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2018-P World War I Army Veterans Centennial Silver Dollar : A Collector’s Guide

2018-P World War I Army Veterans Centennial Dollar Commemorative Coin. Image: U.S. Mint / CoinWeek.
2018-P World War I Army Veterans Centennial Dollar Commemorative Coin. Image: U.S. Mint / CoinWeek.

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek Notes …..

It was the “War to End All Wars.”

When the United States entered the conflict on April 6, 1917, World War I had raged for almost three years. During that time, President Woodrow Wilson maintained the country’s political neutrality—despite his own feelings to the contrary and the feelings of many of his fellow Americans. Wilson famously (and successfully) ran for re-election to the presidency in 1916 with the slogan “He kept us out of war,” though this also referred to the resolution of rising tensions with Mexico.

Nevertheless, and despite agreements already in place thanks to protests from Wilson himself, Germany continued to allow its U-boats (Unterseeboote) to attack ocean liners and shipping vessels that contained American passengers and cargo on their way to Allied nations. Eventually, this and other provocations, such as the Zimmermann Telegram, made American neutrality untenable. Most U.S. troops joined the Western Front the next summer in 1918. With Germany unable to deal with the influx of fresh soldiers and materiel, the war was over by November 11, 1918.

In those 19 months, 4.7 million American men and women served in the armed forces. A total of 116,516 soldiers, sailors, and marines were killed, with 53,402 dying in action and 63,114 dying from the disease (the Flu of 1918 was especially deadly). Over 258,000 servicemen were injured. The majority of American casualties occurred in the last several months of combat.

How the 2018-P World War I Army Veterans Centennial Silver Dollar Was Sold

Efforts to see the United States Mint produce a commemorative coin to honor the centennial of World I languished in Congress for several years before finally being enacted in 2014, with an issue date set to mark the centennial of the war’s closing year. Authorizing legislation called for the production of up to 350,000 silver dollar coins. Only a fraction of this amount was sold: 22,340 2018-P World War Centennial silver dollar coins were sold with the Uncirculated finish, and 127,848 with the Proof finish. Both versions were struck at the Philadelphia Mint and carry the “P” mintmark.

United States 2018 World War I Army Veterans Centennial Commemorative Silver Dollar Coin & Silver Medal Set Product Information Table. Info courtesy U.S. Mint

The Mint State version was offered with an introductory price of $48.95 USD. After February 20, 2018, the introductory ordering period ended, and the Mint raised the price to $53.95. The Proof version launched with an introductory price of $51.95, which was later raised to $56.95.

The fact that Proof coins were offered as standalone coins and as part of five special service Coin & Medal sets, each at $99.95, helped increase sales of the Proof version. The Mint’s decision to force customers to buy five commemorative silver dollar Proofs to acquire each of the limited edition silver medals drew criticism from the collecting community, as the medals were not sold separately or as a one coin + five medal set offering.

The official first strike ceremony of the coin occurred on November 28, 2017. Present to strike the first coins was United States Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO); Colonel Gerald York, (U.S. Army-Retired), the grandson of famous World War I hero Sergeant Alvin York; Rod Gillis, Education Director at the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado;  Chief Dennis O’Connor, United States Mint Police; Michael Flynn, Vice President of Interpretation and Visitor Experience, Independence Seaport/Cruiser Olympia MuseumUSS Olympia is a World War I-era warship that famously brought the remains of World War I’s Unknown Soldier back from France to Washington, D.C. in 1921; Leroy Transfield, designer of the coin; Terry Hamby, Chair of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, a Congressional Commission created to mark American service and sacrifice in the war; and Donald “Don” Everhart, retired United States Mint Lead Sculptor.

How Much Is the 2018-P World War I Army Veterans Centennial Silver Dollar Worth?

With issue prices ranging from $48.95 to $56.95, the 2018-P World War I Army Veterans Centennial silver dollar would need a 2024 value of $60.89 to $70.84 to keep up with inflation. A survey of more than 70 sales over the past 90 days on eBay indicates that this hasn’t happened. Raw Proofs sell for $50 – $60, while uncirculated examples (much less common on the platform) sell for about $60.

A review of the certified populations at NGC and PCGS (CAC to date has reported no grading events for either Uncirculated or Proof versions) shows something quite interesting. With 1,073 grading events, 77.7% of coins in NGC slabs graded MS70, while 92.6% of 1,762 grading events at PCGS graded MS70. Extrapolating this to the uncertified population is not straightforward, as neither grading service publishes their submission success rate, and submitters may have set MS70 as the minimum grade for their submission, with those not making the cut being returned as ungraded. But, we might be able to assume that nearly all of the coins sold by the United States Mint would grade MS69 or MS70, with MS70 coins being plentiful.

Proof issues have a similar grading story, with 80.6% of coins submitted to NGC grading PF70UCAM and 80.2% of coins submitted to PCGS graded PR70DCAM (the two services use slightly different naming conventions to say the same thing). Mint State 70s sell for between $80 and $90 each, while Proof 70s typically sell for $55 to $60.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens (Uncirculated)

Top Population: PCGS MS70 (1,633, 4/2024), NGC MS70 (834, 4/2024), and CAC None Graded (0:0 stickered:graded, 4/2024).

  • PCGS MS70 #34551502: April 12, 2024, eBay – $89. Thomas S. Cleveland signature label.
  • NGC MS70: March 29, 2024, eBay – $79.95. Travis Mills signature label. Stock photo used.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens (Proof)

Top Population: PCGS PR70DCAM (1,795, 4/2024), NGC PF70UCAM (2,682, 4/2024), and CAC None Graded (0:0 stickered:graded, 4/2024).

  • NGC PF70UCAM #4467085-002: eBay, April 10, 2024 – $68.99. First Releases.
  • NGC PF70UCAM #8149215-005: eBay, April 4, 2024 – $56.02.
  • PCGS PR70DCAM #34551216: eBay, April 3, 2024 – $52.50. Thomas Cleveland signature label. First Day of Issue.
  • NGC PF60UCAM #4851199-095: eBay, March 3, 2024 – $56. Early Releases.

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Design

Obverse:

The obverse depicts a rough-hewn American soldier facing right. He wears an M-1917 steel helmet, the strap running down the length of his face and under his chin. Left-handed, the soldier holds his rifle high on his right side, facing the viewer. Two small symmetrical arcs of barbed wire–one of the most iconic features of the “trench warfare” of World War I–are visible in front of the soldier, in the lower right quadrant. The inscription LIBERTY is prominently displayed between the rifle and his helmet. IN GOD WE TRUST is in a slightly smaller font in front of the soldier’s stern visage. The designer’s initials, “LGT”, are on the left side of the coin next to his right hand, and the dual date “1918 2018” appears near the bottom below the rifle.

The monogram “DE” is in front of the soldier’s high collar; these are the initials of recently retired U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver Don Everhart.

American artist and sculptor LeRoy Transfield, whose entry was selected in the World War I Centennial 2018 Commemorative Coin Design Competition, designed the coin. According to Transfield, he listened to the Mint and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committe (CCAC) when they suggested that most artists make the mistake of submitting drawings that are too finely detailed and therefore unsuitable for a sculptural medium, and therefore, he kept his design clean and free of extraneous lines. Transfield also chose to portray a soldier with imperfect features to represent better those who served in the war.

Originally from New Zealand, the artist lives and works in Orem, Utah.

Reverse:

The reverse features a line of naturalistically detailed poppies in front of tangled segments of barbed wire. The common poppy (Papaver rhoeas) has served as a symbol to commemorate the dead soldiers of World War I since the American Legion adopted it in 1920 after a campaign inspired by the poem “In Flanders Field“, written in 1915 by a Canadian veteran of the war, Lt. Col. John McCrae.

The denomination ONE DOLLAR runs clockwise along the top of the coin near the rim, with the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM (“Out of Many, One”) immediately beneath it. The inscription UNITED STATES of AMERICA is found under the central motif of poppies. All of these inscriptions are engraved in a modern sans serif font.

The initials “LGT” are located on the left side of the coin beneath the poppies, while Don Everhart’s initials are found on the right. The Philadelphia mint mark “P” is placed below Everhart’s monogram.

Edge:

The edge of the World War I Army Veterans Centennial Silver $1 commemorative coin is reeded.


 

Designers

Designer LeRoy Transfield is a sculptor based out of Orem, Utah. He studied sculpture in Hawaii and has taught at schools like Te Wanaga o Aotearoa in New Zealand.

Don Everhart joined the United States Mint sculpting and engraving department in 2004, after a long and successful career as a sculptor and designer of medals (View Designer’s Profile).

Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year Of Issue: 2018
Denomination: One Dollar (USD)
Mint Mark: P (Philadelphia)
Mintage: 350,000 Authorized (22,340 Uncirculated and 127,848 Proofs sold)
Alloy: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Weight: 26.73 g
Diameter: 38.10 mm
Edge: Reeded
OBV Designer: LeRoy Transfield | Don Everhart
REV Designer: LeRoy Transfield | Don Everhart
Quality: Uncirculated, Proof

 

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. HI,
    HOW ARE YOU TODAY….?????….I’M INTERESTED IN THE WORLD WAR 1 COMMEMORATIVE DOLLAR COIN….I’M A VETERAN AND I THINK IT WOULD BE REALLY NEAT TO OWN ONE OF THEM….
    IF YOU WOULD OR COULD, SUPPLY ME WITH THE DETAILS , SUCH AS COST AND ORDERING AND ANY OTHER INFORMATION THAT’S PERTINENT…
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH….JERRY GREENE
    JUNE 1ST., 2022….

    • Hi Jerry,

      This coin was released in 2018, so you can find it available online at any number of dealer websites or eBay.

  2. Could have been a winner, but as usual weir ergonomic structure, a LEFT HANDED RIFLE? No such SPringfield in WW1, finger ON THE TRIGGER, yeah that’s how I was trained in the USMC

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