A recent press release from the U.S. Mint has unveiled the designs of a new Commemorative Silver Dollar honoring the 100th Anniversary of Lions Club International. This Silver Dollar will be the first commemorative coin released by the Mint in 2017. That may not be as far out as you think – sign up to receive an email notification when this product becomes available.
Lions Club International is a worldwide organization that was founded in 1917 by Chicago Businessman Melvin Jones. His statement "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else" has been the groundwork for the organization. Clubs hold many programs for the conservation of health, the benefit of their communities, relief in disaster areas, and much more.
This Lions Club International Silver Dollar was authorized by Public Law 112-181 – the Lions Club International Century of Service Commemorative Coin Act. Per this act, each coin will conform to the standards set for a U.S. Silver Dollar. They will be struck out of 26.73g of .900 fine silver, over a diameter of 38.1mm. Each coin will be legal tender of the U.S. government. Mintage has been declared as no more than 400,000 across both Proof and Uncirculated finishes.
Each Commemorative Silver Dollar sold out of the Mint will include a $10 surcharge, which the according to the Act will go to the Lions Clubs International Foundation and its international efforts. This U.S. Silver Commemorative is bringing awareness to the Club, as well as permanently commemorating them in silver.
The design selected for this Lions Club International Silver Dollar was chosen from many submitted by members of the Artistic Infusion Program (AIP). According to the U.S. Mint, this program which they established in 2003, was created to enrich U.S. commemorative coins with “…values, aspirations, and shared heritage of our Nation.” Professional American artists from diverse backgrounds submit their designs for upcoming commemorative coins, and obverse and reverse are chosen by the U.S. Treasury Secretary.
On the obverse, a portrait of Melvin Jones is placed alongside the Lions Club International logo. This design was created by AIP member Joel Iskowitz and has been sculpted by U.S. Mint engraver Joseph Menna. Inscriptions that can be found on the obverse are: "LIBERTY," "IN GOD WE TRUST," "MELVIN JONES," "FOUNDER," and "2017."
The reverse design recognizes the symbolism behind the Club, and depicts a male and female lion in front of a globe. This design was created by AIP member Patricia Lucas-Morris and has been sculpted by U.S. Mint engraver Don Everhart. Reverse inscriptions are: "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "$1," "E PLURIBUS UNUM," and "CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF SERVICE."