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Post Your Coins With Stars

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 Posted 12/08/2021  06:50 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As both a baseball fan and coin collector from my early days, two things come to mind when I think about Jackie Robinson and the fiftieth anniversary commemoration, in 1997, of him permanently integrating Major League Baseball by playing in his first major league baseball game (with the Brooklyn Dodger):

1. Major League Baseball (MLB) retiring his jersey number - 42 - on all MLB teams via a ceremony at Shea Stadium (home of the NY Mets); US President Bill Clinton and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig spoke at the April 15, 1997 ceremony.

2. The Silver Dollar and Gold Half Eagle commemorative coins struck by the US Mint.

Pertinent to this thread, of the two coins, only the silver dollar incorporates stars within its design.

The dollar's obverse design depicts the famous scene of Jackie stealing home against the New York Yankees in the 8th inning of Game 1 of the 1955 World Series. (Brooklyn lost Game 1 by a score of 6 to 5, but won the series four games to three.) The design was created by the Mint's Sculptor-Engraver Alfred Maletsky (based on game photographs).

The coin's reverse presents the Jackie Robinson Foundation's 50th anniversary logo that celebrates Jackie breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. It also includes mention of Jackie's Rookie of the Year Award and being enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Below the anniversary logo are presented six stars in two groups of three that flank "E PLURIBUS UNUM". The stars and motto form the lower segment of a circle that encloses the logo. The upper segment consists of two inscriptions "ROOKIE OF THE YEAR 1947" and "HALL OF FAME 1962" that are separated by a single star. I haven't read of a meaning behind the stars in any of the US commemorative coin references, but I believe the six stars that flank the motto represent the six National League pennants that Robinson won with the Dodgers, and the single star that separates the inscriptions is symbolic on the one World Series he won with the team (in 1955).

The coin's reverse was designed by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver T. James Ferrell; it is built upon the Jackie Robinson Foundation's anniversary logo.


1997 Jackie Robinson 50th Anniversary Silver Dollar




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 Posted 12/08/2021  07:42 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dorado to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
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 Posted 12/08/2021  08:47 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The 1997 US Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Gold Half Eagle was one of seven commemorative coin programs authorized by Public Law 104-329. The FDR coin was issued to help "commemorate the public opening of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, DC" and to "honor President Roosevelt's leadership and legacy."

The obverse of the FDR gold coin presents Roosevelt, in profile, facing right (viewer's perspective) with the wind in his face. He is shown wearing his famous boat cloak, the same cloak FDR is seen wearing in photographs of him with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference in February 1945. The design is based on a photograph of the president taken while he was aboard the USS Houston, a US Navy cruiser, in San Francisco Bay on July 14, 1938. The Associated Press photograph was taken as Roosevelt was conducting a Naval Review of the US fleet. The coin's design/adaptation of the original photograph is the work of US Mint Sculptor-Engraver T. James Ferrell.

The main device on the coin's reverse is an adaptation of the official Presidential Seal that was used during Roosevelt's first inauguration in 1933; it can also be seen at the Memorial. The reverse was designed by Graphic Designer Jim Peed and engraved by Sculptor-Engraver Thomas D. Rogers.

In the field above the eagle are seen 13 stars; they represent the original 13 states; 11 of the stars are fully visible, two are partially hidden by the eagle's upswept wings.

The design incorporates 28 stars (some partial view) in the ring encircling the central eagle. Based on my research, I believe these stars are a reference to the 1928 New York Gubernatorial election which Roosevelt won; prior to becoming the US President, FDR served two terms as New York's governor between January 1, 1929 and December 31, 1932. The Mint states that the design is the "Presidential seal as seen at FDR's 1933 inaugural." This is inaccurate. The design used at FDR's inaugural, and on the coin, has similar design characteristics to the Presidential Seal of 1933, but it is definitely not the same - the Seal in question was a custom creation for the inaugural. (Another case of misinformation being spread!)


1997 FDR Gold Half Eagle



For more on the 1997 FDR Gold Half Eagle, check out:

- 1997 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial - Link to Obverse Design Source Photograph
- 1997 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial - Coin & Stamp Set
- 1997 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial - Looking at the Coin's History


For other of my posts about commemorative coins and medals, see: Commems Collection.


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Edited by commems
12/08/2021 08:49 am
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 Posted 12/09/2021  07:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The 1998 Robert Francis Kennedy (RFK) commemorative silver dollar was struck to honor and commemorate RFK's life and work.

Kennedy, a lawyer, served as the US Attorney General between January 1961 and September 1964 (first under his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) and then under Lyndon Baines Johnson who succeeded JFK after his assassination. From January 1965 until June 6, 1968, RFK was the US Senator from New York.

He was shot just after midnight on June 5, 1968 in Los Angeles, CA while on the campaign trail seeking the Democratic nomination for President; he died approximately 24 hours later, on June 6th, after hours of unsuccessful neurosurgery.

Robert F. Kennedy Appearing Before Platform Committee (1964)

(Image Credit: Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, http://www.loc.gov/pictures. Public Domain.)

The obverse design of the silver dollar presents a forward-facing, not-completely-formal, portrait of RFK, wearing just a shirt and tie (i.e., no suit jacket). The coin's reverse reflects RFK's service to the US and his service roles within the Federal Government. Presented are the Seal of the Department of Justice (rear) with the Seal of the US Senate in front of it (at right). The Senate Seal is the source of the coin's stars.

Regarding the Department of Justice Seal, from its web site (www.justice.gov):

"the seal as adopted by the Attorney-General consisted of the United States shield, with stars (improperly) on the chief, from it an eagle rising, with outstretched wings, bearing in the right talon an olive branch, in the left arrows..."

From the US Senate web site (www.senate.gov):

"The seal of the Senate, based on the Great Seal of the United States, includes a scroll inscribed with E Pluribus Unum floating across a shield with thirteen stars on top and thirteen vertical stripes on the bottom. Olive and oak branches symbolizing peace and strength grace the sides of the shield, and a red liberty cap and crossed fasces represent freedom and authority. Blue beams of light emanate from the shield. Surrounding the seal is the legend, "United States Senate."

The 13 stars/stripes seen symbolize the original 13 States of the Union.

Both the obverse and reverse designs are the work of US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Thomas D. Rogers.

1998 Robert F. Kennedy Silver Dollar



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 Posted 12/09/2021  08:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The 1999 George Washington 200th Anniversary of Washington's Death Gold Half Eagle was one of the most anticipated issues of the modern US commemorative series as, after decades of waiting, collectors were finally going to have the chance to see, on an actual coin, the original designs prepared by Laura Gardin Fraser for the design competition for the 1932 Washington Quarter as part of the quarter's redesign for the bicentennial of Washington's birth.

On the coin's obverse is seen a bust profile of George Washington, facing right (viewer's perspective); this contrasts with John Flanagan's left-facing portrait of Washington as seen on the issued 25-cent coin. Fraser based her portrait of Washington on the famous life-mask bust created by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon (as did Flanagan, per contest guidelines).

The coin's reverse design presents a standing Bald Eagle with raised wings and its head turned to the right (viewer's perspective). Above the eagle's head are seen a constellation of 13 stars, symbolic of the original 13 States of the US Union. The eagle is shown clutching in its talons a bundle of arrows along with an olive branch, the traditional symbols used to indicate the US seeks peace but stands ready to defend itself with force, if necessary.

1999 George Washington 200th Anniversary of Death Gold Half Eagle



For more on the 1932 Washington Quarter as a circulating commemorative, see:

- 1932 Washington Quarter

For other of my posts about commemorative coins and medals, make sure to see: Commems Collection.



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Edited by commems
12/09/2021 08:36 am
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 Posted 12/09/2021  09:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Fantastic pair!

I cannot wait to see the Laura Gardin Fraser obverse on the quarters next year.
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 Posted 12/09/2021  9:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The 1996 Summer Paralympic Games were held in Atlanta from August 16 to 25; they followed the Olympic Games which were held in the city July 19 through August 4. The Paralympic Games feature athletes with physical disabilities and/or intellectual impairments. The Games in Atlanta included over 500 events across 19 sports (including two demonstration sports - wheelchair rugby and sailing).

More than 3,800 athletes from 104 countries participated in the Games. The United States led all nations in "medals won" with a total of 158 (47 gold, 46 silver, 65 bronze). Germany was second with 149 medals (40 gold, 58 silver, 51 bronze), and Great Britain was third with a total of 122 medals (39 gold, 42 silver, 41 bronze). The Paralympic athletes competed in some of the same athletic facilities as those used by the Atlanta Olympics.

As part of the Atlanta Olympics commemorative coin program, two of its eight silver dollars were dedicated to the Paralympics; one in 1995, one in 1996.

I wanted to circle back and present an example of each coin as they hold the distinction among the silver dollars as having at least one star on each side. A star is a core element of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics logo which is referred to as: StarFire - The Triumph of the Human Spirit (tm). The logo was developed for the Atlanta Paralympics Organizing Committee. The StarFire logo appears on the obverse of the 1995 and 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games coins.

1996 Atlanta Paralympics StarFire Logo

(Image Credit: Image courtesy of the Atlanta Paralympics Organizing Committee. Media image.)

Per the Committee's Standards Manual:

The Star is the athlete; the Fire the passion that burns in the heart. The dynamic flow of the rings reveals the fifth point of the star -- the fulfillment of the athlete's quest. The circular motion of the rings is deliberately open to interpretation, reflecting the variety of dreams entertained by the world's greatest athlete.

The obverse design of the 1995 silver dollar depicts a blind runner engaged in a race while tethered to a sighted guide runner. The StarFire logo is presented to the right of the runners (viewer's perspective). Directly above the top point of the star is written "Spirit" in Braille. The design was created by Jim Sharpe; US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Thomas D. Rogers, Sr. created the sculpt.

1995 Atlanta Paralympics - Blind Runner Silver Dollar



The obverse design of the 1996 Paralympic silver dollar features an athlete in a wheelchair competing in a Track and Field event. The StarFire logo is again presented to the right of the athlete (viewer's perspective), with "Spirit" written in Braille above the athlete's outstretched left arm (viewer's right). The design was created by Jim Sharpe and was modeled by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Alfred Maletsky.

1996 Atlanta Paralympics - Wheelchair Athlete Silver Dollar



Each of the coins features the shared Atlanta Olympics reverse design for its year of issue. See above for my posts on the Atlanta Olympics coinage for a complete discussion/description.

As with my other modern US commemorative coins, the Atlanta Paralympics silver dollars in my collection are Uncirculated versions (vs. Proof coins).


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 Posted 12/10/2021  07:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
To provide financial assistance for the construction, maintenance and ongoing preservation of a Capitol Visitor Center, Congress authorized a three-coin commemorative program consisting of a CuNi Clad Half Dollar, a Silver Dollar and a Gold Half Eagle. The focus here is on the CuNi Clad Half Dollar.

The coins commemorated "the first convening of the Congress in the Capitol building." (Public Law 106-126) The 6th US Congress convened for its 2nd Session on November 17, 1800. The 2nd Session opened in the new building in Washington DC, thus making the 6th the first Congress to convene in the new Capitol.

The surcharges collected on the sale of each coin were for the benefit of the United States Capitol Preservation Commission with specific direction to ensure the funds went to support the construction, maintenance and preservation of a new Capitol Visitor Center vs. other ongoing programs of the Commission.

The Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) is comprised of two public levels and a private third level, located below the East Capitol Grounds. (By being constructed below ground, the Visitor Center does not detract from, or interfere with, the beauty of the Capitol Building.) The CVC includes approximately 580,000 square feet of space which is roughly three-quarters of the size of the Capitol (775,000 square feet). Though initial design and planning began in the mid 1970s, its groundbreaking was in June 2000 and actual construction on the CVC began in 2002. It received its Certificate of Occupancy in July 2008.

The CVC includes Emancipation Hall (home to two dozen statues donated by the various states), an Exhibition Hall, two theaters, two gift shops, a cafe, first aid stations, security areas and office space for the House and Senate. It is the starting point for anyone wishing to visit the US Capitol.

The obverse design of the half dollar presents a circa-2001 "shape" view of the Capitol (i.e., without architectural detail) with a detailed depiction of the original 1800 Capitol structure incorporated. In the foreground is seen a horse-drawn carriage, a common mode of transportation in 1800 (at least among those who could afford them!). The central elements are enclosed within a circle of 50 stars, one for each State in the union. The design was created by freelance artist Dean McMullen, and modeled by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donna Weaver.

The coin's reverse design was jointly created by Alex Shagin and Marcel Jovine; it is almost exclusively inscriptions. The design features a ring of 16 stars with each representing one of the States that were in the Union in 1800; the stars encircle "1800 / 6th CONGRESS" along with "SENATE / 32 SENATORS" and " HOUSE / 106 MEMBERS" that all serve to identify the size of the 6th Congress when it first convened in Washington, DC in the new Capitol. The design was sculpted by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Alfred F. Maletskey, Jr.

2001 Capitol Visitor Center Clad Half Dollar



For a discussion of the special "Collector's Set" for this coin, and some of Congress' early meeting history, check out:

- 2001 US Capitol Vistor Center - Collector's Set[



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 Posted 12/10/2021  07:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The other coin from the 2001 Capitol Visitor Center program that features stars in its designs is the Silver Dollar. (See my post above on the Capitol Visitor Center CuNi Clad Half Dollar for details on the Capitol Visitor Center and the event that drove the coin program's creation.)

The silver dollar's obverse was designed by Marika Somogyi. Ms. Somogyi was one of 12 outside artists that submitted potential design(s) for the Visitor Center coin(s). Somogyi's obverse presents a "then and now" scene, with the original Capitol in the foreground and the circa-2000 Capitol building behind it. US Mint Sculptor-Engraver John Mercanti handled the sculpt of the design. The initials of both artists are included on the coin: Somogyi's initials appear immediately below the left-front corner of the original Capitol; Mercanti's are seen just to the right of the right-rear corner of the same building.

Mercanti took on a larger roll for the coin's reverse, creating the design and sculpt. His design presents a US Bald Eagle in heraldic pose with outstretched wings and a shield on its breast. As is the norm, the eagle is depicted with arrows in its left talon (representing strength, willingness to fight/defend) and an olive branch in its right talon (desire for peace). A series of rays arranged in a circle from approximately the 7 o'clock to 5 o'clock position nearly encircle the eagle. A ribbon wraps around the eagle and carries the inscription "U.S. CAPITOL VISITORS CENTER".

An examination of the shield on the eagle reveals 16 stars vs. the typical 13 for the original colonies/states. In 1800, when Congress first occupied the Capitol, the Union consisted of 16 States - Vermont, Kentucky and Tennessee had been added since Rhode Island - the last of the original 13 States - had ratified the US Constitution (May 29, 1790) and become a part of the Union.

2001 Capitol Visitor Center Silver Dollar



For a discussion of the special "Collector's Set" for this coin, and some of Congress' early meeting history, check out:

- 2001 US Capitol Visitor Center - Collector's Set[


For other posts about commemorative coins and medals, classic and modern, check out: Read More: Commems Collection.


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 Posted 12/11/2021  07:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dorado to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
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 Posted 12/11/2021  09:35 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
To lend financial support to the preservation of American Civil War battlefields, the US Mint struck a three-coin commemorative program in 1995 for the benefit of the Civil War Trust. The program consisted of a CuNi Clad Half Dollar, a Silver Dollar and a Gold Half Eagle.

The 1995 Civil War Battlefields Gold Half Eagle is the only coin of the program that features one or more stars; it includes a pair of stars within its reverse design. The reverse design presents a bald eagle, with upswept wings, perched upon a US Shield. The stars flank the "Eagle and Shield" design element at the coin's center and serve to set/separate the legend "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" apart from the coin's denomination. In its beak, the eagle is shown holding a ribbon inscribed with "PROTECT AND PRESERVE." US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Alfred Maletsky, Jr. was responsible for the reverse design and its sculpt.

As noted above, the design incorporates two stars that are used as separators. If one wanted to stretch for potential symbolism behind the two stars, it's possible they are meant to represent the two sides - Union and Confederacy - of the US Civil War. While certainly possible, I'm of the mind that such an explanation is a stretch too far.

On its obverse is seen a right-facing Army bugler on horseback; he is depicting blowing his bugle. Noted Civil War artist Don Toriani created the design; US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Thomas D. Rogers, Sr. created the sculpt.

1995 Civil Ware Battlefields Gold Half Eagle



For more on the Civil War Battlefields three-coin program, see:

- 1995 Civil War Battlefields Program


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