One of the bloodiest wars in human history, the First World War brought the full force of the new industrialised economies to the waging of warfare. When the war started there were echoes of conflicts a century past. When it ended mankind have taken warfare into the air and under the sea, as well as finding ways to kill tens of thousands in a few hours. In 1917, the United States entered the fray on the Allied side. At the end of the following year it was all over, with the American Expeditionary Force having lost over 116,000 people, along with another 204,000 wounded.
To commemorate the centennial of the end of the war and to remember those that participated, the United States Mint has issued a silver commemorative coin. Depicting a soldier holding a rifle, it’s a fine looking piece with a sculpt-like flavour to it. The reverse face features a mix of poppy and barb-wire that does a poignant job of encapsulating the war in the memory of people today.
Two variants of this 26.73 gram 0.900 silver coin are being made available. The first has a proof finish, the second an uncirculated one. Combined they will have a mintage of 350,000 pieces, but the ratio of one to the other will be determined by sales. In all other respects they’re identical, even down to the packaging, although the latter is $3 cheaper.
You can also buy the coin in a set with one of the forces medallions that the US Mint has produced. Five are on sale and feature either the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coastguard or Army. A total of 100,000 sets will be produced and again, the mintage of each variant within that number will be set by sales rather than being predetermined.These sell for $99.95 each.
All in all, the coin is a fine release from the US Mint and good value at around the $50 mark. Prices will rise by $5 from 20 February, so we’d advise getting in early if you want one.