U.S. Mint Breast Cancer Awareness Design Competition LogoThanks to congressional lawmaking, the U.S. Mint is holding competition for the two commemorative coin programs that will be issued in 2018. Earlier this year, the competition was opened for designs of the 2018 World War I Centennial Commemorative silver dollar. Now, the U.S. Mint has begun a competition for the 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coins.

Signed into law on April 20, 2016 by President Obama (Public Law 114-148), the law requires the U.S. Mint to have an “juried competition” for a design “emblematic of the fight against breast cancer.” As part of the design, the law says that “The Secretary shall encourage three-dimensional designs to be submitted as part of the proposals.”

There is a caveat: you have to be an artist of some type and a U.S. citizen 18 years of age or older. You can read the Official Rules on the U.S. Mint website, but in summary Phase I of the competition is the evaluation of three-to-five examples of your work submitted digitally to the U.S. Mint. You have to be able to submit a digital portfolio. Even if your work is good and you think you can be part of the competition, you either have to be able to take a good picture of your work or find a photographer who can help.

An “expert” will review the submissions and select no more than 20 artists for the second phase.

In Phase II, those selected artists will be asked to submit one design along with a plaster model of both the obverse and reverse for the proposed coin that includes all of the necessary elements required of a coin. Only one artist’s design will be selected. The winning artist will receive “not less than $5,000.” If your design is selected, you will have your name etched in numismatic lore for being the designer of the coin. For this, your initials will appear on the coin, the Certificate of Authenticity, and in places like the Red Book!

Full details can be found on the U.S. Mint website.

Summary of the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Program

  • Commemorative coins issued in 2018
  • Design, emblematic of the fight against breast cancer, selected from a juried competition with no less than $5,000 going to winning design
  • “The Secretary shall encourage three-dimensional designs to be submitted as part of the proposals”
  • 50,000 $5 “pink gold” coins with an alloy of at least 75-percent gold with a $35 surcharge
  • 400,000 one-ounce silver dollars made with not less than 90-percent silver with a $10 surcharge
  • 750,000 clad half-dollar coins with a $5 surcharge
  • Surcharges will be distributed to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of New York, to further breast cancer research funded by the Foundation.

Pink gold can has been more commonly described as “rose gold.” Rose gold is an alloy of 75-percent gold with 20-percent copper and 5-percent silver. The color can be adjusted by changing the ratio of copper and silver.

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