By Stephanie Meredith
September 2, 2020
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. To honor the sacrifices and bravery of Americans who served during the war, the U.S. Mint will release four numismatic products in Fall 2020 in addition to the circulating America the Beautiful Quarters® announced earlier in the year.
World War II lasted from 1939 to 1945, pitting the Allies, including the United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and United States, against the nationalistic ambitions of Nazi Germany, Italy, and Japan. The U.S. entered the war in December 1941 after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Fighting occurred across Europe, Africa, and Asia, and throughout the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Millions of service members lost their lives, more than 400,000 of which were Americans. But the war also cost the lives of tens of millions more civilians, including six million Jews in the Holocaust.
Nazi Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, marking victory in Europe. Japan announced its surrender on August 14, 1945 and formally signed on September 2, bringing a complete end to the war.
End of World War II 75th Anniversary Products
The Mint will release four numismatic products in Fall 2020, two featuring a “V75” privy mark and two with their own design. The privy mark design features “V75” inside an outline of the Rainbow Pool at the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. Special End of World War II 75th Anniversary American Eagle Gold and Silver Proof Coins will have this privy mark on the obverse.
A limited number of circulating 2020 America the Beautiful Quarters include the “V75” privy mark. They are made at the West Point Mint and bear a “W” mint mark. The Philadelphia and Denver Mint facilities mix the privy mark quarters into bulk bags of “P” and “D” quarters. The 2020 quarters feature the National Park of American Samoa, Weir Farm National Historic Site, Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
A new design appears on the End of World War II 75th Anniversary 24-Karat Gold Coin and Silver Medal. The obverse depicts an eagle in flight, facing the olive branch it grasps in its right talon. The olive branch symbolizes peace. The eagle design is inspired by the 1945 version of the Great Seal of the United States. In 1945, the eagle on the Great Seal switched from looking toward the arrows of war to looking toward the olive branch of peace.
The reverse features a sun shining on olive branches. The sun resembles the sun rising behind Liberty on the obverse of the 1945 World War II Victory Medal. The medal was issued to those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces from December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946.
Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) artist Ronald Sanders created the obverse design. Mint Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill sculpted it. The reverse design was created by AIP artist Donna Weaver and sculpted by Mint Medallic Artist Renata Gordon.
The U.S. Mint joins other mints around the world, such as the Royal Mint (United Kingdom) and the Monnaie de Paris (France), in marking this anniversary.
See more Inside the Mint articles.