On the 7th of June 2017 the Lions Clubs International will celebrate a centenary of service, after the charitable organisation was established by Melvin Jones in 1917.
In order to pay homage to this remarkable organisation, who's motto is simply “We Serve”, and the countless individuals who's selfless generosity have contributed to it's success – the US Mint is releasing the special Lions Clubs International 2017 Centennial Silver Dollar Coin.
As one of the world's largest charitable organisations the Lions Clubs International boasts a membership in excess of 1.4 million. Constituting over 47 000 local clubs in 210 countries around the globe.
The obverse design is anchored by the portrait of Melvin Jones, which is offset to the right of the coin. The Lions Clubs logo appears behind the effigy, to the left of the coin. The obverse legend reads : “LIBERTY” to the top of the coin, “IN GOD WE TRUST” and “2017” appear to the bottom left along the rim. “MELVIN JONES” and “FOUNDER” complete the legend on the obverse in two lines below the Lions logo.
The reverse design is populated by the image of a small pride of lions. This consists of a majestic male lion with his wild mane seemingly being tossed by the wind. He is joined by a lioness and cub in the foreground. A representation of a globe occupies the background, symbolising the international reach of the Lions Clubs. The reverse of the coin contains the following inscriptions : “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”, “$1”, “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and “CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF SERVICE”.
The coin is available in both proof and uncirculated finished and is authorised for a maximum mintage of 400 000 coins, which will be divided between the two according to consumer demand. The coin is struck from the US Mint's usual .900 Fineness silver and measures 38.1mm(1.500 inch) for a weight of around 26.730 gram.
The coin is available directly from the US Mint at a special introductory price will be in effect for the Lions Clubs International Centennial Proof Silver Dollar from launch on January 18, 2017, through 3 p.m. on February 21, 2017. The introductory price is $47.95 and will return to the regular price of $52.95 after February 21st. The uncirculated coin is $1 cheaper than it's proof counterpart.
The coin will be shipped encapsulated in a standard US Mint black clamshell presentation case, from the Philadelphia Mint where the coin is struck.
According to United States Public Law 112-181, which authorised the production of the coin, the prices include a surcharge of $10 per coin that the Mint can donate to the Lions Clubs International in furtherance of their stated mission. However this does appear to be contingent on the Mint first making a profit on the production of the coin as a whole, similar to that of the Girls Scouts of America coin a few years ago.
The Girls Scouts silver dollar had a authorised mintage of 350 000 coins, 50 000 less than the Lions Clubs coin, but only sold a combined total of 123,817 coins. As a result the Girls Scouts never saw a cent of the included surcharges on that coin. Hopefully the Lions Clubs coins will see better sales than that, although early responses from collector's that we have heard have not been overwhelmingly positive. Then again the coin is dedicated to an organisation that has lists 1.4 million members to it's ranks. Quite a few of these would, I'm sure, love to own a commemorative silver dollar coin dedicated to something that is obviously dear to their hearts. So it should at least be interesting to see how sales of this coin will unfold.