When the United States Mint released its 2022 Production Schedule back in November 2021, one of the coins set for release in January was the 2022 National Purple Heart Hall of Honor commemorative coins. Those sales were set to start January 6, 2022 but have now quietly been moved to a “TBD” (To Be Determined) date on the schedule.
The commemoratives were slated for release this week were to consist of eight unique products offered by the United States Mint in the program. Coin prices include surcharges of $35 for each $5 gold coin, $10 for each silver dollar, and $5 for each clad half dollar. The Public Law authorizes the Mint to pay the surcharges to the National Purple Heart Honor Mission, Inc., to support its mission and for capital improvements to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor facilities.
As part of the scheduled releases for this commemorative program, the Mint will be releasing a colorized variety of the silver dollar. This will be the second colorized coin released by the United States Mint.
The Purple Heart is awarded to any member of the U.S. Armed Forces who has been wounded or killed by enemy action. Since World War I, it has been awarded to an estimated 1.8 million servicemen and servicewomen.
The Purple Heart’s history reaches back to the American Revolution. In 1782, General George Washington gave orders establishing the Badge of Military Merit to honor merit among soldiers in the Continental Army. Washington stated that the award was to be a permanent one, but once the Revolution ended, it was all but forgotten until the 20th century. General John J. “Blackjack” Pershing suggested a need for a merit award in 1918, but it wasn’t until 1932 that the modern Purple Heart was created in recognition of Washington’s ideals and for the bicentennial of his birth.
On May 28, 1932, 136 World War I veterans were conferred their Purple Hearts at Temple Hill, in New Windsor, New York. Temple Hill was the site of the New Windsor Cantonment, which was the final encampment of the Continental Army in the winter of 1782-1783.
Originally the Purple Heart was awarded for merit. With the creation of the Legion of Merit in 1942, awarding the Purple Heart for merit was discontinued.
The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor opened in 2006 to share the stories of courage and sacrifice of Purple Heart recipients. It is located at the site of the New Windsor Cantonment.United States Mint
As for the reason for the delay, the Mint has not officially given any reason. However, speculation is that the Mint does not have enough bullion to produce both the Purple Heart and Negro Leagues commemoratives, both of which were slated for January 6th, to be released while also meeting its obligation to produce bullion American Eagle and American Buffalo coins. This would not be the first time this has happened in the pandemic-driven bullion market for the Mint of the 2020s. Additionally, with the anticipated colorized dollar coin, that creates additional time-to-produce challenges given its unique nature. The Mint, like many businesses in the United States, are continuing to struggle with staffing challenges and scheduling challenges.
With no official date set for the commemorative’s release, it is likely that the Mint will work them into the product schedule as supply and time permits. By law, these coins have to be produced this year so they will be here in 2022. It is just a question of when.
Readers are encouraged to bookmark the Mint’s official product schedule page and check USCoinNews regularly for updates.