United States Mint begins sale of 2012
Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins
Baltimore (March 5) - Today, Gov. Martin O'Malley joined Sen. Ben Cardin, Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Rep. John Sarbanes, and officials of the United States Navy, United States Mint, and Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine to launch the sale of the new 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins.
"The 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins are a fitting tribute to Maryland's vibrant people, stories and history," said Gov. O'Malley. "These coins are a great way to support the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812 and become a part of this remarkable celebration."
The United States Mint began selling the coins today at noon EST. Coins will be available for purchase through mid-December of this year. President Obama, on Aug. 16, 2010, had signed into law a measure - co-sponsored by Sen. Cardin and Rep. Ruppersberger - that authorized the United States Mint to produce the coins and offer them for sale in commemoration of the upcoming 200-year anniversary of the writing of The Star-Spangled Banner.
The law allows the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission to receive up to $8.5 million in coin surcharges from the United States Mint to help support bicentennial activities, assist in educational outreach, and preserve sites and structures that have War of 1812 significance.
"The War of 1812 is often referred to as the second war of independence and it deserves broad, national recognition," said Sen. Cardin. "I co-sponsored the bill to establish these commemorative coins along with Congressman Ruppersberger to make sure that Marylanders and all Americans will be able to celebrate the bicentennial of the most important chapters in our nation's early history - the War of 1812 and the Battle of Baltimore - in which The Star-Spangled Banner was composed."
"This coin not only symbolizes the Battle of Baltimore at Fort McHenry that inspired our national anthem, but the legislative battle that was fought so that we can properly celebrate its bicentennial," Rep. Ruppersberger said. "Those years of hard work have paid off, and now, Americans everywhere can own a piece of the people, spirit and history of Maryland."
"The release of these coins is a proud moment for Marylanders as we begin our celebration of the War of 1812 Bicentennial and the historic events that unfolded in our back yard," said Rep. Sarbanes. "In Maryland, the heroic defense of Fort McHenry helped prove that democracy could hold together through the trials of war and set the stage for the spread of democracy around the world."
The United States Mint will produce and issue up to 100,000 $5 gold coins and 500,000 $1 silver coins. Collectors can obtain both the gold and silver coins in "proof" and "uncirculated" condition. A "proof" silver dollar is $54.95, with an introductory price of $49.95 available through April 5. The "uncirculated" silver dollar is $49.95, or $44.95 through April 5.
Costs of the "proof" and "uncirculated" gold coins, and the two-coin (gold and silver) set, are based on the United States Mint's pricing structure for numismatic products containing gold and will be priced weekly. Opening day prices for the gold coins will be $529.30 for "proof," $519.30 for "uncirculated" and $579.30 for the two-coin proof set. The pricing structure grid can be viewed online at:
Designs of the commemorative coins represent the War of 1812 and The Star-Spangled Banner. The obverse (heads) side of the gold coin depicts a naval battle with an American sailing ship in the foreground and a damaged, fleeing British ship in the background. On the reverse (tails) side are the words "O say can you see" in a rendition of Francis Scott Key's handwriting, against a backdrop of the 15-star, 15-stripe 1812-era American flag.
The design of the silver coin's obverse (heads) side has Lady Liberty waving a 15-star, 15-stripe American flag with Fort McHenry in the background. On the reverse (tails) side is a contemporary American flag.
For hi-resolution images of the coins, click here
"The designs on these coins, whose sales will commence today, will help connect us to our national values, as they were embodied in the American flag that flew proudly atop Fort McHenry that morning, and which inspired the words of our national anthem," said Daniel Shaver, Chief Counsel of the United States Mint.
For more information about purchasing the coins, call 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468), or 1-888-321-MINT (6468) for TTY calls. Online, visit the United States Mint at: www.usmint.gov/catalog.
About Star-Spangled 200, Inc.
Star-Spangled 200, Inc. is the non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that supports the fundraising goals of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and is charged with helping to ensure the realization of successful programs, events, and community investment during the three-year commemoration period. For high-resolution images and more information about the Coins and about Star-Spangled Sailabration: visit www.starspangled200.com
About the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission
Established by Governor Martin O'Malley, the commission is staffed by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Division of Tourism Film and the Arts. The bicentennial period runs from June 2012 through February 2015. It commemorates Maryland's unique contributions to the defense and heritage of the nation, including the pivotal battle that led to an American victory and the birth of "The Star-Spangled Banner." For more information: visit www.starspangled200.org
About the United States Mint
The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation's sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.