US Mint Medals
When buying physical precious metals, most investors buy either bullion coins or bullion bars. Other options exist though such as bullion jewelry or decorative objects out of bullion quality silver. These will however cost much higher premiums since they are more expensive to produce (and also because of the lower demand for them). Medals, such as the ones produced by the US Mint, however cost about the same to produce as coins and could therefore be an option for some investors. US Mint medals are available out of gold, silver and bronze.
All medals that are produced under the US Mint Medal Program can be purchased online from the mint’s official webshop. The purpose of a medal is to commemorate a certain event or to honor a specific individual. Unlike coins, medals are not currency and therefore don’t have an official face value. They are generally produced according to the same production standards as coins though.
Few precious metal buyers these days know that a series of 90% pure Gold US Mint medals were produced even before production of the American Gold Eagle bullion coins started in 1986. These were the US Mint’s Commemorative Arts Medals that were minted between 1980 and 1984. With a little bit of searching, you can still find these 10 different 1 oz gold medals listed for sale online these days, for example here on this page of the website of the American precious metal dealer APMEX.
These days, the US Mint mainly produces collectible bronze medals. However, there are also several series of US Mint silver medals out of 99.9% pure silver in production. This US Air Force One-Ounce Silver Medal that was just released in August 2022 is a part of the United States Armed Forces Silver Medal Program. This program that honors the six branches of the U.S. Armed Forces (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, Space Force) began in 2021 and already consists of four different 1 oz silver medals.
The busts of the American presidents are depicted on another set of US Mint medals. These 99.9% pure 1 oz silver medals measure 40.60 mm in diameter just like the above mentioned medals issued under the United States Armed Forces Silver Medal Program. Four new Presidential Medals are issued in every year, not only in silver but also in bronze.
Other US Mint Medals were dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage, the United States Mint American Liberty Program (see here for the 2019 edition and here for the 2022 edition) as well as other events and occasions.