The Commission of Fine Arts faced a daunting task. Review nearly 150 designs to make recommendations for new coins in six series:
• Congressional Gold Medal honoring the First Special Service Force.
• United States Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program.
• 2015 and 2016 Presidential $1 coin programs.
• 2015 and 2016 Native American $1 Coin programs.
It was the same task facing the Citizens Coin Advisory Committee a week earlier.
So to fine tune the process, it asked to see first the designs recommended by the CCAC and sponsoring groups.
“The CFA saw all of the designs, but by asking for a more vetted group the selection process was more focused,” said CFA Secretary Tom Luebke. “We may not do that every time.”
Here are the CFA picks, and how they compare to the CCAC’s choices.
Presidential $1 Coins
The 2015 Presidential $1 coins honor Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
The CFA endorsed the same designs selected by the CCAC for the Truman, Eisenhower and Johnson coins, although it asked that the portrait of Johnson be lowered a bit on the coin so it is separated from the text at the top of the coin.
The CFA did not recommend any of the designs for the coin honoring Kennedy, Luebke said. It felt the downard looking Kennedy portrait, design No. 1, selected by the CCAC did not work well on a coin. It felt design No. 2 of an older Kennedy looking to the right may have the best potential if refined a bit, Luebke said.
The CFA chose the same designs as the CCAC for the 2016 coins honoring Nixon and Ford.
Native American $1 Coins
The CFA chose design No. 4 for the reverse of the 2014 Native American $1 coin, the second choice listed by the CCAC. It depicts a Mohawk Iron Worker standing on a girder with the New York skyline in the distance. The CCAC preferred design No. 13 with an Iron Worker reaching for a girder with a view of the city below.
The CFA asked that the theme of the coin, recognition for the Mohawk Iron Workers, be added to the coin. The only text on the current design is UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the $1 sign.
For the 2016 Native American $1 coin that honors Code Talkers, it selected design, No. 9 that features two helmets posed in front of peace features and the years 1917 and 1945. It is the same design selected by the CCAC, and the CFA agreed with the CCAC that the dates should be replaced with WWI and WWII.
United States Marshals Service
The CFA recommended five of the six obverse and reverse designs selected by the CCAC for the United States Marshals Service 225th anniversary commemorative coins in gold, silver and clad.
Gold $5: The obverse features the U.S. Marshals’ service star, as required, with LIBERTY prominently inscribed at the top of the coin. The reverse depicts an eagle holding a flag and protected by a shield inscribed “U.S. Marshal.”
Silver $1: The obverse features the U.S. Marshals service star, as required, with LIBERTY engraved around the rim and a silhouette of lawmen on horseback near the bottom. The CFA asked that the spacing between the letters of the word LIBERTY be condensed to increase legibility of the word, Luebke said.
The CFA chose reverse No. 4, which is similar to design No. 8 chosen by the CCAC. Both shows a frontier lawman and the words JUSTICE, INTEGRITY and SERVICE. Design No. 4 places the words to the right of the lawman and design No. 8 places them around the perimeter. the CFA asked that the partial horizon line on the left of the coin be eliminated.
Clad Half Dollar: The CFA and CCAC agreed on an obverse design.
It features a present day U.S. Marshal with an Old West U.S. Marshal in the background. The CFA asked that the image of the horse be moved inward from the left edge to help the composition of the design.
The CFA chose a reverse that depicts a blind Lady Justice, the U.S. Constitution with a U.S Marshals badge propped against, a whiskey jug symbolizing the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion, old railroad tracks representing the Pullman Strike of 1894, and schoolbooks symbolizing the 1960 New Orleans school integration.
The CFA asked the U.S. Mint to remove the image of pair of open handcuffs on the U.S. Consititution that are meant to represent the U.S. Marshals’ apprehension of federal fugitives.
First Special Service Force
The First Special Service Force was an elite American-Canadian commando force organized in 1942 that fought in Italy, France and the Aleutian Islands.
The CFA endorsed obverse design No. 8, which highlights the mountaineering and the airborne abilities of the FSSF. Included are representations of mountaineering, silent landings and waterway training. The spearhead patch is incorporated to show the unique unity between the United States and Canada.
The CCAC endorsed design No. 9, which features a profile view of a soldier in combat in Arctic conditions as a reference to the Force’s winter warfare.
The reverse design No. 2 preferred by both groups features the FSSF insignia, crossed arrows at the bottom of the design and a banner in the eagle’s beak that reads “USA” and “Canada.”
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