The May 25th, 2010 meeting of the Citizens Coin Advisory Committee was held at the U.S. Mint’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., where committee members discussed the designs for the 2011 United States Army Commemorative Coins. The program will include a $5 gold coin, silver dollar, and clad half dollar issued during 2011. The United States Mint provided the Committee with a number of design candidates for each coin, for their review and recommendation.
Per the authorizing legislation, the designs of the three coins should be “emblematic of the traditions, history, and heritage of the U.S. Army, and its role in American society from the Colonial period to today.”
2011 United States Army Commemorative $5 Gold Coin
The Committee’s discussion for the $5 gold coin was primarily focused on the obverse designs, as the reverse designs were all derived from the Seal of the United States Army, with minor modifications. Comments regarding the obverse design candidates were made that the ‘floating rocks’ seen in designs 1 and 2 were unnecessary; the goggles worn by the modern-day soldier as depicted in designs 2 and 3 should be removed, allowing the soldier’s eyes to be seen; and the M-16 rifle held by the modern-day soldier should be replaced by a M-14 rifle, a weapon being used in current military operations.
Heidi Wastweet, a sculptor and recent addition to the committee, cautioned the rest of the members that features such as the three-dimensional stars in design 3 “would not translate well to the medium” of coinage. Roger Burdette provided a historical word of warning regarding the depiction of full-length people on coins under one inch in size, notably of the Hermon A. MacNeil design of the Standing Liberty Quarter from the early 20th Century.
In the end, the Committee voted in favor of recommending obverse design 3 over 2, by a vote of 20 to 18, and reverse 3 overwhelmingly over 2, by a vote of 28 to 6.