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2011 United States Army Commemorative Coins

Two commemorative coin programs were authorized by Congress for 2011. Recently, design selections were unveiled for the 2011 United States Army Commemorative Coins. The three coins included in the program each focus on a different aspect of the U.S. Army.

The $5 gold coin focuses on the role of the U.S. Army throughout history. The obverse design shows soldiers from the Revolutionary War, American Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the modern era. On the reverse of the coin is the official U.S. Army emblem. Designs are by Joel Iskowitz for the obverse and Joseph Menna for the reverse.

The silver dollar for the U.S. Army Commemorative Coins depicts soldiers of the modern era. A male and female soldier are shown in uniform with a globe in the background. On the reverse of the coin is the Great Seal of the United States, with the seven core values of the Army around. Richard Masters designed the obverse and Susan Gamble designed the reverse.

The half dollar shows the Army’s role in peacetime. The obverse includes a soldier surveying, two servicemen building a floodwall, and the Redstone rocket. The reverse shows a soldier in the Continental Army. The obverse design is by Donna Weaver with the reverse by Thomas Cleveland.

The second program for the year is the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coins. Designs were announced in September 2010. Sales for the coins included in both commemorative programs will begin at the US Mint during the first quarter of 2011.

A Quick Sell Out

After one month and nine days of availability, the 2010 Proof Silver Eagle has sold out at the US Mint. The coins were on the radar of many collectors following the cancellation of the 2009-dated issued, but the quick nature of the sell out may have caught some by surprise.

When the coins went on sale, the US Mint did not state a maximum mintage. With a technically “unlimited” mintage and no signs of stress for the bullion version, a high mintage was expected.

All told, the last reported sales of 834,879 would make for a relatively high mintage, but it’s not as severe as feared.

For next year, the offering might go smoother, following the passage of legislation to allow greater flexibility for the production of collector version of the American Silver Eagle. Previously bullion coins needed to be produced to meet public demand, with no requirement for the minting and issuance of proofs.

The 2011 Proof Silver Eagle could be authorized by the Treasury Secretary even if demand was not being met for bullion coins.

Mount Hood National Forest Quarter Bags and Rolls

Today marks the circulation release date for the Mount Hood National Forest Quarter. This coin is the last release of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program for this year. Although it has featured some pleasing designs, the lack of circulation has kept the series out of the spotlight.

Mount Hood Quarter

The US Mint is offering numismatic bags and rolls of the coins. These are priced at relatively steep premiums to face value, considering the fact that they are simply circulation strike coins in special packaging. The bags containing 100 coins from the Philadelphia or Denver Mint are priced at $35.95. The two rolls sets containing 40 coins from each mint are priced at $32.95.

The Mount Hood Quarter is apparently still in production since preliminary mintages have not yet been provided. Production for each design of the series has been around 70 million each, which does seem enticingly low compared to the high levels for the previous State Quarters series.

A launch ceremony will be held at the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon on November 17.

2009 First Spouse Bronze Medals

The US Mint recently released the last of this year’s First Spouse Bronze Medals. These medals present a cheap alternative to the pricey First Spouse Gold Coin series. The last medal features Margaret Taylor. On the same day, the US Mint also released the 2009 Five Medal Set, which contains one of each medal issued this year.

First Spouse Bronze Medals

Each year since the First Spouse series began, the US Mint has issued a 1-5/16 inch bronze medal duplicate of each gold coin. The design images used on the medals are the same as the gold coins, although many of the inscriptions are removed. In fact, all reverse inscriptions are removed completely, making for a full view and focus of the reverse design.

The First Spouse bronze medals seem to have attracted a sizeable and dedicated following of collectors. Priced at $3.50, several of this years medals have already sold out of their individual options. Some medals from prior years are already selling at prices above their issue price. This year, I took the plunge and ordered one of the five medal sets. I am hoping to receive by Christmas.

2009 Professional Life Lincoln Cent Released

Yesterday the third 2009 Lincoln Cent design was released. This design features a young, professional Lincoln standing in front of the Illinois State Capitol building. The release into circulation was accompanied by an official ceremony and opportunities for exchanging coins at face value.

professional-lifeThe launch ceremony fittingly took pace at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. The ceremony was attended by United States Senator Dick Durbin, United States Mint Director Edmund Moy, and others.

Following the ceremony, there was a coin exchange where people could switch currency for fresh rolls of the new coins. This opportunity has provided a huge draw for past ceremonies.

The US Mint also hosted coin exchanges at two locations in Washington, DC.

Finally, the US Mint put Two Roll Sets of the new 2009 Lincoln Cents on sale on their website. The sets are offered for $8.95. This is quite a premium, but I guess its the price you have to pay if you can’t make it to Springfield or Washington!