US Coins

CCAC recommends Mark Twain coin designs for 2016

The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee recommended designs March 5 for the 2016 Mark Twain gold $5 half eagle and silver dollar.

The design recommended for the silver dollar's reverse was originally submitted for the panel's consideration as an obverse.

The CCAC’s meeting was held in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association National Money Show in Portland.

The CCAC’s 11 members were provided with 59 candidate designs to consider — 28 for the gold $5 coin, 16 obverse and 12 reverse, and 31 proposed silver dollar designs, 17 obverse and 14 reverse.

SEE THEM ALL: Part 1: Gold obverses — Part 2: Gold reverses — Part 3: Silver obverses — Part 4: Silver reverses

Many of the designs feature portraits of Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, in various stages of his life. Other elements featured prominently in some designs are the paddle wheel riverboats that often graced the landscape of the Mississippi River.

Other elements incorporated into several designs were characters made famous in some of Twain’s most well-known writings.

For the obverse of the gold $5 coin, the CCAC recommended a three-quarter right facing portrait of Mark Twain with bushy hair, eyebrows and mustache with date 2016 along with LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST.

The recommended reverse for the gold coin feature a paddle-wheel steamboat traveling down the river away from the viewer.

For the silver dollar, the CCAC’s design recommendation for the obverse features a three-quarter left facing portrait of Twain holding a pipe, smoke from the pipe wisping as though water extending into the field under Huck Finn and Jim on a raft silhouetted against the sun on the horizon.

For the reverse, the CCAC recommended a design that was submitted to the panel for consideration as an obverse. The design features an assortment of characters leaping to life from Mark Twain’s works: the knight and horse from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; the frog from "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," and the figures of Huck Finn and Jim from Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

The CCAC recommended the U.S. Mint modify the design to avoid duplication of inscriptions between obverse and reverse, and replace the date on the reverse with a facsimile of the author's signature as Mark Twain.

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