A bill has recently been introduced in the House of Representatives which seeks to authorize the issuance of gold commemorative coins for the centennial of the Marine Corps Aviation, the air component of the United States Marine Corps.
Rep. John Kline of Minnesota introduced the bill H.R. 1621 Maine Corps Aviation Centennial Coin Act on April 15, 2011. The bill currently has 10 cosponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.
The coins would be struck from a composition of 90% gold and 10% alloy with a weight of 8.359 grams and diameter of 0.85 inches. A legal tender value of $10 is indicated in the bill, although the specifications included are typically those of $5 gold commemorative coins. The designs would be “emblematic of the warrior ethos of the United States Marine Corps” with the final selection made by the Secretary of the Treasury following consultation with the Marine Corps Historical Division, the Commission of Fine Arts, and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
A maximum authorized mintage of 100,000 coins is specified in the bill. Both proof and uncirculated qualities would be available, with only one United States Mint facility used to strike each particular quality.
The coins would be issued during the one-year period beginning on January 1, 2015. The actual centennial occurs in the year 2012, but two commemorative coin programs have already been approved for this year honoring the United States Army Infantry and the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. Under current law, only two programs may be approved for each year. So far, there have been no programs approved for 2015, although a program for the 225th anniversary of the US Marshals Service has been proposed.
Surcharges of $35 for each coin would be added to the sales price. These surcharges would be distributed to Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for the continuing construction the Marine Corps Heritage Center, the purpose of which is to provide a multipurpose facility to be used for historical displays for the public viewing, curation, and storage of artifacts, research facilities, classrooms, offices, and associated activities, consistent with the mission of the Marine Corps.
Previously, Congress authorized the 2005 Marine Corps Silver Dollar to celebrate the 230th anniversary of the Marines and the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima. The famous flag raising was depicted on the obverse of this commemorative coin, which made it a popular offering.
The full authorized mintage of 600,000 coins sold out at the United States Mint. Surcharges of $10 per coin from this program were also designated to support construction of the Marine Corps Heritage Center.