By CoinWeek News Staff ….
On May 18, U.S. Representative Timothy Walz (D-MN1) introduced a bill to create commemorative coins honoring the 100th anniversary of the American Legion. A Congressionally chartered organization for American veterans who saw active service during wartime, the American Legion was founded on February 16, 1919 in Paris by soldiers from the American Expeditionary Forces posted in Europe after World War I had ended the previous November. The organization supports veterans through its work with the Veterans Administration and by lobbying Congress on behalf of various veterans’ issues. One of its most well-known victories was the passing of the “G.I. Bill” in 1944. The law, which the American Legion had largely designed, provided immediate benefits–like grants for college tuition–to veterans of World War II.
Like many recent commemorative programs, the American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act authorizes the production of a $5 gold coin, a $1 silver coin and a clad half dollar. First, a maximum mintage of 50,000 gold coins is set, with each piece consisting of 8.359 grams of at least 90% pure gold and being 0.850 inches in diameter. Second, a maximum of 400,000 silver coins would be authorized, and each .900 fine silver dollar would weigh 26.73 grams and have a diameter of 1.500 inches. And finally, the number of clad half dollars produced for the program would not exceed 750,000 units. Proof and Uncirculated versions of each coin would be made, with all of them considered legal tender and classified as numismatic collectibles according to United States Code. Bulk sales and prepaid orders are also authorized.
American Legion centennial commemoratives would be struck only during the calendar year 2019.
Candidate designs will be reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). The Adjutant of The American Legion will also be consulted before the Secretary of the Treasury makes the final selection. As to the design of the coins, the only stipulation the bill provides is that it “shall be emblematic of the American Legion”. Likely motifs include WWI-era and beyond representations of American soldiers and the American Legion emblem pictured to the right.
Since the rest of the bill is as straightforward as they come, it is no surprise that the surcharges coin collectors have become accustomed to in recent years are in effect for the proposed American Legion 100th anniversary series as well. A $35 premium is set for the gold coin, $10 is set for the silver, and $5 is added to the price of the half dollar. All surcharges go to the American Legion to help support their work on behalf of veterans and patriotic values in America.
At the time of writing, the bill (H.R. 2519) has 115 cosponsors (60 Democrats, 55 Republicans) and remains with the House Committee on Financial Services, headed by Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX3).
Indiana Junior Senator Todd Young (R) sponsored a similar bill (S. 1182) in the Senate; it does not differ materially from the House bill. At the time of writing, the Senate version has 30 cosponsors (15 Republicans, 13 Democrats and two Independents) and sits on the desks of Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
The widgets below will update as their respective bills progress through each step of the legislative process.
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