Women Airforce Service Pilots Bronze Medals
Yesterday, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) of World War II were honored with the Congressional Gold Medal. The United States Mint will produce and offer for sale 3 inch and 1.5 inch bronze reproductions, as they have done for prior Congressional Gold Medals.
The WASP was composed of the first women to fly American military aircraft. During World War II, they flew domestic supply and other non-combat flights. The medals were awarded to surviving members and representatives of deceased members to honor their pioneering military service that led to reform in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The obverse of the medal features the portrait of a WASP member with three others and an AT-6 in the background. The reverse features three aircraft flown by WASP members, the AT-6, B-26, and P-51. The obverse was designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, and the reverse was designed and sculpted by Don Everhart.
The US Mint's bronze reproductions of the medal will go on sale March 26, 2010. The 3 inch medal is priced at $42.00 and the 1.5 inch medal is priced at $6.00. These price levels are higher than other recently issued bronze medals based on Congressional Medals of Honor. Prior price levels were $38.00 and $3.75.
Does the price increase for this product signal a similar increase for the First Spouse Bronze Medals? Yesterday, I posted on the price increases for the 2010 annual sets.
Recently released individual First Spouse bronze medals have been priced at $3.50, the Presidential $1 Coin and First Spouse Bronze Medal Sets have been priced at $8.95, and last year's five medal set was priced at $15.95. These products have been popular with collectors as an inexpensive alternative to the gold coins, and in some cases have outperformed the gold coins on the secondary market.
For now, we'll have to wait and see how the 2010 First Spouse Bronze Medals are priced.