The Observer-Reporter of Washington, PA has a nice article this week about local native Tom Uram and his effort to create a medal
commemorating the Pope's upcoming U.S. visit. -Editor
Pope Francis’ first official visit to the United States will include the first canonization on American soil, and a Washington County
resident designed and put in motion the manufacture of a medal that will be sold to benefit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the
Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists.
An impending papal visit was merely a rumor many months ago when Jim Uram, knowing his brother designed a medal for the City of
Washington bicentennial, urged him to come up with something should the pope appear.
Tom Uram, who volunteered for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and was board president when Donald Wuerl was bishop here,
met with the now-Cardinal and archbishop of Washington, D.C., to discuss the project.
With confirmation the pope was actually arriving, the result was a series of medals in bronze and silver for $29.95 and $149.95. A
three-inch bronze medal and another of the same size of .999 fine silver with a 24-carat gold embellishment are $99.95 and $449.95,
All are stamped “Made in U.S.A.” Northwest Territorial Mint of Dayton, Nev., manufactured the commemorative.
“We’re the largest privately owned mint in the United States,” said Eric Boyd, a member of the mint’s custom sales force who noted the
firm makes the Peabody award for public service in electronic media and both the Bronze Star and Medal of Honor for the United States
Don Everhart of West Chester, Chester County, sculptor-engraver for the United States Mint, was also the lead engraver of the papal
medal. In addition to the medals sold in Washington, D.C., pancoins.org, the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists’ website, and
Malone’s Flower Shop, 17 West Pike St., Canonsburg, are carrying the merchandise.
“I debuted it at the (coin) show in Chicago and I had people just staring at the plaster,” Uram said.
Pam Forcht of Gibsonia designed a folder with a circular cut-out for the medal that also features an acetate window depicting Junipero
Serra, who will be canonized. Forcht worked with the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. for the text in both English and Spanish. Bethel Park Printing
manufactured the bifold and Pittsburgh Binding put together the two sides of the color folder.
In 2012, Uram was named to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, a panel of 12 coin and currency experts created to help the
Secretary of Treasury choose the themes and designs of U.S. coins and service medals. He remains in that volunteer position through next
year. He also has written articles for the American Numismatic Association since 1974.
This is an impressive medal that I had the chance to view at the ANA show in Chicago last month. Everhart did a marvelous job, and the
silver medal in particular is gorgeous. Nice job, Tom! -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
Locally designed medal commemorates pope’s U.S. visit
Wayne Homren, Editor
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