NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. officials are developing a new, pink commemorative coin to promote breast cancer awareness and raise money for cancer research, said U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who sponsored legislation for its creation.
The New York Democrat tells The Associated Press that federal officials will hold a contest to pick artwork that will be displayed on the coin, which is expected to be released in 2018.
The pink-gold coin will be part of a set of three new coins aimed at promoting breast cancer awareness and help fund research to find a cure for the disease. The legislation was first proposed in 2013 and was signed into law by President Barack Obama last month.
The Treasury Department will create 50,000 pink-gold $5 coins. The U.S. Mint, which will produce the coins, will need to use a new formula to give them a pink tint, Maloney said. They will be at least 75 percent gold.
The legislation also called for the creation of 400,000 $1 silver coins and 750,000 half dollar coins with designs that symbolize the fight against breast cancer.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit organization. The group says it has raised more than $500 million since it was founded in 1993 and that more than 90 percent of its funding is used for cancer research and public awareness programs.
While the precise cost of the coins remains unclear, at least $35 from each pink-gold coin will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The group will also receive $10 for each of the silver coins and $5 for each half-dollar coin.
"About one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime," Maloney said. "The only obstacle standing between us and a cure is further research, and that research needs funding. The funds raised through coin sales could be the ones that lead to the discovery of a cure to this devastating disease."
Follow Michael Balsamo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MikeBalsamo1.