The 2017 Lions Clubs International Centennial commemorative silver dollar honors the 100th anniversary of the world’s largest service club.
Founded in 1917 by Chicago businessman and philanthropist Melvin Jones, Lions Clubs International has more than 1.4 million members working together to help improve communities around the world. There are more than 46,000 associated clubs in more than 200 nations, and Lions Club leaders have a goal of serving more than 100 million people during the organization’s centennial celebration, which ends in June 2018. The first Lions Club was established on Jones’ personal mantra: “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else.”
Indeed, Lions Clubs International has gotten very far doing many things for many people. The collective efforts of its volunteers include local and global disaster relief, measles initiatives around the world, and efforts to eradicate juvenile cancer and diabetes. However, one of its most defining missions over the years is its effort to improve vision issues for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the world. The Lions Club provides vision screenings to hundreds of thousands of people annually, offers treatment, supports eye tissue facilities and operates eyeglass-recycling centers around the world.
As the Lions Club neared its 95th anniversary of service in 2012, Congress passed the Lions Club International Century of Service Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 112-181) on October 5 of that year. The bill authorized the production of a 90 percent silver dollar with a maximum mintage of 400,000 pieces across all production options. A $10 surcharge from each coin sold went to Lions Club International.
Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna and designer Joel Iskowitz created the obverse of the Lions Club commemorative silver dollar. The obverse is anchored by a three-quarters profile of founder Melvin Jones, who is wearing glasses and appears to be looking at the viewer with an expression of solemn determination. Jones’ profile dominates the right half of the coin, while on the left is the Lions Clubs International logo, which appears in part just behind the left side of the founder’s head.
Below the logo and just to the left of Jones’ profile is the inscription MELVIN JONES FOUNDER in two lines of horizontal text. The word LIBERTY appears at the top center of the obverse along the rim, with the “Y” partly obscured behind Jones’ head. The motto IN GOD WE TRUST rides along the lower left obverse rim and is punctuated at its end by the date, 2017, which is seen at the bottom center of the coin. Iskowitz’s initials, “JI”, are seen near the motto to the right of the word “GOD”, while Menna’s “JFM” is superimposed over Jones’ right shoulder.
The reverse design features a powerful image of a male and female lion proudly looking forward (to the left) with their young cub. The lion family is superimposed over a pseudo-cylindrical depiction of the globe. On the center-right of the design, over the lioness’s neck, is the denominational inscription $1; below that is a “P” mintmark for the Philadelphia Mint, which struck both the uncirculated and Proof versions of the coin. The phrase E PLURIBUS UNUM appears along the bottom-center of the portrait featuring the lions.
Around the central design complex is a plain border in which the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF SERVICE appear along the top and bottom, respectively.
The reverse design was created by Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) artist Patricia Lucas-Morris, whose initials appear as PLM just to the left of the lion’s mouth among the hair of his mane. Reverse sculptor Don Everhart is represented on the coin by the appearance of his initials, DE, under the throat of the lioness.
The edge of the 2017 Lions Clubs International Centennial silver dollar is reeded.
Designer(s): Joel Iskowitz joined the U.S. Mint’s design staff in 2005 (View Designer’s Profile). Artist Patricia Lucas-Morris is a designer for the United States Mint as part of its Artistic Infusion Program (AIP). Mint engraver Joseph Menna has more than three dozen coin and medal designs to his credit since joining the Mint in 2005 (View Designer’s Profile). 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).
|Year Of Issue:||2017|
|Mint Mark:||Uncirculated & Proof: P (Philadelphia)|
|Alloy:||90% Silver, 10% Copper|
|OBV Designer||Joel Iskowitz | Joseph Menna|
|REV Designer||Patricia Lucas-Morris | Don Everhart|
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