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Get busy, coin artists

The April 28 deadline is approaching fast for artists who would like to enter the competition to choose designs for the World War I American Veterans Centennial commemorative silver dollar.

At stake is a $10,000 prize.

The first phase of this competition is fairly easy.

The Mint would like artists to submit portfolios of their prior work. All American artists 18 years old and older can enter until the Mint receives its maximum of 10,000 entries.

If this numerical target is reached, the submission phase will close if it occurs before April 28.

It boggles the mind to think that there could be anywhere close to 10,000 artists with portfolios who would be interested in designing a coin.

Let’s find out.

However many submissions the Mint receives, they all will be evaluated by an expert jury comprised of members of the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

This jury will winnow the field to 20 artists who will then be asked to participate in the second phase.

These capable 20 will be asked to submit designs for the obverse and reverse of the new coin.

They will be paid $1,000 each and will be required to send in plaster models of their proposed designs.

A winner will be selected from these submissions and the artist can take home the 10 grand.

As pleasant as the thought of $10,000 might be for the winner, I expect the fact that the artist’s initials will appear on the coin will mean more.

Naturally it will take a while for this process to unfold. We collectors will have to wait until January of 2017 to learn of who wins and see the designs for the two sides of the coin.

The silver dollar will be issued in 2018, which is the 100th anniversary of the Nov. 11 armistice that ended the conflict.

The silver dollar will be meaningful to the descendents of World War I veterans. A good design will increase its significance.

I wonder what my two grandfathers would have thought of this new coin. They were both part of the American army that would not come back until it was over, over there.

Artists can find the full rules at the Mint's website.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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