A lot of Americans aren’t aware that the U.S. mint produces coins other than the common penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half dollar and seldom-seen dollar coin, but they actually produce millions of other coins each year.
These coins are “commemorative” coins, which are individually authorized by Congress, usually to honor a person, place, or event. Typical commemorative coins would be created to honor a state’s centennial or some other similar event. While the coins rarely circulate, they are issued in common denominations and are considered to be legal tender.
In recent years, commemorative coins also include issues made from gold. Recently the U.S. Mint announced that they will issue three coins next year intended to increase breast cancer awareness and to raise money for the cause.
These coins will be a $5 gold coin, a $1 silver coin and a half dollar clad coin. The $5 coin will be particularly interesting as the mint intends to use a special alloy that will have a pink tint to it. Pink is the color that has been used for years to draw attention to breast cancer awareness, so it makes sense, if technically feasible, to use the color for the gold coin.
The sale of each $5 gold coin will include a $35 surcharge that will be given to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which, presumably, will use the funds to help with breast cancer research.
The obverse of the coins will feature two women. One will be depicted wearing a scarf and the other will be holding her hands over her chest as if to show a sign of relief. A butterfly will be depicted floating overhead.
The butterfly will also be prominently featured on the reverse side of the coin, which will also have the words “breast cancer awareness.”
While such commemorative coins are noteworthy, it remains to be seen how well it will sell, as most such issues are offered somewhat “under the radar,” with the general public rarely being aware that they even exist.
Presumably, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, as well as the Mint itself, will do what they can to make the public aware of the existence of these coins, as the sale goes to a cause to which many people will likely be able to relate.
Cancer is not a rare disease, and most of use know someone who has suffered from cancer in general and breast cancer in particular. The coins are attractive and are going to be available in several denominations, so everyone should be able to afford one, even if they aren’t going to have the finances to buy the pink gold version.
Commemorative coins are collectible, as well, and it’s possible that these coins could increase in value over time. While commemorative issues aren’t widely collected, they also are not produced in the sorts of numbers of regular issues that are intended for circulation among the general public, so in time, these coins will likely become somewhat of a rarity.
I hope to see this one sell well.