The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) met March 10-11 to consider designs for the 2020 Barbara Bush gold coin and bronze medal and for the four 2021 American Innovation dollar coins scheduled to be released in 2021.
The committee met via teleconference instead of in-person as a precaution in light of the coronavirus.
The first day’s session centered on candidate designs for the Barbara Bush coin and medal. After much discussion among CCAC members, the committee’s final vote for obverse and reverse designs fell in line with those indicated as preferences of the Bush family.
Day two’s agenda focused on reverse designs for the 2021 American Innovation dollar coins honoring the states of New Hampshire, Virginia, New York and North Carolina.
The New Hampshire coin will honor Ralph Baer, inventor of the in-home video game system.
The CCAC’s recommended design depicts Ralph Baer’s “brown box” game, Handball, on the right side of the coin. The left side of the coin features “New Hampshire” and “Player 1” on an incused background. “In Home Video Game System” encircles the outside of the coin in a text that is meant to pay homage to Baer’s Odyssey game. The design of the coin is also symbolic of an arcade token.
For the Virginia dollar, the CCAC preferred the design commemorating the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, a first-of-its-kind bridge tunnel complex that has been recognized as an engineering marvel of the modern world.
The chosen design depicts a view of the tunnel as a cross-section cut-away, illustrating the ingenuity involved in constructing it.
Out of several possible themes for the New York Innovation dollar, the CCAC settled on a design marking the Erie Canal, a waterway that opened the way from the Atlantic Seaboard to the North American interior and helped establish New York as a leader in population, industry, and wealth for much of the 19th century. It also played a critical role in the development of the state and the nation.
CCAC’s recommended design depicts a packet boat being pulled from a city in the East toward the country areas to the West.
The subject of the Innovation dollar for North Carolina is higher education. The state has a long tradition of innovation in creating opportunities for higher education for all. The University of North Carolina became the first public university to formally open when it convened classes in 1795. Founded in 1865, Shaw University is the oldest historically black institution of higher learning in the south, and less than a year later, it accepted its first female class.
The committee reviewed the candidate designs but ultimately decided that none merited recommendation. It asked the Mint to obtain new designs for consideration.