Coin Specifications

Category: Modern Commemoratives (1982-Date)
Mint: West Point
Mintage: 54,893
Catalog: KM-251
Obverse Designer: Thomas Nielson and Alfred Maletsky
Reverse Designer: Edgar Z. Steever
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $10.90 (11/27/2015)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1994 W POW MUSEUM S$1 MS obverse 1994 W POW MUSEUM S$1 MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

It seems that 1994 was the year of the military veteran, as no less than three commemorative coins honoring America’s service men and women were issued. Sadly, this dilution led to mediocre sales of each coin. Since the price of each commemorative included surcharges that were directed toward non-profit organizations sponsoring the coins, such poor sales resulted in an embarrassing situation in which the U. S. Mint sometimes failed to recover its own costs in sculpting the models, preparing the dies and striking the coins. Congress’ mandate limiting commemorative coin programs to no more than two per year provided a solution to this crisis, but it did not apply retroactively to programs already approved.

Surcharges from the sale of this silver dollar went toward building and maintaining the National Prisoner of War Museum in Andersonville, Georgia. This was the site of Camp Sumter, the infamous Confederate prison where so many Yankee soldiers died in 1864-65. Now a part of the National Park System, this attraction includes the museum structure, the camp site and a national cemetery.

A soaring eagle grasping a broken chain is seen on the obverse of this coin, emblematic of freedom. It is, however, encircled by barbed wire to represent the plight of prisoners of war. The date appears within this circle at the bottom, flanked on the left by the initials of artist Tom Nielsen and on the right by those of the U. S. Mint’s Al Maletsky. In addition to the usual mottoes is added the word “FREEDOM.”

The reverse was designed and sculpted by Edgar Z. Steever IV of the Mint’s staff, and it features an elevation view of the reconstructed prison stockade at Andersonville which now houses the museum. Within an exergue beneath this view is the inscription “NATIONAL PRISONER OF WAR MUSEUM,” with the coin’s mintmark to the right. The balance of this side is comprised of statutory legends, with Steever’s initials to the left below the stockade. This coin is one of several within the commemorative series for which the obverse seems more like the reverse, and vice versa.

The U. S. Mint at West Point, New York struck the uncirculated coins, while Philadelphia furnished the proof edition. The resulting sales were nearly identical to those of the other 1994 silver dollar commemoratives, with proofs outselling uncirculated pieces approximately four-to-one. This provides a good estimate for the number of customers at that time who would buy every commemorative the Mint offered, regardless of theme or artistic merit.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/26/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

Base $ - - - - - - - - - 22.00 24.00 26.40 29.90 33.75 35.00 47.50 50.00 55.00 115

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Total Graded: 1847
Low Grade: 65
Average Grade: 69
High Grade: 70

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
8/28/1996 PCGS MS 69   Teletrade Auction 0871, 871/Lot# 1691 $49.05
3/29/1999 PCGS MS 70   Teletrade Auction 1148, 1148/Lot# 1876 $152.60
1/28/2008 NGC MS 69   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 216, 222/Lot# 1346 $57.50
10/10/2011 PCGS MS 70   Teletrade Auction 3152, 3152/Lot# 1567 $184.00
8/5/2012 NGC MS 70   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 08/05/2012, 34/Lot# 60307 $104.01
5/16/2013 NGC MS 70   Heritage Auctions Thursday Modern Coin Auctions Session(1), 241321/Lot# 16018 $78.00
6/2/2014 NGC MS 70   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3484, 6033/Lot# 20526 $70.50

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1994 W POW MUSEUM S$1 MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 70
Points: 471
Owner: Alex J. Llorente
Grade: MS 70
Points: 471
View the Registry Image Gallery

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