With little discussion, the Citizens Coinage Advisory committee,
meeting Oct. 25 via teleconference, approved proposed designs for a
congressional gold medal authorized to recognize former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole.
The single obverse and single reverse designs considered were Dole’s
preferred choices, according to the former senator’s special
assistant, Petrina Pyle.
The only question brought up during the short discussion came from
CCAC member Jeanne Stevens-Sollman, who inquired about the use of the
font for the lettering on the obverse and reverse inscriptions.
Sollman-Stevens is an artist from Pennsylvania.
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U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph F. Menna, addressing CCAC
members by speakerphone from the Philadelphia Mint, said use of a font
other than the one selected would affect the kerning or spacing
between letters and the spacing of words and size of the lettering on
both sides of the medal, and not work well.
Dole’s medal is authorized by Public Law 115-60 to recognize Dole
“for his service to the nation as a soldier, legislator, and statesman.”
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Dole was seriously wounded from German machine-gun fire in April
1945 during combat in Italy as an officer with the U.S. Army’s 10th
Mountain Division. Dole was left with limited mobility in his right
arm. Dole was decorated three times, receiving two Purple Hearts for
his injuries, and awarded the Bronze Star with combat “V” for valor
for his attempt to assist a downed radioman.
Dole represented Kansas in Congress from 1961 to 1996 and served as
the Republican leader of the United States Senate from 1985 until
1996. He was the Republican presidential nominee in the 1996
presidential election and the party’s vice presidential nominee in the
1976 presidential election.
The proposed obverse features a portrait of Bob Dole with the
Capitol in the background. Inscriptions are SON OF KANSAS, SOLDIER,
STATESMAN, and BOB DOLE.
The proposed reverse depicts a Kansas wheat field below a quote, in
eight lines, from Sen. Dole: FOR / GREATNESS LIES NOT / IN WHAT OFFICE
YOU HOLD, / BUT IN HOW HONEST YOU ARE, / IN HOW YOU FACE ADVERSITY, /
AND IN YOUR WILLINGNESS / TO STAND FAST IN HARD / PLACES. The
inscription ACT OF CONGRESS 2017 is inscribed along the bottom border.
American Legion coins
The coin and medal review panel also discussed design concepts for
the 2019 American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program.
The American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act, Public
Law 115-65, calls for the production and release in Proof and
Uncirculated versions combined, of up to 50,000 gold $5 half eagles,
400,000 silver dollars and 750,000 copper-nickel-clad half dollars.
The House passed H.R. 2519 on Sept. 25, with the Senate approving
the bill on Sept. 28. President Trump signed the measure on Oct. 6.
The measure was the first commemorative coin bill passed by the
CCAC members concurred that while the silver dollar will be the
signature coin because it offers the largest design canvas, the panel
agreed that the designs for all three denominations should be superior
to appeal to a wide audience.
Verna Jones, executive director of the American Legion, said it is
important that the proposed designs tell the story of the American Legion.
Among the ideals recommended to consider when the artists develop
the designs are the organization’s four pillars — Youth, Veterans,
Americanism and Defense — along with its motto, “For God and Country.”
CCAC member Robert Hoge, an expert in numismatic curation, said the
gold coin could incorporate Americanism and Youth through the American
flag; the silver dollar to represent the “Silver Warriors” or
Veterans; and the copper-nickel clad half dollar, representing armor,
could reflect Defense.
CCAC member Erik Jansen, while not recommending abandonment of the
American Legion’s pillars, advised that “the art has to appeal to
“It shouldn’t be a collage with negative space and not look like a
military medal,” Jansen said, “The American Legion is about healing,
not about fighting battles.”
The CCAC’s historian member, Herman Viola, echoed Jansen’s sentiment.
“Don’t fall into the trap of making these a military coin,” he said.
Jansen also noted the likelihood that some designs submitted for one
denomination may be favored by the panel for another as it has done
with some previous coin programs.
Another CCAC member said the artists should consider the concept of
incorporating the pillars separately with a fragment of the American
flag, either on obverse or reverse, that when placed together would
unite the multiple designs into a single motif.
Pennsylvania collector Thomas Uram, CCAC member, president of the
Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists and a member of the American
Numismatic Association Board of Governors, noted that “God and Our
Country” had been considered at one time to be added to U.S. coinage
before “In God We Trust” was selected.
Further, Uram recommended the possibility of considering the strong
shield from the obverse of the 2-cent coin introduced in 1864 with the
motto as a possible design.
CCAC member Michael Moran suggested that the complexity of designs
for each denomination should be based on the diameter, with the gold
being the simplest and the silver dollar the more complex.
“You know there will be sales from your membership,” Moran told
American Legions representatives, adding, “You’ll [also] need the