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2 days only

About the WWI Commemorative Silver Dollar & how it helps build the National WWI Memorial

By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, United States World War One Centennial Commission

The U.S. Mint's collectible 2018 World War I Centennial Commemorative Silver Dollar is only officially available for two more days after Christmas: The coin goes off-sale at the Mint on December 27, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST.

Buying this collectible coin helps the United States World War I Centennial Commission to build the new National WWI Memorial in Washington DC. Here is how it works.

Congress authorizes commemorative coins that celebrate and honor American people, places, events, and institutions. Although these coins are legal tender, they are not minted for general circulation. Each commemorative coin is produced by the United States Mint in limited quantity and is only available for a limited time.

As well as commemorating important aspects of American history and culture, these coins help raise money for important causes. Part of the price of these coins is a surcharge that goes to organizations and projects that benefit the community. For example, surcharges on the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center commemorative coins helped build a new visitor center under the U.S. Capitol’s East Plaza.

Since the modern commemorative coin program began in 1982, the United States Mint has raised more than $506,301,189 in surcharges to help build new museums, maintain national monuments like the Vietnam War Memorial, preserve historical sites like George Washington’s home, support various Olympic programs, and much more.

In this case, Congress authorized this coin surcharge to support the United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars, the WWI Centennial Commission's foundation partner in building the Memorial.

More than four million American families sent their sons and daughters to serve in uniform during the Great War. 116,516 U.S. soldiers gave their lives in combat. Another 200,000 were wounded, a casualty rate far greater than in World War II.

The first American troops arrived in France in June. Through voluntary registration and the newly-formed draft, the American forces grew to approximately 500,000 soldiers by the end of summer.

In total, some 4.7 million men and women of the United States served in uniform, 2 million of whom were deployed overseas. Their heroic efforts in battles like the Battle of Belleau Wood, the Second Battle of the Marne, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive helped turn the tide of the war, and ultimately led to the victory of the Allied Troops.

About the Coins

The World War I American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 113–212) authorizes the minting and issuance of not more than 350,000 silver dollars in commemoration of the centennial of America’s involvement in World War I. In accordance with the Act, the design for both the obverse (heads) and reverse (tails) of these commemorative $1 silver coins was selected by the Secretary based on the winning design from a juried competition.

About the Competition

In response to a Call for Artists earlier this year, several talented American artists applied for the opportunity to submit designs for the new coin. Ultimately the Mint invited select artists to submit designs along with plaster models, which were evaluated by an expert jury chaired by the Department of the Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management & Budget, and composed of three members of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and three members of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). Both groups provided experienced and impartial expertise in advancing the state of public art and the interests of American citizens and coin collectors. Based on the designs selected by the expert jury, the Secretary of the Treasury chose the final design.

And the Winner Is…!

The winning design in the World War I Centennial 2018 Commemorative Coin Design Competition was created by LeRoy Transfield of Orem, Utah.
Recipient Organization: United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars

A surcharge of $10 for each coin sold is authorized to be paid to the United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars to assist the World War I Centennial Commission in commemorating the centenary of World War I.
Commemorative Coin Surcharges

Commemorative coin programs are created by acts of Congress to honor a person, place, or event. Surcharges from the sales of these coins help fund a variety of organizations and projects that benefit the public. Commemorative coins are only available from the United States Mint for a limited time, as specified by public law.

The obverse (heads) design, titled “Soldier's Charge,” depicts an almost stone-like soldier gripping a rifle. Barbed wire twines in the lower right hand side of the design.

The wire design element continues onto the reverse (tails) design, titled "Poppies in the Wire," which features abstract poppies mixed in with barbed wire.

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