It became a matter of knowing your audience. Or audiences.
A 2015 commemorative coin will honor the March of Dimes and the work it does to promote healthy babies, so it makes sense to have images of a baby or mother and baby on the coin.
But ask a coin collector and he’s likely to expect the coin to evoke images of the Roosevelt dime, which was instrumental in the original March of Dimes campaign.
Those points were made when the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee met in November to discuss possible themes that might be represented on the commemorative coin.
Although people interested in the March of Dimes are likely to buy the coin, Marks told the group that coin collectors would want a link to the Roosevelt dime.
“We had no problem with what the March of Dimes representatives presented,” said CCAC chairman Gary Marks, “but we were interested in giving some recognition to the Roosevelt dime on the silver dollar as well.”
That would make the coin appeal to two audiences, Marks said, coin collectors and March of Dimes supporters.
Since the coin will be a silver dollar, Marks suggested it would be less confusing if any depiction of the Roosevelt dime was displayed on the obverse of the coin, where the denomination is not shown.
Marks said there even was discussion of producing a special dime that could be packaged with the silver dollar.
The CCAC also discussed themes for the 2015 and 2016 First Spouse coins that will honor Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Jackie Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon and Betty Ford.
CCAC member Michael Ross, a history professor at the University of Maryland, led the discussion.
Ross noted that until we reached the 20th century, it was difficult to find significant contributions that First Spouses made other than entertaining at the White House or growing flowers.
But as we got into the 20th century, we have First Spouses who have made significant accomplishments and should be recognized.
“We didn’t give specific directions, but we want the themes for these spouses to be of substance and presented symbolically, not in a story board. Those won’t be considered by our committee.
“We are dealing with individuals who have accomplishments in their own right. They should be celebrated.”
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