Proposed obverse and reverse designs for a congressional gold medal honoring Israel’s outgoing president, Shimon Peres, were recommended by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee during a 15-minute telephone meeting June 2.
The recommendations were made in anticipation of President Obama signing the authorizing legislation into law.
H.R. 2939 was forwarded May 30 to the president for his signature. President Obama signed the bill into law on June 9, a week after the CCAC considered the proposed designs.
The same designs recommended by the CCAC were recommended separately June 2 by the Commission of Fine Arts in a telephone poll of its members, according to the CFA’s executive director, Thomas Luebke.
The review and recommendation process was accelerated to meet a deadline to present the finished medal to Peres before the end of June.
The congressional gold medal is in honor of Peres’ maintenance of strong bilateral relations between Israel and the United States, beginning in the days of President John F. Kennedy when Peres served as Israel’s deputy defense minister.
Peres has served as Israel’s president since July 15, 2007. Peres also has served as Israel’s prime minister three separate times, as well as serving stints as minister of foreign affairs, minister of defense, minister of finance, and minister of transportation.
H.R. 2939, approved by the House on May 19, was introduced Aug. 1, 2013, by Rep. Joseph Kennedy, D-Mass. The measure passed the Senate on May 20 and was forwarded to the president.
The CCAC reviewed one proposed obverse design and two versions of a proposed reverse design.
The sole obverse depicts Peres, 90, in a suit, superimposed over a flag of Israel. Peres’ staff recommends that the stripes in the flag be reduced in size because, as preliminarily depicted, they are too thick in relationship to the Star of David. The obverse was designed and is being sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donald Everhart II.