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Commems Collection Modern: 1996 National Community Service

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 Posted 11/19/2021  10:11 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The 1996 National Community Service commemorative silver dollar was a one-coin program that was authorized in the 103rd Congress and signed into law by US President William "Bill" Clinton on September 29, 1994. The coin was issued "to commemorate students who volunteer to perform community service." (Public Law 103-328, Section 205)

The Community Service dollar was just one of five new commemorative coin programs to be included within the broad scope of PL 103-328. The others were the 1995 Special Olympics silver dollar, the 1998 Robert F. Kennedy silver dollar, the 2002 US Military Academy (West Point) silver dollar and the 1997 US Botanic Gardern silver dollar.

The obverse design presents a standing figure of Lady Liberty. In her right hand, she supports a book (symbolic of learning and discovery) with the Lamp of Knowledge on top of it; rays of light emanate from the sun in the background, directly behind the flame of the Lamp. With her left hand, Liberty supports an oval-shaped US Shield.

The coin's reverse is largely commemorative inscriptions within a laurel wreath.

1996 National Community Service Silver Dollar

The designs are adaptations of the designs used on the medal created by Frances Grimes in 1905 for the Women's Auxiliary of the Massachusetts Civil Service Reform Association while working under the direction/supervision of Augustus St. Gaudens in his studio. (The medal was awarded to students who won a sponsored essay contest for essays on Civil Service Reform.) The coin's adapted obverse design is the work of US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Thomas D. Rogers; the coin's reverse design was prepared by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver William C. Cousins.

Here's the original Women's Auxiliary presentation medal for comparison:

1905 Women's Auxilary Medal by Augustus St. Gaudens

(Image Credit: Stacks-Bowers Galleries, November 2017 Baltimore Auction, Lot 168. Fair use.)

The coin was available for purchase in Proof and Uncirculated versions, as well as a part of a Coin & Stamp Set; the Set included a Proof version of the dollar (the Set will be my focus in a future post).

The Proof version of the silver dollar had an issue price of $37 ($33 Pre-issue); the Unirculated prices was set at $32 ($30 Pre-Issue). The program was authorized to strike up to 500,000 silver dollars, but sales amounted to just 25% of this figure. The Proof coin sold 101,543 coins across all options, while total sales of the Uncirculated coin amounted to 23,500. Combined, the total mintage for the program was 125,043.

The issue price for each coin included a $10 surcharge that was collected on behalf of the National Community Service Trust "for the purpose of funding innovative community service programs at American universities, including the service, research, and teaching activities of faculty and students involved in such programs." (Public Law 103-328, Section 205) In total, the Trust received approximately $1.25 million in surcharge funds.

For other of my posts about commemorative coins and medals: Read More: Commems Collection.

Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 11/19/2021  11:35 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bump111 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The St. Gaudens medal is a wonderful piece. I didn't realize that was the inspiration for this dollar.

This is one of the U.S. Mint offerings that I passed on when issued - funds were more limited in those days and I had to pick & choose what I purchased. I opted for the Smithsonian at the time. I've been getting some of the commemoratives that I missed since, but still haven't picked up this particular example.

Thank you for your posts and research!
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 Posted 11/22/2021  5:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add carlp007 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Pretty cool. It is on my "To get list."
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 Posted 11/23/2021  05:41 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting indeed - I enjoy the comparison to the lovely 1905 medal. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
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