The committee assigned 25 points out of a possible 27 points to the design showing the submerged turtle.
Committee members may assign up to three points for each design they like under a voting plan that shows the relative strength of the various coin designs.
A design showing a canoeist paddling down the river with cliffs in the background was the committee’s second choice, drawing 13 points.
The CCAC’s delight with the Ozark designs, however, did not deter the panel from rejecting all the U.S. Mint’s 14 proposed designs for the Effigy Mounds National Monument quarter dollar in Iowa or the eight for New Jersey’s Ellis Island, part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.
The panel sent designs for both those coins back to the artists for another try, saying they fail to clearly display the massive, mysterious mounds along the Mississippi River or correctly portray the historic role of Ellis Island, the gateway for millions of immigrants to the U.S.
“Being from New Jersey, I can’t let this stand,” said Scarinci, who pressed for the Ellis Island coins to be redesigned.
He convinced the panel that the designs can be more dramatic, displaying the critical role that the island played in the lives of immigrants.
“I don’t think we got it by far,” said the lawyer.
Wastweet pushed against the U.S. Mint’s suggested designs for the Iowa mounds, saying they were “very difficult for the artists.”