At a meeting held on November 17, 2011, the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) reviewed the design candidates provided by the United States Mint for the 2012 American Platinum Eagle. The reverse design for the upcoming coin will feature the theme “For the Common Defence”, continuing the series highlighting the core concepts of American democracy based on the Preamble to the Constitution. The obverse of the coin will contain the image of the Statue of Liberty designed by John Mercanti that has been used in previous years.
The six year reverse design series began in 2009 with the theme “To Form a More Perfect Union”, then continued with “To Establish Justice” (2010) and “To Insure Domestic Tranquility” (2011). After the 2012 design “For the Common Defence”, the final two issues of the series will feature the themes “To Promote the General Welfare” (2013) and “To Secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and our Posterity” (2014). The designs representing these themes appear on the reverse of the numismatic version of the American Platinum Eagles. Bullion versions of the coin have not been issued since 2008, but would have featured a static design of a bald eagle in flight with a sunrise in the background.
The eleven design themes provided by the US Mint for the 2012 American Platinum Eagle depict the theme “For the Common Defence” in a variety of methods. Two of the designs feature shields with an eagle atop grasping arrows in its talons. Two other designs feature a pair of shields carrying the words “Declare” and “Defend” with either a Liberty cap on a pole or an image of Liberty wearing a cap. Other designs feature the Greek goddess of warfare, depictions of Liberty with a sword in hand and various other elements, and a Continental Minuteman holding a book and rifle.
The Commission of Fine Arts found issues with the allegorical and human figures in several design candidates, stating that they were “poorly rendered” and “would be difficult to perceive clearly at the small scale of the coin.” They officially recommended design candidate #10 featuring a large image of a shield with an eagle atop “as the most legible design”. They made suggestions that the inscription “1 oz.” should be moved to the same arc as the associated “.9995 Platinum” and the denomination “$100” should have a more prominent placement.
[Note: The spelling of the word “defence” throughout the article and on the design candidates prepared by the Mint is based on the spelling used in the original Preamble to the United States Constitution.]
2012 American Platinum Eagle Design Candidates