Eight members of the Treasury Department’s Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee met at U.S. Mint headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, September 27, 2018, with two more phoning in from California and Spain.
The CCAC is a congressionally mandated committee that advises the secretary of the Treasury on all U.S. coin and medal designs.
On the agenda of the CCAC’s public meeting were three main tasks:
- to review modified design proposals for the 2020 Weir Farm quarter in the America the Beautiful program;
- to review designs for the 2019 American Liberty High Relief 24-karat gold coin and companion silver medal; and
- to review designs for the first coin in the 2018–2033 American Innovation dollar program.
The Weir Farm National Historic Site coin was first reviewed in June 2018, with the committee recommending slight modifications of seven designs. The changes mainly involved the addition of the legend NATIONAL PARK FOR THE ARTS, and reshaping of the tree canopies in some sketches. The modified versions were resubmitted for review at the September meeting. The clear favorites were no. 14 (earning 29 out of a possible 30 points in the committee’s post-review voting) and no. 14A (earning 28 points).
The committee voted on a motion to formally recommend 14A to Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, who has the final say on all U.S. coin and medal designs.
This motion was a tip of the hat to the Mint’s liaisons at Weir Farm, who noted 06A and 14A as their two favorites. (The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the other body that makes formal recommendations to the Treasury secretary, was partial to 06A.)
Superintendent Linda Cook of Weir Farm, present by phone during the meeting, thanked the committee for sharing its insight and attention on a subject “outside of what we normally do” (coin design).
Next up was the Mint’s relatively new American Liberty program. The third installment of the program, which includes 24K gold $100 coins, along with silver medals, will come out in 2019. One change in the program is the size of the silver medals, which will now be 2-1/2 ounces in weight.
For the 2019 coin and medal, the Mint compiled a selection of ten earlier design proposals from its 2015 and 2017 portfolios. CCAC members praised the suite of designs for their artistry but reserved their main attention for those that avoided anachronistic symbols of Liberty such as Phrygian caps. The committee’s choices to recommend to Secretary Mnuchin were Obverse 10 (also the favorite of the Commission of Fine Arts) and Reverse 10.
The third agenda item involved the American Innovation $1 Coin Program. The September meeting marked the second time the CCAC reviewed designs for this effort. In July the committee saw a first-pass group of sketches and asked for another round, which was presented just eight weeks later.
A robust discussion led to two standout preferences from the committee: no. 08 for the obverse, and no. 08 for the reverse. These will be recommended to Secretary Mnuchin for the new coin program’s first issue, to be struck and distributed later this year. Subsequent coins will be issued at the rate of four per year, with each state and U.S. territory being represented.
The CCAC is slated to meet at least two more times this year as the United States Mint continues planning a robust schedule of coin and medal productions.
For more information about the committee, please visit the website of the CCAC.