Early Release! The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Fewer than 3,500 Medals of Honor have ever been awarded. It is presented to a person who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while:
• Engaged in action against an enemy of the United States;
• Engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
• Serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
The Gold coin designs are emblematic of the heritage and legacy of the original Medal of Honor and the era in which it was first established. The design on the obverse of this proof $5 Gold coin depicts the original Medal of Honor authorized by Congress in 1861 as the Navy’s highest personal decoration. The inscriptions are Liberty, 1861, 2011, In God We Trust and Medal of Honor.
The reverse design features Minerva, based on the common central image on both the original Navy and Army Medals of Honor. Minerva, standing with a shield representing the Army and Navy in her right hand and the Union flag in her left hand, is flanked by a field artillery cannon and wheel of the Civil War era. Inscriptions are United States of America, E Pluribus Unum and $5.