The United States Mint this week introduced the designs for the upcoming 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins. Released as part of the program will be $5 gold coins and silver dollars, both struck to proof and uncirculated conditions.
Congress authorized the series as part of the Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law No: 111-232) that was signed into law by President Obama on August 16, 2010. Each strike was to feature designs "emblematic of the War of 1812 and particularly the Battle for Baltimore that formed the basis for the Star-Spangled Banner" according to the authorizing law.
Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative $5 Gold Coin Designs
Shown on the obverse of the Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative $5 Gold Coin will be an image of an American sailing ship in the forefront with a retreating, damaged British Naval ship in the background. The design is based on the theme of "The Battles at Sea During the War of 1812." Also included on the obverse will be the inscriptions of IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY and 1812 - 2012. The obverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.
The reverse of the $5 gold coin is based on the theme of "The Star-Spangled Banner" (the song). It accomplishes this by including the first few words of the Star-Spangled Banner song "O say can you see" in the hand-writing of its original author, Francis Scott Key. The reverse also includes the inscriptions of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM and FIVE DOLLARS and was designed by AIP Master Designer Richard Masters and sculpted by Joseph Menna.
Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Silver Dollar Designs
The obverse of the Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Silver Dollars features the theme of "The Battle of Baltimore at Fort McHenry." It depicts Lady Liberty waving the 15-star, 15-stripe Star-Spangled Banner with Fort McHenry shown in the background. Obverse inscriptions include LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and 2012. The obverse was designed by AIP Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
Shown on the reverse of the silver dollar is a "The Star-Spangled Banner" (the flag) design theme. It shows a waving modern American Flag along with the inscriptions of ONE DOLLAR, E PLURIBUS UNUM and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The reverse was designed by AIP Associate Designer William C. Burgard III and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.
Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Background, Specifications and Mintages
The Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins were created by Congress in commemoration of the bicentennial of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner as well as the battle and war in which the song was written about. Specifically, we are talking about the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812 between the United States of America and Great Britain.
During the battle, Francis Scott Key was being temporarily held aboard a British ship. He witnessed the 25-hour long bombardment of Fort McHenry by British Naval forces. After the battle, Key still saw the American Flag flying above the fort which led him to write the poem that eventually became the national anthem of the United States.
As part of the Bicentennial celebrations, the US Mint will strike up to 100,000 gold $5 coins and 500,000 silver $1 coins. Each will feature the standard specifications for modern commemoratives including gold coins struck from 90% gold and the silver dollars being struck from 90% silver.
"From the perilous naval engagement in the harbor with the Stars and Stripes waving above Fort McHenry, to the opening line of our national anthem dramatically depicted in Francis Scott Key's handwriting, these gold and silver coins capture iconic symbols of the Battle of Baltimore, a critical conflict in the war to preserve our liberty," said United States Mint Deputy Director Richard A. Peterson.
Surcharges of $35 per gold coin and $10 per silver dollar will be collected on the sale of each strike by the US Mint. Proceeds will be forwarded to the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.
A release date for the new coins has not yet been announced by the US Mint.