The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee voted
to reject all three proposed designs for the planned 2013 Oliver
Hazard Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial quarter dollar
after it deadlocked on how to revise one design featuring a statue of
the American naval hero and an Ohio peace memorial marking the Battle
of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.
Meeting in Washington on Nov. 29, the
committee initially could muster only seven votes in favor of one of
the three proposed designs for the Ohio coin. That was four votes
short of the 11 votes needed for a favorable recommendation to
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. The panel then voted 4 to 3 to
reject all designs for the Ohio coin.
The CCAC’s vote to reject the designs leaves
the next move up to Richard A. Peterson, the Mint’s deputy director.
He must decide whether to press ahead with the two panels’ suggestions
that the U.S. Mint’s three proposed designs are seriously flawed or
request that artists provide additional designs for consideration.
The Commission of Fine Arts also declined to
back any of the designs.
Two of the three proposed designs for the Ohio
coin, featuring the flags of the United States, Canada and Great
Britain, were rejected by the CCAC on the grounds that they fail to
show deference to the U.S. flag.
Ohio quarter dollar discussion
“Let’s establish this. You blew it on this
one,” Donald Scarinci, a New Jersey lawyer and medals specialist,
complained as the panel discussed the three proposed designs for the
Perry’s Victory coins. “This is a part of the U.S. Mint’s past.
“There is nothing artistic here. Nobody could
think anything is good here,” he said.
CCAC chair Gary Marks, city administrator of
Ketchum, Idaho, said he did not approve of having a foreign flag on a
U.S. coin and two of the designs for the Perry coin have the flags of
Canada and Great Britain on them. “It’s going to be a problem,” he warned.
But Mike Moran of Colorado, the committee’s
newest member, said he had visited the Ohio site and found “there’s
not a lot there. You did as well as you could.”
The third design shows a statue of Perry, the
American naval hero, inside the visitors center and the 352-foot-high
Doric column outside a glass window. But CCAC members complained that
the design makes it appear as if Perry is trapped in a jail cell with
the towering Peace Memorial barely visible through the windowpanes.
The committee at first appeared likely to vote
for removal of the windowpanes from the design and moving the monument
into clear view. But that move failed to gain backing.
The Perry impasse was the highlight of a
daylong CCAC meeting that saw the panel make recommendations to
Geithner on multiple coin programs.
It also recommended three new coin programs to
Congress, suggesting a commemorative silver dollar in 2015 to mark the
150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment, and two coin programs in
2016, one an eight-coin half dollar series to celebrate the
cross-country Route 66 highway, and a silver dollar and a
copper-nickel clad half dollar to mark the 150th anniversary of the
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
America the Beautiful quarters
For the 2013 America the Beautiful quarter
dollar series, the panel supported a design showing an image of the
3,490-foot-high Mount Chocorua in the White Mountain National Forest
in New Hampshire. It drew the 11 points out of a possible 21 to
qualify as endorsed by the panel. The Commission of Fine Arts backed a
design showing a grove of white birch trees, a design that a CCAC
member said is “too busy.”
A design showing a gnarled bristlecone pine,
one of the oldest trees in North America, from the Great Basin
National Park in Nevada, won overwhelming support from the committee.
It drew 17 of a possible 21 points. The CFA also endorsed this design.
A design showing an aerial view of the four
presidents on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial won the panel’s
endorsement for the quarter dollar to celebrate that South Dakota
site. The CFA backed a design showing workers sculpturing the large statues.
Four designs for the Fort McHenry National
Monument and Historic Shrine quarter dollar in Baltimore Harbor drew
tepid support and no formal endorsement, though enough for the panel
to say it preferred a design showing a fife and drummer parading in
front of a Star-Spangled Banner flag during a reenactment of the War
of 1812. That design drew only eight of a possible 21 votes.
The Commission of Fine Arts also did not
recommend a design for the Maryland quarter dollar.
First Spouse coins
The committee also recommended designs for the
2012 First Spouse bullion coins, which includes a coin for suffragist
Congress inserted her into the First Spouse
coin program since President Chester Arthur, who is being honored with
a coin in the Presidential dollar series next year served without a wife.
The committee recommended a portrait of a
serious Paul for the obverse, giving that design 16 out of 21 points
under the voting system that allows members to give up to three points
for a design they like.
For the reverse, the panel recommended an
image of a lone suffragist marching with an American flag and a ribbon
proclaiming VOTES FOR WOMEN.
Frances Cleveland, wife of President Grover
Cleveland, gets two coins in the series because her husband was the
only president to serve two unconnected terms.
For the first coin, the committee urged an
image of the president’s young wife with her trademark hairstyle and a
slightly cocked head. That design drew 16 of a possible 21 votes. For
the reverse of the first coin, the CCAC recommended a view of her
greeting three women at her Saturday White House gatherings. The panel
urged that the hair styles of all four women be changed to the style
Cleveland popularized, which was described as “fringe hair at the nape
of the neck.”
For the second term at the White House, the
panel recommended an image of slightly older Frances Cleveland. This
design drew 19 of a possible 21 points. For the reverse of the second
coin, the committee backed a design showing her addressing a rally
from the rear of a train car as her husband looked on.
For Caroline Harrison, wife of Benjamin
Harrison, the committee urged an obverse showing her with a head-on
view. It drew 15 points. For the reverse of the Harrison coin the
panel recommended a design showing her handiwork as a painter of fine
china. Instead of the orchids that were proposed for that design by
the Mint, the panel recommended a flower plate actually painted by
Harrison and located by Heidi Wastweet, a sculptor who is on the committee.
American Eagle platinum coin
The panel also urged that the reverse design
for the Proof 2012 American Eagle platinum coin, one of the most
expensive coins sold by the Mint, feature a Minuteman holding a book
and rifle against an American flag. This design drew 13 of a possible
The Commission of Fine Arts, which also
reviews coin designs, recommended a design showing a federal shield
for this coin. That will give the Treasury secretary a marked
difference in recommended designs.
The CCAC’s next likely meeting will be in
February, the committee was told.