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Dollar dialog sways choice

World War II Commemorative CoinA “healthy dialog” with U.S. Mint staff took place before the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee  endorsed designs for a silver dollar coin and Congressional gold medal.

And that’s exactly what the CCAC was hoping for when it submitted its report on excellence in U.S. coin design at the end of last year.

“Having Don Everhart, U.S. Mint chief engraver attend and speak adds a lot to the deliberations,” CCAC member Donald Scarinci tweeted from the May 25 meeting. “Mint didn’t encourage this before CCAC report!”

The CCAC endorsed the same obverse and reverse designs as the Commission of Fine Arts did for the Congressional gold medal honoring the three groups of Japanese American soldiers who served as part of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service during World War II.

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Scarinci said it felt like being part of living history to hear one of the groups’ members address the committee about which designs they preferred. The chosen designs were among them.

“Hearing it from one of America’s heroes was very exciting,” Scarinci said.

The CCAC differed from the CFA in its design selections for the silver dollar commemorating the United States Infantry, preferring obverse design No. 5 featuring three infantrymen moving forward and reverse design No. 1 featuring a wreath and one muzzle-loading rifle.

The Mint will issue no more than 350,000 of the 2012 silver dollar coins that honor the Infantry. A $10 surcharge on each coin will go for support of the National Infantry museum and Soldier Center in Columbus, Ga.
In other action, CCAC Chairman Gary Marks was reappointed to a four-year term on the CCAC and as chairman for another year and Eric Jansen was sworn in as a new member. CCAC member Rick Meir, who attended his final meeting, received the CCAC Service award.

Scarinci said he was pleased with the tone of the meeting and the participation of all involved.

“It appears that things are being done differently in a very positive way,” he said. “In the last year, engravers and designers attended some meetings but were never let to speak on their own. Don was a very helpful participant in the meeting.”

Selecting designs for U.S. coinage is a complicated process, Scarinci said, with many stakeholders. Hence the need for full discussion.

“That is happening now with less rigidity in the process,” Scarinci said.

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