An eagle design originally considered for the reverse of the 2015 U.S. Marshals Service gold $5 half eagle is recommended, with modifications, to replace the familiar Heraldic Eagle design of John Mercanti currently on the reverse of all versions of the silver American Eagles.
Jansen represents the interests of the public.
CCAC member Thomas Uram, who is also president of the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists, pushed unsuccessfully to have any recommended silver American Eagle reverse design change restricted solely to the Proof version, leaving former U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver John Mercanti’s Heraldic Eagle design intact on the bullion version.
The Heraldic Eagle design by Mercanti has appeared on the reverse of all versions of American Eagle silver dollars since November 1986. Mercanti retired with the title of chief engraver on Dec. 30, 2010.
Any recommended change would apply to all versions of silver American Eagles, according to CCAC Chairman Gary Marks. Any new reverse design would be paired with sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s Walking Liberty design, introduced in 1986 on silver American Eagles, but first used on the Walking Liberty half dollars from 1916 to 1947.
Mercanti, who was contacted via email by Coin World after the CCAC’s April 8 telephone meeting, said, “I recommend they keep the bullion for the long-term collectors who have been collecting for years and start a parallel program, Eagles of the World.”
Mercanti did not listen in or participate in the CCAC’s telephone meeting.
In addition to 10 CCAC members participating, U.S. Mint production and design support staff were also listening in.
A representative from Coin World and journalists representing four other numismatic entities were also afforded the opportunity to listen to the public proceedings, but were not permitted to ask questions during the session.
The topic of recommending a change for the silver American Eagle has been published in the last three editions of the CCAC’s annual report, Marks noted.