Rep. Courtney Requests Coast Guard Commemorative Coin Series
Rep. Joe Courtney is looking to have the United States government mint a commemorative Coast Guard coin to help raise funds for the National Coast Guard Museum. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Financial Services. If passed, the bill would include a series of three Coast Guard coins - a five dollar gold coin, one-dollar silver coin, and half-dollar clad coin - in the U.S. Mint's 2017 release of commemorative coins. According to the Mint, commemorative coins are authorized by Congress and are legal tender, although they are not issued for general circulation. The program began in 1982 and surcharges on their purchase price go toward community projects and benefits.
The 2013 commemorative coins are series for the Girl Scouts of America centennial as well as five-star generals. Congress has also authorized a National Baseball Hall of Fame coin series for 2014. A commemorative coin series for the Army was approved for 2011. Courtney requests that the coin's design "shall be emblematic of the traditions, history, and heritage of the United States Coast Guard, and its role in securing our nation since 1790." He says the motifs should include the historical and current missions of the service as well as the mission and goals of the National Coast Guard Museum. The designs would be selected by the Secretary of the Treasury, National Coast Guard Museum Foundation, and Commission on Fine Arts and be reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
The National Coast Guard Museum Foundation has set 2017 as its target year for opening the museum. The foundation has committed to building the museum on a waterfront parcel in downtown New London. The surcharges would go toward the design, construction, operations, and maintenance of the National Coast Guard Museum. The surcharges would be $35 per five dollar coin, $10 per dollar coin, and $5 per half-dollar coin. The sale price of the coin would include the surcharge, face value, and the cost of designing and issuing the coins.