A proposed design submitted at the last minute to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee for the 2017 Ellis Island National Monument quarter dollar ultimately received the committee's recommendation Feb. 16.
The design was added the day of the CCAC meeting to the 15 other designs previously submitted from the U.S. Mint's engraving staff and Artistic Infusion Program artists.
The CCAC also recommended a design from among 27 designs the advisory panel scrutinized for the Effigy Mounds National Monument quarter dollar.
Check out all of the proposed designs: Ellis Island | Effigy Mounds
The proposed designs reviewed for both 2017 quarter dollars were a combination of previously submitted designs the CCAC rejected in October and new ones as the panel requested.
The Feb. 16 CCAC meeting was the first for the two newest members selected to serve four-year terms: Steve Roach, editor-at-large for Coin World, and Dennis Tucker, publisher for Whitman Publishing Company.
The recommended design for the reverse of the Ellis Island National Monument features an immigrant family — a man, his wife and their son on the pier with the Hospital Building in the background. The youth, with a smile on his face, carries a small American flag in his right hand.
The CCAC members that favored this design stressed the importance of the inclusion of the flag as a universal symbol of the immigration experience. CCAC artist member Heidi Wastweet was convincing in her remarks to fellow panel members that the design offered the best use of negative space with a balanced designs translating the history of Ellis Island.
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Wastweet said the composition of the three human figures connect the buildings to the history. She said the design will not only work well with the circulating quarter canvas (24.26 millimeters in diamater), but also the 3-inch silver bullion and Uncirculated collector versions.
Ellis Island National Monument officials did not submit a new favored design from the second review, sticking with their preference for a design depicting a family of four — father, mother, son and daughter — on a pier looking off in the distance presumably toward the country from whence they came. The daughter is perched on her father's shoulders, with an American flag extended in her outstretched right arm.