A bill has recently been proposed in the Senate, which seeks to authorize commemorative coins issued in 2013 for the Gettysburg Campaign. The coins would include $5 gold, $1 silver, and clad composition half dollars which specifically commemorate the Invasion of Pennsylvania, the Battle of Gettysburg, and the Gettysburg Address.
The bill S. 3009 The Gettysburg Campaign Act was introduced on February 11, 2010 by Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.
The current bill is similar to H.R. 2123, which was introduced in the House on April 27, 2009 and sought a similar array of commemorative coins. However, the current bill makes some interesting adjustments to the authorized mitnages for each coin.
The maximum authorized mintages under S. 3009 are 75,000 for the $5 gold coins, 350,000 for the silver dollars, and 100,000 for the half dollars. The mintages for the gold and silver coins are somewhat low, but the clad half dollar mintage reaches the extreme. Typically, when clad half dollars are included in a commemorative coin program, they carry the highest authorized mintage since they are the most affordable coins. The last commemorative half dollar issued in 2008 had an authorized mintage of 750,000.
Under the previously introduced H.R. 2123, the authorized mintages were set at more typical levels of 100,000 for the gold coins, 500,000 for the silver coins, and 750,000 for the clad half dollars.
With regards to the design, the bill indicates that the coins “shall contain motifs that specifically commemorate the invasion of Pennsylvania, the Battle of Gettysburg, and President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.” The final designs would be selected by the Treasury Secretary after consultation with the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Interior, The Army Heritage Center Foundation (AHCF), the Gettysburg Foundation, the Commission of Fine Arts, and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
The coins would be minted in uncirculated and proof qualities, with at least one US Mint facility used to strike each version. Coins may be issued during the one year period beginning January 1, 2013.
Surcharges in the amounts of $35 for each gold coin, $10 for each silver coin, and $5 for each clad coin would be added to the cost of each coin. One third of the surcharges would be distributed to the AHCF and two thirds would be distributed to the Gettysburg Foundation.
The bill S. 3009 was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. To become law, the bill must be passed by the Senate and House and signed by the President.
One commemorative coin program has already been approved for the year 2013 for the centennial of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. Under current law, a maximum of two commemorative coin programs may be approved per year.