USS Parche CoinUSS Parche

Coin Salutes U.S. Navy's Most Highly Decorated Boat
Success Summary:

Commemorative coins from Northwest Territorial Mint captured in solid metal the legacy of the U.S. Navy's most highly decorated boat - the USS Parche (SSN 683). The coins were presented to the members of Parche's final crew at the decommissioning ceremony held in October 2004.

The Challenge:

To design and create a commemorative coin combining the most important elements from the Parche's storied past that would be appreciated and enjoyed by her crew.


Northwest Territorial Mint worked with one of the enlisted officers who served aboard USS Parche to design and produce the coin in time for delivery prior to the decommissioning ceremony. Per the officer's specifications, a portion of the coins were made from metal taken directly from the Parche's hull.

The Story:

After completing nineteen daring deployments over a stunning thirty year career, The U.S.S. Parche, the most decorated boat in U.S. Navy history, lowered her colors for the last time in the fall of 2004. Parche (pronounced PAR-chee) was the last of the Navy's thirty-seven Sturgeon-class attack submarines to be decommissioned. During her career, Parche earned an unprecedented nine Presidential Unit Citations. Additonally, the sub was awarded ten Navy Unit Commendations and thirteen Navy Expeditionary Medals. Parche also holds the U.S. record for submerged endurance.

Many former crewmembers expressed the desire to commemorate Parche after learning she was going to be taken out of active duty after thirty years of service, but one man stepped forward and took up the challenge.  In anticipation of Parche's decommissioning ceremony, a Senior Chief Petty Officer, who served on board Parche from May of 2000 until August of this year, spearheaded an effort to have a special commemorative coin made to honor the service of the boat and her crew.

"I wanted to do something special to honor the ship's history and to help carry on her name," he said.  "The coin seemed to me to be the best way to make it happen."

More than just a symbol of Parche, the 1,100 coins produced by Northwest Territorial Mint exclusively for the boat's decommissioning were made from metal taken directly from the Parche itself. Eighty-seven of the original 1,100 coins that were produced at Northwest Territorial Mint's facility in Auburn, Washington were presented in August of 2005 to the members of Parche's final crew. These eighty-seven coins contained a special reverse and were inscribed with the names of the respective crew members.

The remaining 1,013 coins, which were distributed to Parche's past crew members, featured a more generic reverse and were not inscribed with the names of the recipients.

Custom coins, medallions, and related items from Northwest Territorial Mint can be minted in many different metals and finishes. Personalized engraving, fancy edges, 3-D design, and custom award ribbons all add to the impact of these as unique gifts or awards.

Additional die-struck products from Northwest Territorial Mint include knives (including our unique coin knife), key chains, coasters, tie tacks, lapel pins, and more. Contact Northwest Territorial Mint today to create your own custom military award, commemorative, or gift.

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Click on the images below to view the USS Parche coin gallery: