Frank Gasparro’s proposed Flowing Hair Liberty design for a small dollar coin was close to being made for circulation, before the Anthony dollar was issued instead.
Forty years after the Liberty design was proposed, the Royal Oak Mint, in conjunction with error coin specialist and dealer Ken Potter, has overstruck the design on actual Anthony dollars.
The 2017 overstrikes on 1979 Anthony dollars are limited to 200 pieces. According to the private mint, they are an exact-size faithful reproduction of the proposed design that was created to replace the rarely used and unwieldy large Eisenhower dollar.
Each coin will be unique in that subtle hints of the host coin's original design will show to slightly different degrees on each piece.
Gasparro’s design materials are now held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, donated by Gasparro’s daughter in 2009.
Within that collection appears a newspaper clipping of a fashion model wearing an Albert Nipon designer suit. With the quick stroke of a pen, Gasparro turned the model’s profile into the portrait of a Flowing Hair Liberty, which progressed into a final sketch for the coin’s obverse.
His reverse design sketches reveal several variations of an eagle in flight, bursting through the rays of the sun in the background, complete with 13 stars symbolizing the original colonies. The design is titled “The Coming of a New Dawn,” according to Coin World’s Comprehensive Catalog & Encyclopedia of United States Coins.
The soaring eagle is “vaguely reminiscent of the one on the Saint-Gaudens double eagle type, although flying over a mountain sunrise,” according to the Catalog.
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