Washington — The first silver commemorative medal series ever offered by the United States Mint, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge System, are now available through the United States Mint’s Subscription Program.
The limited–edition 2003 National Wildlife Refuge System Centennial Medal Series shares a common obverse honoring President Theodore Roosevelt, the Refuge System’s founder, and four successive reverse images — a bald eagle, salmon an elk, and canvasback ducks — highlighting the diversity of the Refuge System.
Production is limited to 35,000 for the bald eagle, and 25,000 each for the elk, salmon and canvasback ducks designs. A bronze version of the medal featuring the bald eagle design will be sold separately but not as part of the subscription program.
Direct sales of the medals — the silver priced at $29.50, and the bronze at $4.50 — are tentatively scheduled to begin July 24, 2003, with each successive medal to be released every four to six weeks. Customers who are members of the subscription program will receive each of the silver medals automatically to as they become available. A sales portion of the proceeds will benefit the National Wildlife Refuge System and its conservation efforts.
The first reverse (tails) design for the medals depicts a bald eagle in flight with a treetop background, and the inscription “BALD EAGLE” at top right. The second reverse design depicts a leaping salmon in full side view in the foreground and a second smaller salmon leaping in the background — both against a river and rocks background — and the inscription “SALMON” at top. The third reverse design portrays an elk in full side view, standing on grassy ground, and the inscription “ELK” at top. The final reverse design depicts two canvasback ducks in flight — one with wings fully spread, the other with upswept wings — both against a wetlands background, and the inscription “CANVASBACK DUCK” at top.
The silver medals are 1.5 inches in diameter with a smooth edge, struck in proof–like condition, encapsulated in plastic and packaged in their own presentation cases with a United States Mint blue velvet finish. The bronze medal, with the same diameter and edge as the silver medals, will be packaged in Mylar®. A Certificate of Authenticity from the Director of the United States Mint is also enclosed. The medals will be struck in Philadelphia, Mint facility but will not bear a mint mark.
Collectors interested in subscribing to the 2003 National Wildlife Refuge System Centennial Medal Series or acquiring additional information are encouraged to visit the United States Mint’s website at www.usmint.gov or to call the United States Mint Customer Care Center at 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468) seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to midnight, Eastern Time.