Coin Challenge Answers - Lamp
Do you know which coin contains this lamp? It looks as if you rubbed and polished it, the infamous
genie would emerge to grant you three wishes. But, the US Mint rarely places fictional, non-realistic
images in their coin designs.
From the hints, the coin is a modern commemorative, but is it a half, a dollar or a gold coin?
Let's take a look at the obverse:
It's the 1996 National Community Service commemorative silver dollar coin. This obverse was based
on a medal produced by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1905 for the Women's Auxillary of the Massachusetts Civil
Service Reform Association. But, those medals are very rare in that only two were produced.
From this image of the Saint Gaudens medal in the booklet with the National Community Service Coin
and Stamp set, you can see the US Mint's engravers took parts from his design and added others. In particular, the
lamp from our challenge was added to the coin's design.
The reverse of the coin shows a laurel wreath around the "Service for America"
recognition statement on the coin.
The legislation for the 1996 National Community Service commemorative silver dollar
coin was approved by Congress and signed by President Clinton on September 29, 1994 as Public Law 103-328
This section of the Public Law designates the specific characteristics for the
National Community Service commemorative silver dollar coins. A few examples of the
"The Secretary of the Treasury shall mint and issue not more than 500,000 $1 coins to
commemorate students who volunteer to perform community service
"The design of the coins minted under this section shall be emblematic of community services
provided by student volunteers
"All surcharges received by the Secretary from the sale of coins issued under this section
shall be promptly paid by the Secretary to the National Community Service Trust for the purpose of funding
innovative community service programs at American universities, including the service, research, and teaching
activities of faculty and students involved in such programs"
The San Francisco mint struck both the uncirculated and the proof coins with just under 24,000
of the uncirculated and just over 101,000 of the proof coins. With fewer numbers distributed,
the uncirculated coins have a higher market value than the proof commemorative dollars.
The commemorative silver dollar coins, regardless of proof or uncirculated, contained a
composition of 90% silver (0.76 troy ounce of silver) and 10% copper.
Though based on the Augustus Saint Gaudens medal, the obverse of this coin is different and
was designed and engraved by Thomas D. Rogers. His initials, "TDR," can be seen just to the left of the woman's
For the reverse, William C. Cousins designed the wreath and incorporated the information in the
coin's design. His initials are just above the laurel wreath and just under the "PL" in PLURIBUS.
In our book, Days of Our Coins, the National Community
Service commemorative silver dollar coin is featured on July 29 (obverse) and September 22