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High relief at low price = silver medal

This past April the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee asked the U.S. Mint to consider implementation of a national arts medal program.

Now, it is going to offer a framework of what that program would look like.

CCAC Chairman Gary Marks asked for five committee volunteers to serve with him as a working group to draft a resolution to present to the entire CCAC in September. Once adopted, that resolution would be sent to the Mint.

The U.S. Mint’s plan to produce a silver medal in conjunction with a gold Ultra High Relief coin in 2015 makes this an opportune time to begin the arts medal program, Marks said.

The idea behind an arts medal program is to open doors for different techniques and design options that aren’t typically available when artists must follow all of the requirements put forth in coin authorizing legislation, Marks said.

The goal is to encourage artistic expression, he said.

Marks shared with the committee when it met July 22 has his own vision of what an arts medal program might look like.

It would have two facets, with two medals offered each year. The first would be an American Liberty silver medal program. The second would be freestyle.

The American Liberty program would allow the Mint and its artists to produce new and modern images of Liberty in medal form, he said. The silver medal would be proof quality. It would be a series with a new Liberty and reverse offered each year.

The freestyle element would be featured on the second medal of the year, he said. It would be an American theme, but the artist would not be encumbered by required inscriptions.

“The artist would be free to render images and artwork out of their own imagination and their own souls,” Mark said.

He envisions the medals to be composed of gold silver or bronze. The Mint would vet the designs and present a portfolio of finalists to the committee, Marks said.

“A medals program such as this, finally, we can have the freedom to let the art come forward. Let the artists express themselves,” Marks said.

“As for the Liberty program; finally liberty will be liberated.