Two citizens committees have differing opinions on which designs should be used for medals that will honor former British prime Minister Tony Blair, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson and U.S. Mint Director Edmund Moy.
The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee recommended designs for the Paulson and Blair medals as they were presented, according to CCAC chairman Mitch Sanders. The committee met Nov. 24 in West Point, N.Y.
For Moy’s medal, it recommended obverse 01A and Reverse 03, which features an image of Excellence.
The Commission of Fine Arts was not as accommodating when it met Nov. 20.
“The commission members expressed dissatisfaction with the design of the medal honoring Mr. Blair and requested that it be revised and resubmitted, commenting that his likeness on the proposed obverse is awkward and does not convey his vitality,” wrote commission secretary Thomas Luebke in a letter to Moy.
The medal image for Blair is a direct adaptation of a photograph, Luebke notes, rather than numismatic sculpture.
As for the reverse, the commission members would like to see the clasped hands deleted and the quotation adjusted accordingly.
It also recommended revisions to the Paulson medal. While it approved of the obverse image of Paulson, the reverse was thought to be cluttered, recommending removal of the falcon and either the Treasury building or seals for a clearer treatment.
The commission commended the “dynamic and bold character” of the image of Moy on the obverse, preferring design 01C due to the smaller amount of text and larger lettering, Luebke said.
For the reverse, the commission recommended a design containing the single torch in alternative 01B, although it would like to see the Latin text removed and replaced with the title “38th Director of the U.S. Mint.”
As for the overall design process, Luebke noted that the commission is concerned that “the development of the government’s medals relies excessively on the preferences of the honoree and does not take full advantage of the mandated design and review process.
“As federal issue, commemorative medals produced by the mint should exemplify the highest quality of artistry; their design is the responsibility of the government, not of the recipient,” he wrote.
The CCAC and CFA act in an advisory capacity making recommendations to the Secretary of the Treasury, who chooses all coin and medal designs within parameters established by Congress.