Congressional gold medal designs get CCAC nod
- Published: Jun 24, 2017, 4 AM
Faced with decisions June 21 on two congressional gold medals, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee followed the Commission of Fine Arts in endorsing designs promoted by backers of the medals that honor Filipino Veterans of World War II.
Both panels agree that the obverse of that medal should show a trio of warriors — a scout, infantryman and a guerrilla fighter — from that conflict.
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The reverse that both panels chose to recommend shows flags of the United States and the Philippines, the inscription DUTY TO COUNTRY, the names of major battle sites and the years 1941, 1945 and 1946.
The charm of the Morgan dollar, plus a look at the largest U.S. gold coin to circulate: Another column in the July 3 Coin World takes a look at the whimsical names of the $2 Federal Reserve note
The CCAC split with the CFA over how to honor the secretive Office of Strategic Services, which is also to receive a gold medal for the World War II exploits of its members.
Charles T. Pinck, president of the OSS Society, said his group “didn’t like” the CFA’s recommended obverse, which showed six OSS operatives at work. “It was a little dull,” he said.
What became clear in the exchanges between members of the CCAC and of the OSS Society is that they couldn’t agree on which of the other designs will work.
The CCAC members, after a series of votes, opted for a more abstract design.
Their preferred obverse shows a man and woman in shadowed profile “to evoke the clandestine missions of those behind enemy lines” against a globe. A parachutist is also shown against the globe.
For the reverse, the committee voted for a design showing a quote from OSS leader Maj. Gen. William J. Donovan.
His quotation, from his farewell address, says: “Only by Decisions of National Policy Based Upon Accurate Information Do We Have a Chance of a Peace That Will Endure.”
But instead retaining the parachutists in that design, the panel urges the Mint to place an OSS frogman on the reverse. The OSS frogmen are said to be the inspiration for Navy Seals.
Final decisions on all the designs for both coins and medals will be up to Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
New U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza, who oversees the Mint, attended the June 21 swearing-in ceremony for the CCAC’s newst member, former NBA basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Abdul-Jabbar was administered his oath by David Motl, the Mint’s acting principal deputy director.
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