QUANTICO, VIRGINIA — History was made today at United States Marine Corps Base Quantico. The United States honored a branch of the military for the first time with a commemorative coin, the Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar. The image on the front of the coin features a rendition of Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal’s historic photograph depicting the raising of an American Flag by the United States Marines at Iwo Jima.
Near today’s ceremony, the 210–foot tilted mast of the new National Museum of the Marine Corps soared into the sky, also evoking the image of the flag–raising. Surcharges from the sale of each commemorative coin are authorized to benefit the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, helping to construct the museum.
“Marines fight our wars and guard our embassies. When any part of the world erupts in chaos, we ‘send in the Marines.’ We ask them and expect them to do the hardest thing of all, to give their lives for us,” said United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore. “Today, the United States Mint launches this commemorative coin in honor of the United States Marine Corps’s leadership in war and peace.”
Thousands watched at a festive ceremony, as Director Fore and General Michael W. Hagee, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, presented two shiny new silver dollars to Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Ron Christmas, President of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Director Fore struck one of the two silver dollars herself at a ceremony in May at the United States Mint at Philadelphia. The Quantico Marine Band performed on the lawn of Lejeune Hall, and visitors were treated to a firsthand look at the latest Marine Corps technology.
Following the ceremony, United States Marine Corps Base Quantico became the first place in the Nation where the public had the opportunity to purchase in person both proof and uncirculated Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollars. The silver dollars also were available online, by telephone and by mail, from the United States Mint, starting at noon.
Designed by United States Mint sculptor–engraver Norman E. Nemeth, the obverse of the Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar mirrors Rosenthal’s photograph taken on February 23, 1945, which is believed to be the most reproduced image in the history of photography.
The reverse, by United States Mint sculptor–engraver Charles L. Vickers, features an engraving of the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, the official emblem of the United States Marine Corps. This emblem has remained virtually unchanged since 1868, when United States Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, approved the design as recommended by Brigadier General Commandant Jacob Zeilin.
Two hundred thirty years ago, following skirmishes at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, delegates to the Second Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia and, on November 10, 1775, ordered the raising of two Marine battalions to serve as a landing force for the growing colonial fleet. It was the first link in an unbroken chain of distinguished, heroic service that runs the full length of United States history. Philadelphia is the birthplace of both the United States Marine Corps and the United States Mint.
Authorized by Public Law 108–291, dated August 6, 2004, to commemorate the 230th anniversary of the United States Marine Corps, both proof and uncirculated versions of the silver dollar will be minted at the United States Mint at Philadelphia and carry the “P” mint mark.
The Secretary of the Treasury has authorized a maximum mintage of 600,000 Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollars, as a proof silver dollar and as an uncirculated silver dollar coin.
The coin also is part of two special sets, which are available for purchase today as well. The 2005 United States Mint American Legacy Collection™, reminiscent of the Prestige Set previously offered by the United States Mint, will offer the Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Proof Silver Dollar and the Chief Justice John Marshall Proof Silver Dollar, released earlier this year, along with proof versions of all 2005–dated circulating coins. Also offered is a Marine Corps Coin &Stamp Set containing a Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Uncirculated Silver Dollar and an original un–canceled (known as mint condition) 1945 three–cent Iwo Jima stamp.
During the initial issue period of July 20 until August 22nd , the proof silver dollar will be available from the United States Mint online, by telephone and by mail for $35 and the uncirculated silver dollar for $33. After August 22nd, the proof silver dollar will be available for $39 and the uncirculated silver dollar for $35. The Marine Corps Coin &Stamp Set will sell for $40.00 and have a limit of five sets per order and household. Shipment of the Marine Corps Coin &Stamp begins August 1st. The American Legacy Collection will sell for $135.00 and have a limit of ten sets per order and household. Shipment of this product begins August 29th.
Customers can purchase the Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar by using the United States Mint’s secure website, www.usmint.gov, or by calling 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468). Hearing– and speech–impaired customers with TTY equipment may order by calling 1–888–321–MINT (6468). A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 per order will be added to all domestic orders.
Congress authorizes the annual production of two commemorative coins honoring American people, places, events and institutions. The United States Mint released the first commemorative coin of 2005, the Chief Justice John Marshall Silver Dollar, for sale on April 25, 2005.
For a digital image of the Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar.