WASHINGTON — A United States Mint commemorative coin, the Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar, has been named “Coin of the Year” (COTY) by a distinguished panel of international judges. The COTY competition also recognized two U.S. circulating coins, the 2005 American Bison Nickel, as the “Most Popular Coin,” and the Oregon commemorative quarter–dollar, as the “Best Trade Coin.” The 2007 COTY Awards span a two–year judging period.
“The men and women of the United States Mint create beautiful coins that reflect the spirit, traditions and values that Americans hold dear,” said United States Mint Director Edmund C. Moy. “We are proud that our coins have been honored.”
Coins from throughout the world are selected on the basis of excellence in artisanship, practicality, and general appeal. U.S. coins received four COTY Awards in all, the most in the history of the United States Mint’s participation in the COTY competition. The Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar also took the “Best Crown” award, which recognizes dollar–sized silver coins approximately 20 to 30 grams in weight and 33 to 42 millimeters in diameter. The awards, sponsored by World Coin News, will be presented in a ceremony on August 8, 2007, at the Nation’s largest coin show, the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money®, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“Issuance of the Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar was instrumental in helping build the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico, Virginia,” said Lieutenant General Ron Christmas, USMC (Ret), President of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. “We are gratified that a coin honoring the service of all Marines throughout our nation’s history has in turn been honored with this important international accolade.”
Designed by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Norman E. Nemeth, the obverse (heads side) of the collectible Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar features a rendition of Joe Rosenthal’s iconic photograph of United States Marines raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima in 1943. The reverse of the coin, 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.
The United States Mint sold all of the 600,000 Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollars. Surcharges were authorized to benefit the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and helped to construct the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia.
The 2005 American Bison Nickel was one of the most popular circulating coins the United States Mint has ever produced. Featuring a bold, new image of President Thomas Jefferson on the obverse and a strong, modern image of the American Bison on the reverse, the American Bison Nickel is reminiscent of the Buffalo Nickel produced from 1913 to 1938. In addition to producing the coin for circulation, the United States Mint sold more than 106,299,000 American Bison Nickels, more than any other coin in history.
The Oregon commemorative quarter–dollar was the 33rd coin released in the United States Mint’s historic 50 State Quarters Program. The coin’s reverse features Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States, viewed from the south–southwest rim. The design also incorporates Wizards Island, as well as Watchman and Hillman Peaks on the lake’s rim and conifers. The coin bears the inscription “Crater Lake.” The annual COTY Awards honor the work of mints worldwide. The annual awards have been presented for nearly a quarter of a century. Coin submissions are judged by an international panel of about 30 professional numismatists and experts. There is a two–year lag time built in for nomination and consideration of coin entries to allow wider participation of countries that do not regularly issue coins.
Additional 2007 COTY Award winners include Australia’s silver $1 coin, commemorating the end of World War II, named “Best Contemporary Event Coin” and Most Innovative Coinage Concept; Germany’s silver 10–euro, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, named “Most Historically Significant Coin”; Germany’s 100–euro coin, commemorating the World Cup Soccer tournament hosted there in 2006, voted “Best Gold Coin”; Austria’s 20–euro, depicting the ship S.M.S. Saint George, won in the “Best Silver” coin category; a silver 20–rubles coin from Belarus, depicting an Easter Egg, won in the “Most Artistic” category; and a new two–silver sheqalim, commemorating Moses and the 10 Commandments, was selected as “Most Inspirational Coin.”