In a second email, Marks explained how he believes design changes have increased collector interest. He had been asked why he was suggesting a change for the world’s most popular silver bullion coin.
“It would be difficult for me to understand the minds of investors worldwide,” Marks said. “I believe investors are most interested in the reliability of the United States Mint to produce bullion coins that are true in terms of weight and purity, and a beautiful coin too!
“The annual design changes for platinum bullion coins does not seem to have been a problem for investors. And, we know from experience that a design change for a coin can spur increased collector interest in the coin by the established collectors and general public as well.
“The 50-States Quarters Program and the Westward Journey Nickels are good examples of how a design change can expand the hobby.”
The reverse design on the platinum eagle has changed annually on only the collector versions. Mercanti’s Heraldic Eagle reverse introduced in 1997 with his Statue of Liberty obverse for the platinum American Eagle has been used on the bullion version for every year it has been produced.
‘Not a done deal’
Jansen said the design recommendation should demonstrate what the country stands for, noting the recommendation to the Mint was “not a done deal.”
“This is an iconic product of the U.S. Mint,” Jansen said of the silver American Eagle. “Good designs have been passed over because they were not the best design at that time.”
Jansen had hoped the CCAC would recommend multiple designs to the Mint for consideration.
Michael Ross said the CCAC’s actions are “not the end of the process,” but “beginning a period of sacred review.” Ross supported a design using relief and strong details without sacrificing artistic intent for the sake of maximizing die life in production, which he said would be “tragic.”
Design sketch courtesy of U.S. Mint.