-hearted" at best. A bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by James Hayes (Louisiana) on 27 January 1993. It was referred to the House Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs the same day, and then referred to that Committee's Subcommittee on Consumer Credit and Insurance. Though the bill was introduced with 100 co-sponsors, it never surfaced from the Subcommittee for consideration by the whole House. No companion bill was introduced in the Senate. And that was that!

The bill called for a three-coin program, a gold half-eagle, a silver dollar and a silver half-dollar. The gold $5.00 coin was to feature Alexander Hamilton, the first US Secretary of the Treasury, on the obverse and a scene depicting the inspection of the Mint's first coins on its reverse. Thomas Jefferson, who first proposed the decimal currency we use, was to be depicted on the obverse of the silver dollar with a depiction of the Mint's first coining press on the reverse. The half-dollar designs included David Rittenhouse, the first Director of the Mint for the obverse and the first Mint building on the reverse.

IMO, those three coins would have made a fabulous set of modern commemoratives " all featured appropriate, meaningful designs intricately tied to the US Mint. I also like the fact that the bill called for a silver half-dollar!

Each coin would have included a surcharge: $30 for the gold half-eagle, $7 silver dollar and $2 for the silver half-dollar. The surcharges collected were to be "promptly paid by the Secretary to the Smithsonian Institution for the National Numismatic Collection."

The bill likely failed because it did not have a strong lobbying effort behind it like the myriad of privately-sponsored commemorative coinage bills also being considered by Congress at the time. It's a shame. The bill made such sense and, I believe, would have been heartily embraced by coin collectors " the primary buyers of all commemorative coins! Significant and much needed funds would have been raised for our nation's coin collection!

The US Mint did, however, take it upon itself to produce a pair of commemorative medals for its bicentennial, with one issued in 1992 (bronze) and the other in 1993 (silver). The Mint held a contest among its employees to come up with the medal's designs. The winning entry for the medal's obverse came from Don Miller, a police officer at the Mint in Philadelphia. Lauren Vaughan, a secretary within the Mint's Office of Public Communications, submitted the winning design used for the medal's reverse.

The primary design element on the obverse is the "Inspecting the Coins" scene as depicted in John Ward Dunsmore's 1914 oil painting. Central figures in the scene are Martha Washington as she looks over a tray of newly minted coins held by Mint Chief Engraver Henry Voigt; the man seen encouraging Martha to have a closer look is Mint Director David Rittenhouse. The men standing directly behind Martha are (from right to left) Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton (with his wife).

Former Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro was responsible for creating the models for Miller's design. Gasparro had previously adapted Dunsmore's painting to the medallic form for a 1965 Assay Commission medal; it was used again on a souvenir medal issued by the Mint in 1971 for the annual ANA Convention. New to the design were the appropriate commemorative inscriptions. The design is likely very similar to what would have been used for the proposed gold $5.00 coin.

The reverse features a series of "mini" US coins providing a brief history of the Mint's coinage since its inception, some of the designs included are the obverse of the first US cent, the reverse of the "Buffalo" nickel, the obverse of the Kennedy half-dollar, the reverse of the US Bicentennial Eisenhower dollar and the obverse of the 1986 Statue of Liberty silver dollar. Lauren Vaughan (designer) and Thomas D. Rogers (sculptor/engraver) are credited with the reverse design.

You'll note that the obverse varies slightly between the two versions, the bronze medal features a dual-date ("1792-1992") which is missing from the silver version; the silver medal replaces the dual-date with "Philadelphia." The reverses also include a difference " do you see it?

The bronze pieces were made available for individual purchase at $3.75, the silver medal was only available in a special "Philadelphia Set" collection that also featured three gold American Eagle coins (half-ounce, quarter-ounce and tenth-ounce) and a one ounce silver American Eagle; all pieces in the set were produced as proofs. Sales of the set totaled 12,689; the Mint's selling price for the Philadelphia Set was $499. As many of the sets have been broken up in the past 20 years, the silver medal can be found individually and generally sells in the range of $60 to $120 depending on condition.

The medal is 1.5 inches in diameter. The silver version is struck in 0.900 fine silver and has an actual silver weight of 0.76 troy ounces.

Shown below are examples of each medal type as well as the Philadelphia Set.

Enjoy!


1992 US Mint Bicentennial Medal / Bronze - Obverse




1992 US Mint Bicentennial Medal / Bronze - Reverse




1993 US Mint Bicentennial Medal / Silver - Obverse




1993 US Mint Bicentennial Medal / Silver - Reverse




1993 Philadelphia Set in Holder






Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Pillar of the Community
Learn More...
United States
8080 Posts
 Posted 03/15/2013  06:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting read commems ... I as well would have enjoyed the 3-coin series you described.

David
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.jk-dk.art
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
Pillar of the Community
United States
3451 Posts
 Posted 03/15/2013  2:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CoinsKelly to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I know I have seen the bronze before...and did not realize it was a mint issue until now! Interesting how the winners was the police officer and the secretary. IMHO they did a good job with their designs.
Moderator
Learn More...
United States
116460 Posts
 Posted 03/15/2013  9:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The bill called for a three-coin program, a gold half-eagle, a silver dollar and a silver half-dollar...
That would have been nice.

Quote:
The reverse features a series of "mini" US coins providing a brief history of the Mint's coinage since its inception, some of the designs included ... the reverse of the US Bicentennial Eisenhower dollar
I am glad to see that the Eisenhower dollar was represented on the medal.
Rest in Peace
United States
7075 Posts
 Posted 03/15/2013  10:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Buddy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks commems -- I appreciate the information.

I agree with CoinsKelly. Those are amazing designs from amateurs.

The only difference I see in the reverses is ...MM.
Valued Member
United States
228 Posts
 Posted 03/17/2013  07:55 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add winterfell to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting, thanks commems! Nice looking medal, I hadn't seen it before.
Valued Member
United States
359 Posts
 Posted 03/19/2013  5:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add cheezyfryes to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting, thanks!
Pillar of the Community
United States
1817 Posts
 Posted 03/24/2013  1:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bizybackson to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting that these 3-coin sets didn't fly, but the ultra-expensive 32-coin Olympic set that was authorized around the same time, did. US Mint made medals are the under appreciated aspect of the hobby. I particularly like the ones in silver and otherwise that were made during the commemorative embargo period of 1954-1982, some beautiful and intriguing designs that the Mint's designers and engravers excelled in.
Valued Member
United States
292 Posts
 Posted 03/25/2013  12:04 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add HaroldS to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That's a nice silver medal. Do you know how many were made and if they are ever available?
Pillar of the Community
Learn More...
United States
8273 Posts
 Posted 11/12/2014  11:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
That's a nice silver medal. Do you know how many were made and if they are ever available?

I can't believe I missed this question when this post was "fresh."

The mintage (final sales figure) for the Philadelphia set was 12,689. As this set was the only way the silver medal could be had, that is also the mintage figure for it.

In terms of availability, the medal is encountered on eBay with enough frequency that one can be had fairly easily.


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Valued Member
United States
291 Posts
 Posted 11/13/2014  9:56 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jhp2104 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for posting this. Very interesting read.
Pillar of the Community
United States
4211 Posts
 Posted 11/25/2014  9:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Debrajc to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes...thank you Commens~!
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1750 Posts
 Posted 01/24/2016  9:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pocket change 50 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is a stunning medal! How much does the medal or set sell for, of course in silver. Its a nice representive of history. I would be interested in finding one, when our dollar recovers. Canada has a medal with our coin designs on it as well.
  Previous TopicReplies: 12 / Views: 14,465Next Topic  
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.





Disclaimer: While a tremendous amount of effort goes into ensuring the accuracy of the information contained in this site, Coin Community assumes no liability for errors. Copyright 2005 - 2022 Coin Community Family- all rights reserved worldwide. Use of any images or content on this website without prior written permission of Coin Community or the original lender is strictly prohibited.
Contact Us  |  Advertise Here  |  Privacy Policy / Terms of Use

Coin Community Forum © 2005 - 2022 Coin Community Forums
It took 0.39 seconds to rattle this change. Powered By: