The U.S. Mint is now accepting orders for 1.5- and 3-inch bronze medals based on the Congressional Gold Medals awarded to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, which was recognized for its contributions to United States military efforts as “Code Talkers” during World Wars I & II. The 1.5-inch medal costs $6.95, while the 3-inch version costs $39.95; both pieces are struck at the Philadelphia Mint. The Mint’s bronze medals are not given mintage limits and can be discontinued or reissued at any time.
The medal’s obverse was designed by Justin Kunz and engraved by Phebe Hemphill. It carries an image of a World War II Code Taker beside a bear, a wolf, and a snapping turtle, which represent the three principal clans of the Mohawk Tribe. Inscribed along the rim is AKWESASNE MOHAWK CODE TALKERS.
The reverse was designed by Paul C. Balan and engraved by Joseph Menna. The Mint’s product page for the medal points out that the man pictured in the composition is featured along with a Mohawk kustowa headdress, a bear claw necklace, a war club, and a Mohawk Wolf Belt. Inscribed on this side of the medal are ACT OF CONGRESS 2008, WWI, and WWII.
“Code Talkers” were Native Americans who used tribal languages to transmit secret communications for the U.S. military during World War I and World War II. After Navajo Code Talkers received a Congressional Gold Medal in 2001, the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008 established a plan to recognize other tribes who served in this capacity.
For more information on the Code Talkers Recognition Congressional Medals Program, visit the U.S. Mint’s Web site.
Portions of this article first appeared on Mint News Blog.