World War I Commemorative Coin: A Tribute to the Sacrifice of Americans

By Office of Corporate Communications
June 30, 2017

Congress authorized and the President signed into law the World War I American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 113-212) to “commemorate the centennial of America’s involvement in World War I and honor the over 4 million men and women from the United States who served during World War I.” Introduced by Representative Doug Lamborn of Colorado and Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, the legislation passed into law on December 16, 2014.

The designated recipient organization for this commemorative coin program is the United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars, a non-profit organization incorporated in the District of Columbia which seeks to identify resources to support planning and execution of programs, projects, and activities commemorating and educating the public regarding the Centennial of World War I. The Foundation is authorized to receive the surcharges ($10 per silver dollar) to assist the World War I Centennial Commission in commemorating the centenary of World War I.

The authorizing law for the 2018 World War I American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin Program required a competition to be held to select a winning coin design emblematic of the centennial of America’s involvement in World War I. The law called for a single winner to design both the obverse and the reverse of the coin and that all designs submitted be accompanied by a plaster model.

Recognizing that this would be a significant amount of work for the participating artists, the Mint decided to utilize a two-phase program, which allowed artists to demonstrate their interest in the competition without expending significant time and effort. During Phase One of the competition, which was open from February 29–April 28, 2016, artists were encouraged to submit their contact information and three to five work samples for consideration. These portfolios were evaluated by an expert jury who selected 20 artists to participate in Phase Two. During this second phase, which closed on August 16, 2016, the artists were required to submit a design for both the obverse and reverse of the coin as well as plaster models of the designs. Because of the demands placed on the artists, the Mint paid a fee of $1,000 to each participating Phase Two artist and provided plaster basins.

The expert jury, composed of three members of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), three members of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), and chaired by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management & Budget, Department of the Treasury, once again evaluated the entries. The final design of the coin was selected by the Secretary of the Treasury based on the winning design selected by the expert jury. The winning design will be unveiled later this year.

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