US Coins

Commission of Fine Arts recommends 2016 quarter dollar designs

It took Commission of Fine Arts members about an hour at their Sept. 18 meeting to recommend designs for 13 coins and one congressional gold medal from more than 200 proposed designs.

With little debate, the five commission members largely followed the recommendations of officials governing the sites for the five 2016 quarter dollars in the America the Beautiful series.

The panel members also reviewed designs for the six First Spouse gold $10 coins that will end that series in 2016. Coverage of those designs appears at Coin World online

Perhaps because the coins were the last item on what had been a tiresome agenda, the five commission members who remained to discuss coin and medal designs did not appear anxious to engage in a prolonged discussion for any of the programs.

The five coins in the quarter dollar series were the only circulating coins the panel reviewed.

For the Shawnee National Forest (Illinois) quarter dollar, the panel recommends an aerial view of the site’s famous Camel Rock formation. It is also recommended as the preferred design by Forestry Service officials.

For the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (Kentucky) quarter dollar, the commission’s  pick is the second choice of National Park Service officials — a white-tailed deer in front of the gap that was one of the gateways to the west for early settlers. The commission urges that the deer be made smaller so the gap appears larger.

For the Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park (West Virginia) quarter dollar, the commission endorses a view of the tiny mountain town along the Potomac River. This, too, was a recommendation of the park officials there.

For the Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota) coin, the commission accepts a design showing the future president on horseback with the parkland in the background. Architect Alex Krieger noted that it is a design just like the images of Roosevelt shown recently in a Public Broadcasting System documentary series.

For the Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument, South Carolina) quarter dollar, the panel recommends a design showing a Revolutionary War battle at Fort Moultrie, where Sgt. William Jasper led a fight against an invading fleet of British ships trying to capture Charleston.

Platinum and gold

The commission also endorses the idea of using images of eagles on the reverse of the American Eagle platinum coin program in 2015 and 2016, recommending two designs.

The recommended reverse for the 2015 Proof American Eagle platinum coin depicts a bald eagle grasping an olive branch of peace in its talons, its wings outstretched to represent the boundless spirit of freedom. A circle of 13 stars for the original 13 Colonies appears above.

The recommended 2016 reverse reflects an American bald eagle in heraldic tradition with the olive branch of peace in its right talon and 13 arrows in its left symbolizing strength and the ability to protect.

For a congressional gold medal to honor the World War II members of the Civil Air Patrol, the panel endorses an obverse showing a propeller, a male and a female pilot, a mechanic working on a small plane and a plane flying over a tanker ship at sea.

For the reverse of the medal, the CFA recommends a design depicting a partial laurel wreath representing honor and service, surrounding the CAP insignias.

All of the designs, for the congressional gold medal and all 2015 and 2016 programs, considered by the CFA will also be reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee during meetings Sept. 23 and 24 in Washington.

The CCAC and the CFA recommendations will be presented to the secretary of the Treasury, who has final approval on which designs will be adopted. 

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