U.S. Mint seeks public input for classic designs for 2026
- Published: Nov 9, 2023, 1 PM
The United States Mint launched a monthlong Numismatic Coin Reissue Survey online Nov. 3 seeking public input on which of 21 classic U.S. coin designs should be selected for reuse on coins in 2026 to celebrate the nation’s semiquincentennial.
The survey is linked from the bureau’s website at www.usmint.gov. Participants are asked to rate the designs on a 0 to 10 scale as to which designs they would prefer to see on 2026 semiquincentennial issues.
The list of 21 historic coins was developed by the Mint in consultation with the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and the curator of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Ellen Feingold, after considering artistic merit, historical significance and other factors.
The list of 21 coins span from the first issues struck after the Mint’s establishment by Congress in 1792 to the award-winning 2017 American Liberty, High Relief .9999 fine gold $100 coin.
Feedback from the survey will be presented to the CCAC and Commission of Fine Arts. With recommendations from both advisory panels, the Treasury secretary will make the final design selections.
The 21 coins whose designs will be considered are:
➤ 1878 Morgan, 8 Tail Feathers silver dollar, designed by Englishman George T. Morgan, who would become one of the most famous chief engravers of the United States Mint.
➤ 1792 Flowing Hair half disme, the silver coins that were the first minted in Philadelphia by the United States Mint. President George Washington called for their production and Thomas Jefferson distributed them.
➤ 1792 Birch cent, a copper cent pattern by Mint engraver Robert Birch was a proposal for U.S. coinage after President Washington rejected having his own portrait on the nation’s coins — a concept the chief executive considered to be too “monarchical.”
➤ 1909 Lincoln, V.D.B. cent, bearing sculptor Victor David Brenner’s portrait of the nation’s 16th president was introduced on the cent on 1909 along with the Wheat Ear reverse. Brenner’s initials V.D.B. appear on the reverse along the bottom border.
➤ 1907 Saint-Gaudens, High Relief gold $20 double eagle, struck after President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to execute what is known as the 1907 Saint-Gaudens, Roman Numerals, High Relief double eagle. Only 12,000 of the high relief gold coins were produced for release into general circulation. The obverse devices were adapted for use on the American Eagle gold bullion coins, first introduced in 1986.
➤ 1848 Coronet, CAL. gold $2.50 quarter eagle. This issue draws its impetus directly from the gold fields of the California Gold Rush, with 230 ounces of gold sent to Secretary of War William L. Marcy by California’s military governor, Col. R.B. Mason. The gold was turned over to the U.S. Mint and struck at the Philadelphia Mint into gold $2.50 quarter eagles. To distinguish them from the output of other quarter eagles at the production facility, CAL. was punched above the eagle’s head on the reverse while coins were in the die. In total, 1,379 of the CAL. quarter eagles were executed.
➤ 2017-W American Liberty, High Relief gold $100 coin. For the first time, Liberty is reflected on the obverse with a portrait illustrating a woman of color to represent the nation’s diversity.
➤ 1916 Standing Liberty quarter dollar. Sculptor Hermon A. MacNeil designed the coin illustrating Liberty in a flowing gown, with her right breast exposed, and a shield in her left hand. The design was modified in 1917 with the breast area covered in chain mail. In 2016, the U.S. Mint marked the centennial anniversary of the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter dollar with a coin bearing the designs struck in gold.
➤ 1987-W Constitution Bicentennial gold $5 coin. American artist Marcel Jovine contributed the adopted design showing a stylized rendering of an eagle holding a massive quill pen to symbolize the signing of the U.S. Constitution, the cornerstone document of the nation’s government.
➤ 1913 Liberty Head 5-cent coin. Five examples were clandestinely made the year after the series was intended to have closed. Three of the five coins are in collector hands and two are impounded in museums.
➤ 1986-W Statue of Liberty gold $5 coin, designed by the nation’s first and only female chief engraver of the United States Mint, Elizabeth Jones, to celebrate the centennial anniversary of America’s most famous symbol of freedom. In total, 404,013 Proof commemoratives coins were sold along with 95,248 Uncirculated coins.
➤ 1793 Liberty Cap cent. Liberty is depicted with a Liberty cap, an ancient symbol of freedom; the accompanying reverse wreath became a symbol that would remain on the reverse of the cent for more than a century.
➤ 1916 Winged Liberty Head dime. Sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s classic design debuted in 1916 and was executed through 1945. The U.S. Mint resurrected the designs for production at the West Point Mint in 2016 of 125,000 dimes struck in gold.
➤ 1999-W George Washington gold $5 coin. It was produced to mark the bicentennial of the 1799 death of the nation’s first president. The obverse portrait right of Washington was submitted by American sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser in a 1931 design competition for the Washington quarter dollar to be introduced in 1932. Fraser’s design was favored by the Commission of Fine Arts but Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon overruled the advisory panel’s preference in favor of the adopted designed created by sculptor John Flanagan. Fraser’s overruled obverse portrait of Washington was designated by the U.S. Mint as the common obverse for the four-year American Women quarter dollar program, coins of 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.
➤ 1856 Flying Eagle cent. Chief Engraver James B. Longacre fabricated a pattern in 1856 to demonstrate what a smaller, cost-saving copper-nickel cent would look like as the price of copper used for large cents continued to rise. Some 2,000 to 3,000 of the Proof 1856 pieces were produced and distributed to collectors. The Flying Eagle cent was adopted for circulation distribution in 1857 and 1858, and was then replaced by the Indian Head cent.
➤ 1964 Kennedy half dollar. The first .900 fine silver coins honoring the assassinated president were struck soon after Congress passed legislation on Dec. 30, 1963, with the coins first entering circulation in March 1964. The obverse portrait by Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts was adapted from a medal design Roberts has already rendered.
➤ 1849 Coronet gold $20 double eagle. Congress passed legislation in March 1849 that was signed into law by President James K. Polk. Longacre’s Coronet double eagle designs were approved and two pattern pieces with Proof finish were struck. Circulation production of the double eagle began for general circulation in 1850. Only one of the two pattern pieces is known to exist, in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
➤ 1836 Gobrecht dollar. The Seated Liberty obverse design introduced on this dollar would grace American silver coins of multiple denominations until 1891 when the Barber coinage was introduced. The Flying Eagle reverse design was a departure from the Heraldic Eagle design of earlier issues, with the eagle flying through a constellation of stars of varying size to present a sense of depth. The designs for the Gobrecht dollar were based on motifs by artists Thomas Sully and Titian Peale.
➤ 1916 Walking Liberty half dollar. Weinman’s designs shows Liberty draped in a billowing American flag as she strides toward the rising sun. The designs were used on the half dollar from 1916 through 1947. The obverse was adapted for use beginning in 1986 for the American Eagle silver bullion coin; in June 2021, the Mint introduced a modified version of Weinman’s original design to strengthen design devices. In 2016, the U.S. Mint marked the centennial anniversary of the Walking Liberty half dollar with a gold version.
➤ 1921 Peace dollar. Sculptor Anthony DeFrancisci’s designs were introduced as a series transitioning from the Morgan dollar, with new designs symbolizing the nation’s coming of age as an international power, its victory in World War I and the peace that followed. The U.S. Mint produced Peace dollars in 2021 using the original 1921 designs to recognize the 100th anniversary of the transition from the Morgan to the Peace dollar, and resumed their production in 2023 as an annual issue.
➤ 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar. Production of the Class I coins occurred not in 1804, but in 1834, for inclusion in special diplomatic Proof coin sets delivered to the King of Siam and Sultan of Oman. Class II and Class III coins were struck later with a second reverse die. Eight examples are known to exist from the first strikes with the first reverse die (Class I) and seven from the second strikes with the second reverse die (Class II and III).
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