On Oct. 9, the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission will unveil the design of the World War I commemorative coin at the Association of the U.S. Army exposition in Washington, D.C.
Struck by the U.S. Mint, the coin will mark the centennial of U.S. involvement in World War I and honor the 4 million Americans who served in uniform, including 116,516 who died.
This is the Mint’s first commemorative coin program memorializing the Great War; in the 1990s, coin programs supported the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the 50th anniversary of World War II and preservation of Civil War battlefields.
The World War I coin will be available for purchase early next year. Part of the proceeds from its sale will go toward building the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington.
“These people served 100 years ago, but they faced the same challenges our veterans and military face today,” said Chris Isleib, director of public affairs for the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission. “No veteran should be forgotten. No war should be forgotten.”
The design’s unveiling follows a two-phase competition. In 2016, artists were encouraged to submit their work samples for consideration, and an expert jury selected 20 to move on. During the second phase, those artists submitted designs for the obverse and reverse of the coin and plaster models of their design. The winner will receive $10,000 and have his or her initials placed on the coin.
In 2014, Congress authorized and the president signed the World War I American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, which called for a design competition. Entries were judged by a jury that included members of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, and was chaired by the Department of the Treasury’s deputy assistant secretary for management and budget. The final design was selected by the secretary of the Treasury, based on the winning design chosen by the jury.
The designated recipient of the World War I commemorative coin program is the United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars, a nonprofit organization that supports, develops and executes programs, projects and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War 1 and the 75th anniversary of World War II. The foundation is authorized to receive coin surcharges ($10 per silver dollar) to assist the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission in commemorating the war’s centenary.
The American Legion supports the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission by resolution. Jack Monahan of Connecticut is the Legion’s representative on the commission.
For more on the World War I commemorative coin and other centennial news, click here.