The 1993 James Madison / Bill of Rights (BofR) Coin and Medal Set was included among the purchase options when the coins were first released for sale in February 1993. The Set was one of three special collector sets offered by the US Mint for the BofR coin program during 1993, the others were a Young Collectors Set (issued at the same time) and a Coin and Stamp Set) issued a few months later). (See links below.)
The BofR Coin and Medal Set includes an Uncirculated example of the 0.900 fine silver half dollar - the coin was struck at the West Point Mint and was the first commemorative half dollar to feature the "W" mint mark. The medal included in the Set is the standard 1-5/16" James Madison bronze medal that is part of the Mint's Presidential Series.
The coin's obverse presents a three-quarter, front-facing portrait of James Madison as he works, quill pen in hand, on the Bill of Rights. Madison is often referred to as the "Father of the Bill of Rights" in consideration of his lead position for its drafting. In the background, over Madison's left shoulder is seen Montpelier, his home in Virginia. The reverse is dominated by the Torch of Freedom and is flanked/encircled by legislated mottoes and various commemorative inscriptions.
The obverse of the medal presents a left-facing portrait of James Madison as he appeared while serving as the ffith US President. On the reverse of the medal is found the crossed pipe and tomahawk design that was used on the Indian Peace Medals issued to VIP Native Americans during Madison's administration (and in previous administrations).
The BofR Coin and Medal Set was one of two such sets released by the Mint in 1993. It also produced a Coin and Medal set for its World War II (WWII) 50th Anniversary coin program - that Set include a bronze duplicate of the WWII Victory medal.
The BofR Set's coin and medal folder includes brief introductory information about James Madison, the Bill of Rights and the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation (the sponsor of the coin), plus information/specifications on the included coin and medal.
The issue price for the Coin and Medal Set was $14.50 (the same as the Coin and Stamp Set). Final sales of the Set totaled 49,782 of 50,000. As did the other Special Collector Sets, the Coin and Medal Set sold out its production limit. Also as with the others, the lower-than-50K final total represents a net reduction due to returned/damaged Sets that were unsalable.
The Coin and Medal Set is comprised of two components: an outer slipcase and a five-panel folder that houses the coin and medal. The front cover of the slipcase features a small image of the original Bill of Rights document at its top along with the text "The BILL OF RIGHTS/ COMMEMORATIVE SILVER HALF DOLLAR / THE JAMES MADISON PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL" below it. Bill of Rights Coin and Medal Set: Slipcase - Front
The front panel of the coin folder is essentially a duplicate of the front of the slipcase.Bill of Rights Coin and Medal Set: Coin Folder - Front Cover Panel
The inside front cover panel features a colorized illustration of George Washington presiding over the delegates gathered in Philadelphia for what became the Constitutional Convention; the engraving first appeared in 1823 in History of the United States
by Reverend Charles A. Goodrich, a book published in Hartford, CT by Huntington and Hopkins.Bill of Rights Coin and Medal Set: Coin Folder - Inside Front Cover PanelOriginal B&W Engraving of Convention Scene
The folder's interior flap holds the silver half dollar, with its front side displaying the obverse of the coin and its back presenting the coin's reverse. Each side of the flap features brief content about the Bill of Rights.Bill of Rights Coin and Medal Set: Coin Folder - Interior Flap - FrontBill of Rights Coin and Medal Set: Coin Folder - Interior Flap - Back
The interior base panel of the coin folder holds the bronze Madison medal from the Mint's Presidential Series. The panel presents a brief overview of Madison's political accomplishments.Bill of Rights Coin and Medal Set: Coin Folder - Interior Base Panel
The back of the coin folder presents the "PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP" reverse of the bronze medal, along with a brief discussion of the the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation, the beneficiary of the surcharge funds collected from sales of the coin.Bill of Rights Coin and Medal Set: Coin Folder - Back Panel
The back of the slipcase presents the Certificate of Authenticity for the half dollar and the Presidential medal; specifications for each are also included.Bill of Rights Coin and Medal Set: Slipcase - Back
Overall, it is an attractive package with interesting introductory information suitable for someone who is unfamiliar with Madison and/or the Bill of Rights. Clearly, however, it is only a launch point for anyone wishing to learn about either.
The Fellowship Foundation continues to the present day and continues to provide financial awards for those pursuing an advanced degree in American history, political science or government. Visit the web site to learn more about the Fellowship Foundation and its programs. You can view it here: James Madison Memorial Felowship Foundation
A solid Backgrounder on Madison can be found at the Biography.com web site. View it here: James Madison
For more on the 1993 James Madison/Bill of Rights coins, see:
- 1993 James Madison / Bill of Rights Coins
- 1993 James Madison / Bill of Rights Young Collectors Set
- 1993 James Madison / Bill of Rights Coin and Stamp Set
- 1993 A N A - James Madison Freedom Pack Redux
For other posts about commemorative coins and medals, see: Read More: Commems Collection