Insights

U.S. Marshals Service designs offer a daunting challenge

Designers, CCAC deal with legislative requirements for 2015 coins
By Bill McAllister - Special to Coin World
Published : 03/14/14
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➤ Half eagle reverse — An eagle with a U.S. Marshal shield on its breast and a draped flag resting across the eagle’s right wing. Near the eagle’s left talons, a scroll carries the words: “E Pluribus Unum.” The design also carries the wording “Justice Integrity Service” along the rim. 

➤ Silver dollar obverse — A five-pointed U.S. Marshal badge with silhouettes of western Marshals Service law officers riding across the bottom of the badge, with the words “In God We Trust” below, and the year 2015. 

➤ Silver dollar reverse — An image of a gritty marshal of the old West, clutching a “Wanted” poster and surrounded by the words “Justice Integrity Service” in an olden type face. )

➤ Copper-nickel clad half dollar obverse — A present-day female marshal in the foreground, wearing an armored vest, and an Old West marshal with horse and gun in the background. The panel voted to urge the image of the woman be increased and her facial expression made stronger. 

➤ Copper-nickel clad half dollar reverse — A collage showing symbols related to the U.S. Marshals Service: a badge resting on a copy of the Constitution, an 18th century whiskey jug (for the service’s role in the 1794 Whiskey Rebellion), railroad tracks (to invoke its role in the 1894 Pullman strike), schoolbooks (to show its role in ending school segregation). The panel recommends that a pair of handcuffs be removed from the design after one member said they would be seen as a symbol of slavery. 

Among the provisions Womack placed in the commemorative coin law was one insuring that the first $5 million raised by surcharges on the coin would go to a U.S. Marshals Museum, to be located in his legislative district.

Gold medal designs

In its final action of a two-day meeting, the CCAC recommended two designs for a congressional gold medal to be awarded to the First Special Forces Unit, a joint American-Canadian unit that served in World War II.

For the obverse, the panel voted to show a soldier in an Arctic mountain scene with silhouettes of three soldiers climbing upward; a star and maple leaf are shown to illustrate the joint nature of the unit.

This design secured 18 points in committee voting and a design showing mountaineering, amphibious operations and a soldier in the foreground drew 15 points.

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