Mint to sell pink breast cancer awareness coin

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Coins could raise up to $8.5 million for research through legislation sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney


  • The first pink-hued gold coin ever produced by the U.S. Mint goes on sale March 15, as part of a series of breast cancer awareness coins championed by Rep. Carolyn Maloney. Image: U.S. Mint

  • Rep. Carolyn Maloney (center, holding coin) co-sponsored legislation authorizing the sale of commemorative coins to raise money for breast cancer research. Photo: Patrick Lyn

By Michael Garofalo

The U.S. Mint is set to release a series of commemorative coins, including the first ever struck in pink gold, to spread awareness of breast cancer and raise funding to support research on the disease.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney co-sponsored the legislation that authorized the program. “It’s critical, because one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and it is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women,” Maloney told Straus News. “These coins will provide a new way to raise needed funds for breast cancer research.”

The three-coin set includes a five-dollar gold coin, a silver dollar and a clad half-dollar coin. The design on the coins was selected in an open competition and features two women expressing determination and a butterfly symbolizing hope. The legal tender coins go on sale March 15 through the U.S. Mint.

A surcharge on the sale of each coin will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, one of the leading non-profit organizations dedicated to preventing and finding a cure for the disease, with headquarters on Manhattan’s East Side. “I’m proud that the very best foundation for breast cancer research is in the district that I represent,” Maloney said.

If every coin is sold, the program will raise up to $8.5 million in private funds dedicated to breast cancer research.

The five-dollar coin will be struck in pink-hued gold, a first for the Mint that required a special composition produced specifically for the coin. Maloney called the pink coin “a fitting tribute to Evelyn Lauder,” the founder of BCRF, who died in 2011 and was the creator and popularizer of the pink ribbon as a symbol of breast cancer awareness.

“Since its founding by Evelyn Lauder in 1993, BCRF funding has been essential to every major breakthrough in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship,” Maloney said, noting that breast cancer mortality rates have dropped by 38 percent of the last 25 years.

“If we keep working and stay determined to get money for research we will find a cure, and this is part of that effort,” Maloney said.

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