Don Troiani and the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Coins
In 1895, the Gettysburg National Military Park had been established on the grounds of the battlefield. A century later, Congress decided to establish a battlefield preservation commission that would ensure that important historic battlefields were not developed into housing and the history was lost.
Like other, similar commemorative programs, three different denominations of coins were authorized – a Clad Half Dollar, a Silver Dollar, and a Gold Five Dollar coin. The obverses of all three denominations of coins were designed by the same outside artist – Don Troiani. He is very well known and his artworks are very much appreciated and liked by military memorabilia collectors. His depictions of Civil War battle scenes are very lifelike and accurate.
For the Clad Half Dollar, Troiani depicted a young drummer boy, in a Union uniform, standing in front of wooden rails. The word “LIBERTY” dominates the upper periphery and the date “1995” is on the right side. The bottom periphery displays the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST”.
The reverse of the Clad Half Dollar depicts a cannon and cannon balls against the battlefield background. The upper periphery has “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” at the top, “E PLURIBUS UNUM” underneath and “ENRICHING OUR FUTURE BY PRESERVING OUR PAST” just underneath all of that. The lower periphery displays the denomination “HALF DOLLAR” at the bottom. US Mint Engraver T. James Ferrell designed this reverse.
Two million Clad Half Dollars were authorized by Congress but only 119,520 Uncirculated coins were struck by the San Francisco Mint and were sold. These coins have an “S” mintmark on them to define their mintage location.
The Proof version of this Clad Half Dollar was also struck at the San Francisco Mint and 330,002 of these Proof coins were released to the public.
The Silver Dollar coin’s obverse depicted a soldier offering a coin to another wounded soldier. Again, this was a Troiani design. The word “LIBERTY” graced the upper left periphery and below the soldiers was the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST”. The lower periphery displayed the date “1995”.
The reverse of the Silver Dollar depicts the Gettysburg landscape and has a quote from Joshua Chamberlin, who was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest and most respected military medal for his gallantry at the battle of Gettysburg. The lengthy quote is “IN GREAT DEEDS SOMETHING ABIDES. ON GREAT FIELDS SOMETHING STAYS. FORMS CHANGE AND PASS; BODIES DISAPPEAR. BUT SPIRITS LINGER TO CONSECRATE GROUND FOR THE VISION PLACE OF SOULS. – JOSHUA CHAMBERLIN.”
At the very top of the upper periphery is “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and below that is “E PLURIBUS UNUM”. Embedded in the battleground is the denomination “ONE DOLLAR.” This reverse design was created by US Mint Engraver John Mercanti.
The Uncirculated Silver Dollar coin was struck at the Philadelphia Mint and bears a “P” mintmark. Only 45,866 of these coins were struck.
The Proof version of the Silver Dollar coin was struck at the San Francisco Mint and bears an “S” mintmark. 437,114 of these coins were struck.
The Five Dollar Gold Coin, like its lesser denomination counterparts, also had its obverse designed by Don Troiani.
The obverse depicted a bugler on horseback, facing right, with the word “LIBERTY” at the upper periphery, the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” to the right of the mounted horseman and the date “1995” on the lower periphery.
The reverse was designed by Alfred Maletsky and it depicts a Union eagle perched on a shield. In its beak is a banner stating “LET US PROTECT AND PRESERVE (THE UNION)”. The upper periphery has “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, under the eagle are “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and the denomination “FIVE DOLLARS” is on the lower periphery.
The West Point minting facility struck both the Uncirculated and Proof versions of the Five Dollar Gold coins and both bear the “W” mintmark.
The Uncirculated version drew a scant mintage of only 12,735 coins, while the Proof version did somewhat better striking 55,246 pieces.
The authorized mintage was 300,000 for the Five Dollar Gold coins, but less than 80,000 of these coins combined were sold.
2 coin sets of the Clad Half Dollar and the Silver Dollar in both Uncirculated and Proof conditions were sold as were 3-coins sets of Proof Coins and 3-coin sets of Uncirculated coins.
Additionally, a 6-coin complete set of all 3 Uncirculated and all 3 Proof coins was offered to collectors. A 2-coin Proof Set with a facsimile photo of a Union Soldier in a tintype case, as well as the complete 3-coin Proof set, again with a facsimile photo was also offered.
|1995||S||Clad Half Dollar||Uncirculated||119,520||$50.00|
|1995||S||Clad Half Dollar||Proof||330,002||$45.00|
|1995||W||Five Dollar Gold||Uncirculated||12,735||$500.00|
|1995||W||Five Dollar Gold||Proof||55,246||$490.00|
Expand your collection today and shop for a 1995 3-Coin Commemorative Civil War Proof Set.