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U.S. Mint Debuts Greatest Generation Coins

Published February 28, 2024 | 1 min read

By Louis Golino

On February 29 at noon (EST), the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2024 Greatest Generation commemorative coins. The program commemorates the National World War II Memorial, dedicated in April 2004. It also pays tribute to the courageous service and sacrifice of millions of American soldiers and civilians during World War II, known as “The Greatest Generation.” 

Public Law 117-162 authorized the mint to produce as many as 50,000 $5 gold coins at the West Point Mint, 400,000 $1 silver coins at the Philadelphia Mint, and 750,000 clad half dollars at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints.

The mint will issue each coin in proof and uncirculated condition with an original design. Buyers can also purchase a three-coin proof set.

World War II Memorial

United States Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson notes, “For millions of Americans, the National World War II Memorial provides a rare glimpse into the past—a physical reminder showcasing the service and dedication of American soldiers and civilians during World War II.”

Sixteen million Americans served during the war, including 400,000 who perished. Millions of other U.S. citizens joined the workforce, increased factory and farm output, planted “victory gardens,” and rationed food to support the war effort.

The Memorial, which is located on the National Mall, was designed to help Americans better understand the sacrifices and service of the Greatest Generation.

Coin Designs

The U.S. Mint unveiled each design during a September 24 ceremony and held a first-strike ceremony in Philadelphia on December 13.

The half-dollar obverse depicts the figure of Liberation from World War II Victory medals holding two pieces of a broken sword that symbolize the war’s end. It was designed by Elana Hagler and sculpted by Craig Campbell. The reverse features a view of the memorial as one walks toward one of its towers.

The silver-dollar obverse illustrates the cooperation of all five military branches. The Merchant Marines hold the literal weight of the world on their shoulders. Beth Zaiken (whom I interviewed earlier this month) designed the coin, and Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill sculpted the piece. The reverse, designed by Ben Sowards and sculpted by Renata Gordon, looks up at the baldacchino, or sculptural canopy, inside the memorial’s Victory Pavilion.  

The $5 gold piece obverse, designed by Heidi Wastweet and sculpted by David Custer, depicts the memorial’s Wall of Stars and an olive branch. The reverse, designed by Ben Sowards and sculpted by Joseph Menna, features a folded flag.

Mint Director Gibson hand-signed 250 certificates of authenticity that were randomly inserted in the three-coin proof sets.

Provided that all costs are first recouped, the mint will pay surcharges ($35 for the $5 gold, $10 for the silver dollars, and $5 for the half dollars) to the Friends of the National World War II Memorial. These funds will offset maintenance, repair costs, and educational programs.

Introductory pricing for these coins ends on March 29. To order yours, visit the U.S. Mint’s website.