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CCAC picks quarters and medals, hears out palladium

Designs for four of five 2018 America the Beautiful quarters were chosen when the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) met June 27 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

CCAC’s chosen Michigan Pictured Rocks quarter design.

CCAC’s chosen Michigan Pictured Rocks quarter design.

After discussion, the committee began by voting on Michigan’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore quarter. Design MI-12, depicting Chapel Rock with a white pine on top, won. The Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) choose design MI-08, a similar view of Chapel Rock with trees to either side during its June 16 meeting.

CCAC reviewed designs WI-01, WI-04 and WI-04a for Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands quarter but did not come to a decision and asked the artists to reconsider them.

CCAC reviewed designs WI-01, WI-04 and WI-04a for Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands quarter but did not come to a decision and asked the artists to reconsider them.

The CCAC did not come to a decision on the second quarter, Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Voting gave design WI-01 the lead. The design shows kayakers near Devils Island’s sea caves.

Other members mentioned the vote was split for runner-up designs WI-04 and WI-04a. The designs both depict a sea arch, though one has kayakers in the scene while the other does not.

A motion to make WI-01 the recommendation was voted on and failed. The follow-up motion to recommend WI-04 and WI-04a as a joint nomination also failed. A motion introduced by CCAC member Michael Moran to have the artists reconsider their designs passed.

The CFA went with design WI-09, a different view of kayakers going by the Devils Island sea caves.

Design MN-06 was CCAC’s choice for Minnesota’s Voyageurs quarter.

Design MN-06 was CCAC’s choice for Minnesota’s Voyageurs quarter.

The CCAC selected design MN-06 for Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park. It shows a common loon floating on a lake with a cliff in the background. The CFA selected the same design.

A turtle is the central feature of GA-03, the CCAC approved Cumberland Island quarter.

A turtle is the central feature of GA-03, the CCAC approved Cumberland Island quarter.

When the CCAC choose Georgia’s Cumberland Island National Seashore, design GA-03 received the most votes. The design shows off a loggerhead sea turtle swimming along the beach. The depiction was praised for using an animal that isn’t commonly found on U.S. coins. The CCAC hopes young coin collectors will appreciate it. The CFA went with design GA-06 that highlights a snowy egret stretching its wings.

The CCAC selected RI-10 for Rhode Island’s Block Island quarter.

The CCAC selected RI-10 for Rhode Island’s Block Island quarter.

The CCAC went with design RI-10 for Rhode Island’s Block Island National Wildlife Refuge. All 12 designs submitted feature birds, but the CCAC felt RI-10 with its piping plover was the best representation.

The CCAC’s recommended Obama first-term presidential medal design.

The CCAC’s recommended Obama first-term presidential medal design.

The committee then voted on Obama Presidential medal designs. CCAC member Donald Scarinci put forward a motion to adopt designs BO-T1-O-01 and BO-T1-R-01 for his first term and BO-T2-O-01 and BO-T2-R-02 for his second term. The motion passed. The CFA had selected the same designs.

CCAC suggested this design for the Obama second-term presidential medal.

CCAC suggested this design for the Obama second-term presidential medal.

The committee then heard from Ronald Harrigal, U.S. Mint acting quality manager, on plans for American Eagle high relief palladium coins. Legislation signed into law in December 2015 mandates striking palladium coins.

He said the coins would be produced with Adolph Weinman’s Mercury dime obverse design as its obverse. The reverse would be Weinman’s American Eagle used on the 1907 American Institute of Architects gold medal. The standard inscriptions “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” “United States of America” and the weight and finesse would be included.

The palladium coins may be issued in uncirculated and proof finishes. However, the law mandates the finishes change from year to year. Harrigal mentioned using reverse proof and wire brushing uncirculated finishes. He also said the palladium coin’s diameter has not been established and may range from 32.7 to 38.1 millimeters.

The American Eagle palladium coin will use the obverse of Adolph Weinman's Mercury dime and the reverse of his 1907 American Institute of Architects gold medal.

The American Eagle palladium coin will use the obverse of Adolph Weinman’s Mercury dime and the reverse of his 1907 American Institute of Architects gold medal.

When asked by the CCAC if the palladium coins would begin in 2016, Harrigal said there was little chance they would.

“We’re just starting to look into this,” he said. “We’re working diligently to get this out as quickly as possible. Working with palladium suppliers takes time.”

Additionally, the CCAC heard an update to the 2017 high relief $100 gold coin discussed at its March 15 meeting. Edge lettering stating “225th anniversary” will replace the previously accepted “225 years of American Coinage.” The edge lettering and dual date 1792-2017 on the coin honor the 225th anniversary of the United States Mint.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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