Collectors got a first look at potential designs for the 2018 America the Beautiful quarters and Obama Presidential medals when the Commission of Fine Arts met June 16.
The first quarter design up for consideration was Michigan’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Thomas Luebke, secretary of the commission, said the group went with design MI-08, a design also selected by the site’s liaison. The design features Chapel Rock with a lone white pine tree on top.
The commission also discussed the merits of including people in the coin designs versus leaving them out. Five of the 12 designs submitted had people kayaking in the scene.
A similar discussion arose during review of the second design, that of Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The commission chose design WI-09 that depicts a kayaker going by the Devils Island sea caves. The site liaison also preferred this design.
When it came to Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park, the commission considered design MN-06 the “most compelling composition.” A loon drifting on a lake graces the center of the design with a rock formation in the background. The design has “beautifully rendered detail and will be a nice design on a coin the size of a quarter,” said Luebke.
The commission felt Georgia’s Cumberland Island National Seashore was best represented on design GA-06. The design shows a snowy egret stretching its wings, an action the commission felt added a dynamic quality.
The commission selected RI-02 for Rhode Island’s Block Island National Wildlife Refuge quarter. The design depicts a black-crowned night-heron in flight with a lighthouse in the background. The site liaison also agreed with the selected design.
Design RI-05 was briefly considered because of its bird’s-eye view of the lighthouse, but the commission went with RI-02 since they felt the lighthouse would be easier to depict.
The CFA also considered designs for President Obama’s first- and second-term Presidential medals.
For his first term, the commission chose design BO-T1-O-01 that shows Obama looking forward. It is a cropped version of the other submitted obverse design. A single reverse design, BO-T1-R-01, highlighting a quote from Obama’s first-term inauguration address, was submitted for review and accepted.
For the second-term medal, a single obverse design, BO-T2-O-01, featuring Obama’s portrait facing left, was partnered with reverse BO-T2-R-02. The reverse design features a quote from Obama’s 2015 speech at the 50th anniversary of the Selma Marches as well as a depiction of the White House.
The CFA’s design recommendations, along with those recommended by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee after its June 27 meeting, are forwarded to the Secretary of the Treasury for consideration.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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