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Native American series adds two

Designs for the reverses of 2015 and 2016 Native American $1 coins were endorsed when the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee met March 10.

Designs for the reverses of 2015 and 2016 Native American $1 coins were endorsed when the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee met March 10.


The 2015 coin honors the Mohawk Ironworkers and the 2016 coin honors the Code Talkers.

The obverse for all Native American $1 coins minted since their introduction in 2000 is the Glenna Goodacre portrait of Sacagawea and her infant son.

With 21 designs to choose from for the 2015 coin, the CCAC ultimately focused on two designs depicting ironworkers at work on skyscrapers.

The design chosen depicts a Mohawk ironworker reaching for an I-beam that is swinging into position. The artist stated that the design attempts to “portray the sense of height by either looking up at the figure or looking down at the city below.” The design also includes the inscription “Mohawk Iron Workers.”

A close contender was a design that depicts a Mohawk iron worker walking confidently on an I-beam as he surveys his work. The background portrays a stylized city skyline.

Marks said the design the committee chose for the 2016 coin honoring the Code Talkers is artistically different from any of the designs chosen for the medal series that honored the Code Talkers who used their Native-American languages as a basis to transmit coded messages during war.

The CCAC chose a design that features two helmets and dates of World War I and World War II. Two feathers form a “V,” symbolizing victory, unity and the important role that Code Talkers played in the overall victory of both wars.

Marks said the CCAC asked that the inscriptions “1917” and “1945” be changed to WWI and WWII instead because the work of the Code Talkers is associated more with the two wars than with two specific dates.

On March 11, the CCAC endorsed designs for the First Special Service Force Congressional Gold Medal.

The First Special Service Force was an elite American-Canadian commando force organized in 1942 that fought in Italy, France and the Aleutian Islands.

Marks said the CCAC endorsed designs preferred by the Special Service Force association, noting that they were the best ones. There were 18 obverse and 21 reverse designs presented.

The obverse design endorsed features a profile view of a soldier in combat in Arctic conditions as a reference to the Force’s winter warfare.

The preferred reverse design 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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