100 years ago, Melvin Jones, a businessman and philanthropist, founded Lions Club International, an organization focused on service and community improvement worldwide. CoinWeek recently reported that in order to mark the centennial anniversary of its founding, designers from the U.S. Mint have created the 2017 Lions Clubs International Centennial commemorative silver dollar in keeping with the Lions Club International Century of Service Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 112-181), passed by Congress in 2012. This uncirculated, Proof coin, struck at the Philadelphia Mint, is composed of 90% silver and has a maximum mintage of 400,000.
Founded upon Jones’s belief that “You can’t get very far until you start doing something for somebody else,” the Lions Club has served those in need in many capacities over the years. From providing volunteers for small- and large-scale disaster relief, to becoming involved in measles initiatives, to significant efforts focused on eliminating juvenile diabetes and cancer, the Lions Club has made its presence felt on many service fronts. Its largest and widest reaching effort, however, is in its work to provide vision services such as screenings, treatments, and affordable eyeglasses to hundreds of millions of people in the U.S. and around the world every year. Each coin sold includes a $10 surcharge that goes directly to Lions Club International.
Designed by U.S. Mint’s Joseph Menna and Joel Iskowitz, the obverse of this commemorative coin features, on the right, a three-quarters profile of a determined-looking Jones wearing eyeglasses. On the left, the Lions Club International logo appears partially behind Jones’s head. MELVIN JONES FOUNDER appears just below the logo and to the left of Jones’s profile. The word LIBERTY appears across the top center rim of the coin and in the lower left rim appears IN GOD WE TRUST followed by the year, 2017. The initials of both artists appear on the obverse. Iskowitz’s appear to the right of GOD, and Menna’s are superimposed on Jones’s right shoulder.
U.S. Mint artist Patricia Lucas-Morris and Mint sculptor Don Everhart created the reverse face, which features a grid-like globe overlaid by a male and female lion and their cub facing left. On the center right of the coin, on the lioness’s neck, is the denomination, $1, with Philadelphia’s mintmark, “P,” just below. Across the bottom center of the lion portrait appears E PLURIBUS UNUM. A plain border surrounds the portrait, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA appearing across the top center rim and CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF SERVICE across the bottom center rim. Lucas-Morris’s initials appear to the left of the lion’s mouth in the mane, while Everhart’s initials appear just below the lioness’s throat.
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