The US Mint has announced the final design selections for the 2011 U.S. Army Commemorative Coins. The program will include a $5 gold coin, silver dollar, and clad half dollar.
For the past two years, commemorative coin programs have only included a silver dollar. Both of next year’s programs will each include multiple coins. Between the program to honor the U.S. Army and the program for the Medal of Honor, there will be a total of five commemorative coins issued in the coming year.
The design selections made by the Secretary of the Treasury are shown below. As in the past, I will also mention the recommendations made by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). All of the original design candidates can be found here.
The 2011 Army $5 Gold Coin obverse represents service in war with depictions of soldiers from different eras, including the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the modern era. The obverse was designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The CCAC had recommended a different view of the five soldiers from the waist up, although significant support for the selected design was also expressed. The CFA had recommended a full length view of three soldiers from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and World War II.
The reverse of the coin is based on the official U.S. Army emblem, as sculpted by Joseph Menna. This selection followed the recommendation of the CCAC, with the rearrangement of the inscriptions “United States of America” and “Department of the Army” that they had suggested. The CFA favored an alternate design with a border between the emblem and inscriptions.
The 2011 Army Silver Dollar depicts a male and female soldier with a globe in the background to symbolize the Army of the 21st Century. This was designed by Richard Masters and sculpted by Michael Gaudioso. The CCAC had recommended this design, also suggesting that the female be altered to depict an African American woman. This was not acted upon, although the goggles originally present on the male soldier were removed. Removal of the goggles had been suggested for the $5 gold coin candidates. The CFA made no recommendation, questioning “the legibility of the figures, the multiplicity of elements, and the jarring depiction of goggles on some of the soldiers.”
For the reverse, an image of the Great Seal of the United States with the seven core values of the Army is presented. The reverse was designed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Don Everhart. The CCAC had recommended a design portraying a solider carrying a wounded comrade, while a third solider provided cover. The CFA had recommended the selected design since it was “the only option that properly balances the proposed depiction of human figures on the obverse.”
The 2011 Army Half Dollar is intended to symbolize service in peace. The obverse depicts a solider surveying, two servicemen building a flood wall, and the Redstone Army rocket, as designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted Charles Vickers. Both the CCAC and CFA had rejected all obverse design candidates, including the selected design. The CCAC commented that the designs were “too cluttered and lacked focus”, also questioning the accuracy of some images. The CFA commented, “the multiplicity of design elements and pictorial complexity was excessive for an object at the size of a coin.”
The reverse design depicts a Continental solider armed with a musket, as designed by Thomas Cleveland and sculpted by Joseph Menna. This design was recommended by both the CFA and CCAC.