On July 31, Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill of Missouri introduced a bill which seeks to require the minting and issuance of commemorative coins to mark the centennial of World War I. The coins would be issued in 2018 to honor the four million veterans who served in WWI and recognize the 100th anniversary of the armistice with Germany which brought an end to WWI.
The bill S. 2714 specifies that not more than 350,000 commemorative silver dollars would be minted and issued. The coins would be struck in 90% silver and 10% copper with a weight of 26.73 grams and diameter of 1.500 inches. Both proof and uncirculated qualities would be produced.
Designs for the coins would be emblematic of the centennial of the involvement of the United States in World War I and would be decided based on the winning designs from a competition. The competition would be judged by an expert jury chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury and consisting of three members each from the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and Commission of Fine Arts. Compensation of not less than $5,000 would be provided for the winning design. The Secretary may not accept a design for the competition unless a plaster model accompanies the design.
The period of issuance authorized for the commemorative coins begins on January 1, 2018 and ends on December 31, 2018. The price of the coins would be equal to the sum of the face value of the coins, the cost of designing and issuing the coins, and a specified surcharge. The Secretary shall take such actions as may be necessary to ensure that the minting and issuing of the coins will not result in any net cost to the United States government.
All sales of coins will include a surcharge of $10 per coin, which shall be paid to the Secretary of the World War I Centennial Commission. If, upon the termination of the World War I Centennial Commission, there remains a balance of funds from surcharges received, the Commission shall transfer the funds to the Treasury general fund.
The findings of the bill point out that while other great conflicts including the Civil War, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War have been memorialized on United States commemorative coins, there have been no such coins to honor the veterans of World War I.
The bill has one cosponsor and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Bank, Housing, and Urban Affairs.