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Products showing Modern Commemorative Coins on the Greater Atlanta Coin Show's Numismatic Shoppe

Coins - 1994 Prestige Set

In the 1994 Prestige Set, the US Mint recognized and celebrated the first occurrence of the World Cup Soccer Championship played in the United States with a commemorative silver dollar coin and a commemorative clad half dollar coin.  

The size and outer format of the packaging remained the same as the recent years with only minor changes in the colors used for the outer box, inner book and Certificate of Authenticity

The 1994 Prestige Set contained seven proof coins including five standard coinage, a commemorative silver dollar and a commemorative clad half dollar.  The coins equal $2.41 in face value. The US Mint initially sold the 1994 Prestige Set for $57 which would be $83.70 in 2010 money using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator.

The deep navy blue of the outer box provides contrast for the silver print of the heraldic eagle emblem and the inscription "UNITED STATES 1994 PRESTIGE SET."

The two-piece box measures 5 1/4 inches by 7 3/8 inches by 1 5/8 inches when closed.    

1994 Prestige Set box

The two-piece outer box securely contains the book holding the seven proof coins  along with the Prestige Set's Certificate of Authenticity.

Plush navy velvet covers the padded exterior of the coin book with metal brackets protecting the corners of the book. The metallic symbol for the heraldic eagle centers the front cover of the coin book and stands out against the navy blue velvet.  

1994 Prestige Set package

Inside the front cover, off-white padded fabric highlights the silver print of the heraldic eagle and the inscription "UNITED STATES MINT 1994 PRESTIGE SET." 

A red, white and blue ribbon attaches to form a triangle across the lower left. This ribbon can be used to secure the Certificate of Authenticity inside the set. 

On the right, plastic in two shades of dark blue holds the seven coins securely. The coins' obverse and reverse designs can be seen behind clear acrylic. At the top, the silver commemorative silver dollar holds the prominent position with the commemorative clad half dollar taking the lower right position.   

1994 Prestige Set obverse

Inside the back cover, a softly padded off white fabric similar to the inside of the front but without any inscription protects the clear acrylic over the reverse of the coins.  

1994 Prestige Set reverse

FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) chose to hold the World Cup Finals in the United States in 1994 for the first time. Football in this case means soccer.

The games consisted of 24 teams and were held from June 17 to July 17 in nine different US host cities. The venues included the Rose Bowl (CA), Pontiac Silverdome (MI), Stanford Stadium (CA), Giants Stadium (NJ), Citrus Bowl (FL), Soldier Field (IL), Cotton Bowl (TX), Foxboro Stadium (MA) and RFK Stadium (Washington, DC).

Many around the world thought the decision to hold the games in the US was flawed because America did not have a football (read soccer) league at that time and many thought Americans did not understand or appreciate the sport.

Due to the larger stadiums and an average of 69,000 attendance at every game, the 1994 World Cup games set a record attendance of 3.6 million fans that has not yet been broken even though the teams have increased from 24 to 32 and the matches from 52 to 64.

The obverse of the commemorative silver dollar coin shows the energy and determination of the sport with two opposing players vying for the ball.

"LIBERTY" with the letters separated by stars is inscribed along the upper rim of the coin with "IN GOD WE TRUST" below the players. On the right, the year, "1994," is clearly identifiable.

1994 Prestige Set commemorative silver dollar obverse

The coin's reverse shows the logo of the World Cup USA 94 games highlighted by two laurel  branches, one on either side. "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" flows around the top half of the reverse with "ONE DOLLAR" showing at the bottom. In addition, "E PLURIBUS UNUM" rests below the games' logo.

1994 Prestige Set commemorative silver dollar reverse

The obverse of the commemorative clad half dollar shows a player looking at the field, planning his move while preparing to kick the ball. On his shirt's center front is the number "3." These games were the first to have the players' numbers on the center front of their shirt and their names on the back - much like American sports do. This, in part, was to help the sportscasters monitor and report the action on the field.  They have continued this style of shirts for the games.

The player prepares his strategy in front of a large "1994" with "LIBERTY"  behind him and "IN GOD WE TRUST" in the lower right of the coin.

1994 Prestige Set commemorative half dollar obverse

The reverse of the clad half dollar looks very much like the reverse of the silver dollar. In a slightly smaller diameter space, the World Cup USA 94 logo between two laurel branches shows on the reverse with the same inscriptions except "HALF DOLLAR" is inscribed at the bottom. 

1994 Prestige Set commemorative half dollar reverse

The US played in the round of sixteen, but did not progress to the quarter finals. Interestingly, their round of 16 opponent, Brazil, beat them 1 to 0 and went on to win the final.

Brazil beat Italy in the final game 0 to 0. The 1994 World Cup was the first time the final was decided on a penalty shoot-out with no goals during regular or overtime play.

One of the stipulations of FIFA in selecting the US as the 1994 host country required the US to build a professional soccer league. Major League Soccer began in 1996.

The 1994 Prestige Set honors the many "firsts" of the US and soccer.

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