The United States Mints first silver commemorative of 2017 has gone on sale and it’s a centennial celebration of an organisation that has dedicated itself to the betterment of its communities, Lions Club International (LCI). Founded in 1917 by Melvin Jones, this secular, non-political organisation is comprised of over 46,000 clubs in 200 countries around the world. With a membership approaching 1.5 million, this group has made great strides towards alleviating many forms of disability and suffering, from sight and diabetes to international relations and environmental issues.
Members are not allowed to discuss either politics or religion, and all the money the LIONS raise is spent on their programmes, organisational costs being met by the members themselves. The LIONS acronym also stands for Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nations’ Safety. The organisation is a testament to the vision of one man and continues to do fine work a hundred years after its formation.
The design is a good one in our view. Male portraits are rarely a standout feature of the design of a coin and that’s also the case here, but the image of Melvin Jones and the LIONS logo is well paired and placed, although we’re not sure how well the usual IN GOD WE TRUST inscription fits with this secular organisation. Designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by US Mint regular, Joseph Menna. The reverse design is excellent, a tight lion family of male, female and cub that represents the values of the group is beautifully designed by Patricia Lucas-Morris and expertly implemented by Don Everhart. The background of a wire-frame sphere is reminiscent of the stunning 2014 proof Britannia coin from the Royal Mint.
The 0.900 silver coin has a maximum mintage of a hefty 400,000 pieces split over two versions that sell for just a dollar apart. The first is to a proof finish and sells for $52.95. The second and cheaper of the pair is struck to an uncirculated finish. Until the 21 February at 3 pm, both coins will be discounted by $5 each. Orders will determine how many of each version are produced, but the total combined figure won’t exceed the 400,00 mintage. Each coin, irrespective of finish, comes in a small neat coin box with a certificate of authenticity. Available now.