The Wikipedia article of the day for December 3, 2017 is American Arts Commemorative Series medallions.
The American Arts Commemorative Series medallions are gold bullion pieces that were produced by the United States Mint from 1980 to 1984. They were sold to compete with the South African Krugerrand and other bullion coins. The series was proposed by North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms after the US Department of the Treasury began selling portions of the national stockpile of gold. At the suggestion of Iowa Representative Jim Leach, the medallions depict Americans notable for their achievements in the arts. President Jimmy Carter signed the authorization into law in November 1978, despite objections from Treasury officials. The medallions were initially sold through mail order; purchasers were required to obtain the day’s price by telephone before ordering. Later, the Mint sold them through telemarketing. Mintage ceased after the ten designs approved by Congress were produced. All were struck at the West Point Bullion Depository. The series sold poorly; critics blamed the complicated process by which they were first marketed, and the fact that they were medallions rather than coins.