US Coins

American Innovation dollar designs for 2023 undergo CCAC review

The CCAC’s pick among proposed reverse designs for the 2023 American Innovation, Ohio dollar reflects the state’s involvement with the Underground Railroad before and during the American Civil War.

Images courtesy of United States Mint.

Proposed reverse designs for the 2023 American Innovation dollars for Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana and Mississippi were recommended May 18 by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

The Commission of Fine Arts was slated to review the same designs at its May 20 meeting.

The governors of the four states represented in 2023 were asked to propose from one to three design concepts, and those concepts were reviewed for approval by the  Treasury secretary’s office. Members of the U.S. Mint’s engraving staff and outside artists then created designs based on the approved concept proposals.

The CCAC and CFA are not required to choose a concept theme and then select a design from that theme; instead, they can simply recommend the design they believe will create the best coin, according to the Mint.

Governors who feel strongly about a particular theme may choose to submit only one concept theme; others choose to highlight the variety of innovations or innovators tied to their state, according to the Mint.

Ohio

The 17 proposed designs for the Ohio dollar are thematic of either the Underground Railroad or the Invention of Human Flight.

The CCAC’s recommended design is from the Underground Railroad theme.

The design depicts “two strong hands grasped together, the upper arm pulling the lower arm upward, representing the support and strength required by both parties on the Underground Railroad,” according to the U.S. Mint narrative. “A chain fastened to a rustic shackle around the lower arm’s wrist snaps and fragments, alluding to the hope of freedom. The additional inscription is UNDERGROUND RAILROAD.”

Louisiana

The 15 submitted Louisiana dollar designs are thematic of jazz music or the Higgins Boat, a type of landing craft that saw extensive use during World War II.

The CCAC’s design recommendation features a central inscription of the word JAZZ, stylized with wrought iron work that is so often seen in the architecture of many businesses and homes in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

“The many twists, turns, and flourishes of wrought iron mimic the qualities that make jazz music unique,” according to the Mint’s design narrative.

Congo Square in New Orleans is thought to be where jazz music got its start.

Indiana

The dozen designs contributed for the Indiana dollar are represent the automotive industry.

The CCAC’s recommendation showcases several of the innovations that Indiana companies and inventors contributed to the automobile industry.

A gas pump and speedometer are seen across the top half of the design. Across the bottom, a race car speeds by on a stylized road and references the advancements made in motorsports. The additional inscription is AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY.

Mississippi

The 14 proposed Mississippi reverse designs reflect Delta Blues music or the first human lung transplant.

The design recommended features an abstract view of an older man playing a resonator guitar. “This guitar was adapted by blues musicians in the 1920s and is still used today, just as the culture and tradition pass to each new generation, according to the Mint’s narrative. “The wave pattern in the lower right evokes the waters of the Mississippi River.”

Designs approved by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will be paired with the common Statue of Liberty obverse for the series.

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