Mayflower 400th Anniversary Silver Medal

Medals
  • Year of Issue: 2020

Background

The story of the Mayflower is one that connects multiple communities, cultures, and countries. This transatlantic voyage brought 102 Pilgrims and migrants from Europe across the Atlantic and established a new foundation for governance in the New World.

This program commemorates the 400th anniversary of this voyage with coin and medal designs that come together to tell the story of the Pilgrims, the Mayflower‘s journey, and the impact the Pilgrims’ arrival had on the native Wampanoag people.

The U.S. Mint and the Royal Mint produced two joint coin and medal sets. The reverse of the U.K. coins and the U.S. coin and medal contained in the sets were designed by Chris Costello, who used multiple stylistic elements to tie them together. These include the choice of font and North Star on the U.K. coin, which connects to the image of the sun in the U.S. coin, symbolizing a new day. That symbolism is also a reference to the Wampanoag people who inhabited the region, and were known as the “People of the Dawn.”

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Characteristics

The obverse (heads) design features a Mayflower family bracing against the cold and windy weather, foreshadowing their coming hardships, while the ship is anchored in the harbor. A pair of mayflower blossoms flank the design.

The reverse (tails) design a Wampanoag man and woman employing a planting technique used to grow several crops that were staples for the Wampanoag people. This method helped keep the soil healthy, maintaining the resources for annual plantings and successful harvests. The inscription “SUSTAINERS OF LIFE” recalls not only this sustainable planting technique but the critical skills the Wampanoag people afforded the Pilgrims by teaching them how to successfully plant and harvest the land.

Obverse Inscriptions

  • A CIVIL BODY POLITICK
  • 1620-2020
  • MAYFLOWER COMPACT

Reverse Inscriptions

  • SUSTAINERS OF LIFE
  • PEOPLE OF THE DAWN

Mint and Mint Mark

Artist Information

Obverse Reverse Content last reviewed September 2, 2020

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