WASHINGTON — The Congressional Gold Medal was presented to human rights activist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi today during a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. The medal, designed and struck by the United States Mint, recognizes and honors her courageous and unwavering commitment to peace, nonviolence, human rights and democracy in Burma.
Suu Kyi was detained under house arrest and imprisoned twice. While under house arrest, she bravely refused offers to leave her country, staying in Burma to continue to promote freedom and democracy. For her efforts on behalf of the Burmese people, she was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000. She donated $1.3 million from her Nobel Peace Prize to the United States to establish a health and education fund in Burma and continues to fight on behalf of the Burmese people. Suu Kyi remains committed to peaceful dialogue in bringing democracy, human rights and national reconciliation to Burma.
The obverse (heads side) of the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Congressional Gold Medal was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Don Everhart. The design features a portrait of Suu Kyi with the inscription DAW AUNG SAN SUU KYI around the border. The likeness of Suu Kyi was based on the photograph by Eddie Adams.
The medal’s reverse (tails side), also designed and sculpted by Everhart, depicts a peacock with the inscriptions DEDICATED TO PROMOTING FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY IN BURMA and ACT OF CONGRESS 2008.
Public Law 110–209, which authorized the United States Mint to strike the Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Congressional Gold Medal, also authorizes the bureau to strike and issue bronze reproductions of the medal. The bronze medals, priced at $39.95 (three–inch) and $6.95 (one and one–half–inch), will be available for purchase beginning noon Eastern Time on September 20, 2012, at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog and 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468). Hearing– and speech–impaired customers with TTY equipment may order at 1–888–321–MINT (6468). A $4.95 shipping and handling charge is added to all domestic orders. Presentation cases are sold separately.
The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792. This year marks the bureau’s 220th anniversary. The United States Mint is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces numismatic products, including proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins. The United States Mint’s numismatic programs are self–sustaining and operate at no cost to the taxpayer.