Designs Unveiled for Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coins

by Sharon McPike
Nov. 6, 2017

unveiled design shows a young with her arm raised next to and older woman and a butterfly
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) and BCRF President and CEO Myra Biblowit unveiling the winning design.

The United States Mint joined the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) to unveil the winning designs in the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Design Competition October 23 at BCRF’s headquarters in New York City.

April Stafford, Director of the U.S. Mint’s Office of Design Management, joined Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12), BCRF President and CEO Myra Biblowit, leading physicians, breast cancer survivors, and those currently fighting the disease to unveil the highly anticipated coin designs.

“Every day, across the Nation, the Mint connects Americans through coins, and next year it will be our great privilege to connect America to the powerful message of hope and perseverance in the face of such a devastating disease,” remarked Ms. Stafford during the press conference.

The three-coin program is authorized by Public Law 114-148, the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act, in recognition of America’s fight against breast cancer. The bill was introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Congressman Pete Sessions (TX-32) in the House in 2015 and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) in the Senate in 2016. Surcharges collected from coin sales are authorized to be paid to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for the purpose of furthering breast cancer research funded by the Foundation.

An open design competition conducted in 2016 was judged by a six-member panel comprised of three members each from the Commission of Fine Arts and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, and chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury’s designee.

The winning designs were created by artist Emily Damstra, a member of the United States Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, and will be featured on a clad coin, a silver coin, and the nation’s first-ever pink hued gold coin.

Damstra’s common obverse design features two women. The older woman has her hands on her chest and a relieved expression on her face. The younger woman, with a scarf on her head, holds one hand over her chest and the other raised in a fist as if she is ready to fight. A butterfly flies above the two women. United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill will sculpt the design.

Damstra’s reverse design depicts a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly in flight, a symbol of hope. Inscriptions include “United States of America,” “E Pluribus Unum,” “Breast Cancer Awareness,” and the respective denomination of each coin—”Five Dollars” for the gold coin, “One Dollar” for the silver coin, and “Half Dollar” for the clad coin. United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Renata Gordon will sculpt the design.

The Mint will announce additional details about the coins’ availability and pricing prior to their release in 2018.

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