US Marshals 226th anniversary coins -- a critique

The US mint is producing a commemorative coin series to depict the 225th anniversary of the United States Marshals Service.  This is my critique.  Spoiler alert – it’s not pretty (but neither are the coins).

Who celebrates a 225th anniversary?  I recall the American bicentennial celebration of 1976.  Twenty five years later, the 225th anniversary of the US went unnoticed.  Even worse is the fact that the 225th anniversary of the US marshall service was in 2014, but the coins are produced in 2015.  So we are really celebrating the 226th anniversary.  The coins have both the dates “1789 – 2014” and the date 2015.  Ridiculous.

The five dollar gold coin has two sides that look like reverses.  The theme of the coin (according to the advertising brochure) is “225 years of sacrifice.”  In order to show the theme, the designer merely wrote the words “225 years of sacrifice.”  Boring.

The silver dollar represents the best effort in the set.  The obverse (which the mint calls the reverse) features a wild west era US Marshall with a wanted poster in hand.  The reverse (which the mint calls the obverse) shows the US Marshall star and some cowboys that have been run over by steam rollers (the mint refers to these as silhouettes).

The clad half dollar is a hodge podge of miscellany. The obverse is shared by an old west marshal and a modern marshal whose hair is pulled by an unseen gravitational field.  The reverse has a plethora of symbols such as a spaghetti-haired blind justice, scales, the marshal’s star, railroad tracks, schoolbooks, handcuffs, the constitution, and a whiskey jug.  Do you know what everything represents?  Yes, all this on a single side of a coin.

The mint’s brochure states that surcharges of $35 per gold coin, $10 per silver coin, and $3 per clad coin are authorized “to be paid to several organizations.”  Sounds vague to me.  Something tells me that these coins will not make the organizations rich.

The mint is producing both uncirculated and proof varieties of each of the three denominations.  Do we really need all these commemorative coins?  

For information and my opinion about other American commemorative coins, please go here.

2016 will be the 121st anniversary of the first corrugated cardboard box.   Perhaps a commemorative coin set will result.