The United States Mint has announced the design selections for the 2012 Star Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins. Authorized under Public Law 111-232, the program includes $5 gold coins and silver dollars to commemorate the bicentennial of the writing of the national anthem.
Designs for the coins are required to be emblematic of the War of 1812, particularly the Battle of Baltimore that formed the basis for the lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner. In July 2011, the US Mint released images of ten different obverse and eight different reverse design candidates for the $5 gold coin and six different obverse and nine different reverse design candidates for the silver dollars. These were reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, which offered their recommendations. The final designs were selected by the United States Treasury Secretary.
For the 2012 Star Spangled Banner $5 Gold Coin, the selected obverse design depicts a naval battle scene from the War of 1812. An American ship is in the foreground, while a damaged and fleeing British ship appears in the background. Inscriptions read “In God We Trust”, “Liberty”, and the bicentennial dates “1812-2012”. The reverse design features the first three words of the Star Spangled Banner “O say can you see” against the backdrop of 15 stars and stripes. Inscriptions around the outer edge include “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, and “Five Dollars”.
The obverse of the gold coin was designed by Donna Weave and sculpted by Joseph Menna. The reverse was designed by Richard Masters and sculpted by Joseph Menna.
The obverse of the 2012 Star Spangled Banner Silver Dollar features an image of Liberty waving the 15-star, 15-stripe Star Spangled Banner with Fort McHenry in the background. The inscriptions include “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, and the date “2012”. The reverse of the coin includes a waving modern American flag. Inscriptions include “One Dollar”, “E Pluribus Unum”, and “United States of America”.
The obverse of the silver dollar was designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The reverse was designed by William C. Burgard III and sculpted by Don Everhart.
Under the authorizing legislation, the Star Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins may be issued only during the calendar year beginning on January 1, 2012. The United States Mint has not yet announced the release date.
Surcharges of $25 per gold coin and $10 per silver coin will be added to the purchase price of each coin. These surcharges will be distributed to the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission for the purpose of supporting bicentennial activities, educational outreach activities, and preservation and improvement activities.