Treasury and Mint Leaders Present Official Medals at Oval Office Ceremony
On January 17, President Barack Obama received official bronze medals depicting each of his two terms in office. During a brief ceremony in the Oval Office, Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, Deputy Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin and U.S. Mint Principal Deputy Director Rhett Jeppson presented medals featuring the president’s portrait on the obverse and portions of memorable speeches delivered during his presidency on the reverse side.
“It has been a privilege to serve President Obama over these last eight years and to have witnessed his leadership up close,” Secretary Lew said. “His historic presidency has improved the lives of millions of Americans and the medals presented today are just one way that his legacy will be honored.”
Presidential medals represent a custom of honoring each president of the United States with an official medal for each term in office. Presidents who serve more than one term are traditionally honored with two medals, one highlighting each of their terms. Since the 1960s, with the exception of Ronald Reagan, all presidents who served more than one term have received two medals. Each medal measures three inches in diameter and weighs approximately nine ounces.
“The medals presented to President Obama ensure that a long-standing tradition of honoring our presidents remains unbroken,” said Jeppson. “Designed, sculpted and struck by the men and women of the U.S. Mint, the medals institutionalize his legacy in a tangible and historical form alongside those leaders who preceded him–from Washington to present.”
Also participating in the ceremony were Elisa Basnight, Chief of Staff of the Mint; Don Everhart, lead sculptor of the Mint; and Phebe Hemphill, Mint medallic artist. Everhart sculpted the reverse of the first term medal and designed and sculpted both the obverse and reverse of the medal honoring the president’s second term. Hemphill sculpted the obverse of the first term medal.
As with other presidential medals, bronze replicas are available to the public. For more information, please visit www.usmint.gov.
About the United States Mint
The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792 and became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873. It 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 and gold bullion coins. The United States Mint’s numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to taxpayers.