Obverse: Three-Quarter Profile of President Barack Obama / “Barack Obama”
Reverse: Seal of the Inaugural Committee Encircled by Laurel and Oak Leaves / “2009” / “44th President of the United States of America” / “Inaugurated Jan. 20, 2009”
Edgemark: “(c) 2009 Medalcraft Mint-Green Bay WI”
Designer: Marc Mellon (obv.) / Thomas D. Rogers, Sr. (rev.)
Medallist: Medalcraft Mint
Mintage: (Gold) / (Silver) / (Bronze)
- The Official 2009 Inaugural Medal is the first to feature the seal of the Inaugural Committee.
- Marc Mellon designed the obverse of the medal to “project a thoughtful and introspective Barack Obama.” In particular, the sculptor noted that he “imagined Barack Obama thinking of Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., of the historical implications of his election, and of the serious challenges he’s been chosen to face.”
- Mellon is notable for portrait busts of Pope John Paul II (located in the Papal Apartments) and George H.W. Bush (located in the National Portrait Gallery). He has also designed the NBA MVP Maurice Podoloff Trophy.
- Thomas Rogers, Sr. developed the reverse of the 2009 Medal. Rogers is notable for designing the reverse of the Sacagawea dollar, as well as the reverse of four State Quarters.
- Rogers noted that the laurel leaves on the reverse represent victory, the oak leaves symbolize wisdom and the ribbon that joins them stands for unity.
- The 2009 Inaugural Medal included a pamphlet entitled “History of the Official Inaugural Medal” by H. Joseph Levine and a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Meaghan Burdick of the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
A detailed guide to the Medals can be found here — The Book. Also, the Medals are discussed on this Coin World podcast and this Newman Numismatic Portal Symposium presentation.