2015 High Relief Gold Coin and Silver Medal Design Candidates

The United States Mint has released the design candidates for this year’s upcoming 2015 High Relief Gold Coin and Silver Medal. Today and next week, these designs will be reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) in separately held meetings.

Last year, the CCAC had given their enthusiastic support for high relief gold coins and silver medals to be produced by the United States Mint. The new program was viewed as a historic initiative that could potentially fulfill former US Mint Director Edmund Moy’s calls for a neo-Renaissance in American coin design.

The obverse design for the coin and medal would contain a modern rendition of Liberty, while the reverse would carry a depiction of an eagle. The gold coins would be produced under the authority granted to the Secretary of the Treasury under 31 U.S.C. § 5112(i)(4)(C) to mint and issue gold bullion or proof coins with broad discretion over coin specifications, designs, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions. The authority for the silver medals would come under 31 U.S.C. § 5111(a)(2) which provides the Secretary with broad authority to strike national medals and other medals.

Shown below are the 25 different obverse and 16 different reverse design candidates provided by the United States Mint for the 2015 High Relief Gold Coin. A matching set of design candidates were also provided for the 2015 High Relief Silver Medal, which omit the inscription of the denomination. Coverage of the CFA and CCAC’s meetings will be forthcoming on CoinUpdate.com.

O 01 C O 02 C O 03 C O 04 C O 05 C O 06 C O 07 C O 08 C O 09 C O 10 C O 11 C O 12 C O 13 C O 14 C O 15 C O 16 C O 17 C O 18 C O 19 C O 20 C O 21 C O 22 C O 23 C O 24 C O 25 C

R 01 C R 02 C R 03 C R 04 C R 05 C R 06 C R 07 C R 08 C R 09 C R 10 C R 11 C R 12 C R 13 C R 14 C R 15 C R 16 C

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  1. Ends in Error says

    Evil Flipper

    I tend to believe the only sculptors left in the USA are Action Figure designers. But then those designers might actually be Chinese.

  2. MarkInFlorida says

    Wow, there are some fugly designs. I would buy most any gold coin, but not if it’s that bad. Hopefully the Mint has learned that politically correct designs don’t get many buyers. Do they want to sell a lot of coins and make a big profit, or appease the complainers?

  3. VA Bob says

    Since this will be a UHR, metal flows during striking will have to be considered. While gold is more forgiving than silver, I believe the Mint will ultimately pick a least busy design. One of the biggest complaints about the 2009 UHR was the small diameter required to make up the thickness. I’d almost rather they skip the UHR for the larger canvas of an HR coin, as I doubt they would use two ounces of gold. Of course Mint we are still waiting for that gold Union. 😉

  4. TimTom says

    I wouldn’t mind seeing obverse 19 (without the Capitol in the background and the tree) paired with reverse 7 (as mentioned, obviously a throwback to Indian eagle reverses)

    @DRittenhouse – I think the 10 stars are an easier way to symbolize the 50 states. I think each point on the star can be though of as a state, rather than having 50 smaller stars cluttering the design

    @ALL – Did anyone not think O-5 and to a lesser extent O-6 were modeled after Angelina Jolie? I sure did.

  5. gary says

    IMHO… It probably won’t matter which designs are finally selected.
    In the end, because of it’s novelty, the gold coin at least will sell very well.
    Ugly designs or not I’d guess that most MNB readers will buy one or multiples for flipping fodder.

  6. Ends in Error says

    Will these HR things be as hyped up as the MLB HOF Coins? Might be too much of a flood overhanging the market. I’ll probably be waiting to order 3000 of the 2015 C&C Sets. 😉

  7. VA Bob says

    Charles – dang, I missed that in the article, thanks for pointing it out. Must have been all the talk about a UHR in the recent past. I still believe they will go uncluttered, especially because of the silver properties. Seems a little strange to make a both a coin and medal with the same design. While a silver medal makes it more affordable for collectors, just the fact that it would be a medal and not a coin without numismatic value make it less collectable. We’ll see what happens.

  8. Teach says

    Why do so many people think it is an Ultra High Relief coin when the mint states it is only a High Relief coin? Do they think the mint will come out with a UHR even though they state HR? Maybe it is like the C&C sets where the mint didn’t mention EU? Just trying to figure out if people really think there might be a UHR.

  9. says

    I think it is just a number of collectors longing for the good ole days (2009), when the Mint actually made an ultra high relief gold coin. They can’t let go. Several commenters even called the 2014 Kennedy Silver Set ultra high relief. It wasn’t.

  10. says

    In light of the various likes and dislikes in regard to the obverse and reverse designs, I think the Mint should customize this gold HR offering, similar to the way customers buy Subway sandwiches. You want obverse #9 paired with reverse #2? No problem. When you order the coin, just check the appropriate boxes. Hey, this way everyone will be a happy customer.

  11. cagcrisp says

    Dang. I don’t read all the posts so this might have been mentioned, the CFA recommended 3 and 11 for Obverse and 1 and 10 for the Reverse.

    3 and 4 would be the LAST 2 choices I would recommend…

    If they Choose 3 for Obverse and 10 for Reverse, All you Low Mintage guys will get another Low Mintage coin…


  12. Keep Calm & Stack On says

    cag – And it just might work to the benefit of me (others), I like it when I can decisively say early on that I do not like a coin design and strike it from the budget. I suspect the CCAC will be somewhere between the CFA recommendations and the more popular ones folks call out above…, so as GF put it, it’ll take a ‘miracle’ for me spend it on this coin now (or so it may appear). Oh well.

  13. fmtransmitter says

    Being in the sunshine state, some of you may remember me asking for the Panther to be on the everglades quarter. Well, we didn’t get that but good ol mcm got 1000 made by Perth for the FUN show. I am proud to own a coin. With such an endangendangered and magnificent species of large cat, Puma concolor. She came purring today and it is a very very nice coin I must say…

  14. says

    As a specific example in differentiating between gold HR and UHR, Lady Liberty’s cup size will appear one or two sizes larger in UHR as opposed to HR.

  15. cagcrisp says

    If the Mint reads this blog, I don’t want them to get the wrong idea. If Either of the two Obverses that the CFA chose are used you can count me in on………………2016 Gold Walking Liberty and 2016 Gold Mercury Dime.

    NO HR 2015 Liberty for me….

  16. thePhelps says

    cag – given that the mint issued the CRA coin last year and almost no one wanted it because they decided on a design collectors had no interest in… it appears they are now trying to find even more ways to lose collectors.

    With the past few commemorative issues it is becoming obvious they are about design for themselves as artists and not about designs that collectors will enjoy.

    I started back to collecting more classic coins last year and it looks like I’ll have more money to do so based on the ATB selections and now these. I’ll get my Marshals early and sit on my money for a while…

  17. jeff says

    100K Ultra High, Really High, Somewhat High, Maybe High Relief gold. News Flash U.S. Mint don’t waste your time, effort or material these are dead on arrival.

  18. says

    The Phelps,
    I think many collectors will be adopting your philosophy of bypassing this 2015 HR offering and, instead, turning their sights to the 2016 classic renditions. Hey, we might as well save our bucks for offerings that we really like–especially when the offerings involve large sums of money.

  19. cagcrisp says

    @thePhelps, I was thinking the same thing. Did they not learn their lesson from the CR coins? No interest = No sales. It’s not that hard to figure. Give the customer what he wants or lose customers. I said last year that if the Mint didn’t change things they would lose me as a customer. I will keep after my Gaudens and save up for 2016…

  20. says


    I’m presently taking a “wait and see” approach. The final product often tends to look better than design proposals, artist mockups, or even stock photos show.

    I do have to admit I am considering the idea, though. I am planning on buying all the US Marshal coins, and when Jackie Kennedy comes out I am planning to get both the proof and uncirculated versions, so that is a significant chunk of change. Then there’s the computer upgrade I was planning for this year… maybe I should invest in a few lotto tickets. 😉

  21. Dustyroads says

    high low silver~ i thought about you just yesterday, was wondering why you haven’t poked your head up lately.

  22. Dustyroads says

    CaptainOverkill~ Being that it’s an expensive coin, and now leaning towards being an ugly one, your plan of attack will probably be implemented by most of the rest of the hopefuls as well.

  23. Dave SW FL says

    You really have to look at these in full screen. Here’s my take:
    1 Classic Statue portrait but needs wrinkle cream
    2Ostrich neck
    4 Ditto #3 but with eyelash problems
    5 Angelina? And too much ferns
    6 better than 5 but who really has that much hair ? Is it the 80s again?
    7I actually like this one
    8 very nice but fix the eyebrows and excess facial hair. Like the eagle
    9 way too busy for me. Flame from the palm of her hand – magician?

  24. Dave SW FL says

    10 cityscape? Dirt erosion?funky landscape. YUCK
    11 not bad
    12 very attractive
    13 pageant anyone?
    14Warrior. Girl
    15 eyes closed? That baby must eat at Mickey Ds 3-4 x a day. Nipples too pronounced
    16 we don’t need naked kids stepping on mommy’s dress. Oh, is she pregnant AGAIN? And is that her dress wrapped around his private parts?
    17 the dress is a mess. And drop the kid

  25. Dave SW FL says

    18 Too busy
    19least favorite. Zombuck candidate ?
    20 left of 2015 date design terrible
    21. No teenagers, PLEASE
    22. Where’s the couch? And put some day clothes on her . Agree with Wonker on this one
    23 save the wings for Victoria’s Secret
    24 great, a WINGED TEENAGER
    25 22 with ugly wings

  26. VA Bob says

    FM – UHR fields are usually (but not always) concave in order to give the devices depth, yet still provide protection with the rim. There have been UHR medals, but these don’t circulate (not than a gold or silver coin would these days either), so there is no need for the rim to help prevent wear.

    HR coins typically have a flat field with significantly raised devices. They are not typically made for circulation as wear becomes evident on the devices rather quickly. May the best example is the 1921 HR Peace Dollar, which was made to commemorate the end of WWI (see, the Mint was late with anniversaries back then too). It was quickly changed to a normal relief the following year when it was decided that it would replace the Morgan which was struck for the last time in 1921.

  27. VA Bob says

    O-08 she’d have to be an Amazon or giant, as anyone that has been close enough to an adult eagle knows that they are massive. The one in the design is like a parrot. Maybe the Mint designers need to take a trip to Busch Gardens in the spring were they can see those birds up close (they have a rescue for injured eagles there), as does the Norfolk Zoo. Now for the sake of diversity, political correctness, and not to upset anyone, I advise all that I’m not against parrots, or the discrimination of them in any shape or form. The Puerto Rico ATB was fine and appropriate and if pirates ever get a coin, I’m all for their use there as well.

  28. ABC says

    Liberty in Obverse 3 and 4 looks African to me. Another sign of the mint trying to be politically correct. If they choose any of these obverses, it’s a pass for me. On another note, all the reverses look good to me except for 6 and 7.

  29. Jerry Diekmann says

    For what it’s worth, I like the reverses a lot better than any of the obverses. Maybe 7 or 8 would be OK , definitely none of the others, but even 7 and 8 show Liberty as pretty much a weakling, not the strong person we see on the Statue of Liberty, or even on Weinman’s dsigns of the dime and half dollar from long ago. I am not an artist, but these submissions appear to be more caricatures than what Liberty should look like.

  30. Jerry Diekmann says

    Why is this “coin” $75.00 for a 1 ounce coin??? All 1 oz. gold coins have been set at a value of $100.00. since 1986. I hope to God the U.S. Mint isn’t starting to take ideas from the Canadian Mint, with its proliferation of values for coins, silver and gold. I stopped collecting Canadian coins about ten years ago nwhen they started going hyper-crazy on coins. Saved me a mint – pun intended.

  31. Jerry Diekmann says

    Hi low silver – welcome back! Some of us missed you!

    As for these designs, I suspect that very few will sell, and then in 10 or 15 years they will be in demand (not mine) because of their “rarity”. It’s like the Jackie Robinson gold $5.00 coin from 1997 – very unattractive and uninspiring design, so many people didn’t buy it. Nowadays, some people clamor for it because so few of them were made. There was a reason for their unpopularity – the design was ugly then, and it’s still ugly now. I can’t imagine why anyone would lay out big bucks for such an unattractive coin. Note – I really did like the Jackie Robinson silver dollar and bought several of them.

  32. mac says

    Wow. It’s astounding that the mint hasn’t listened to the opinions of all the talented engravers on this thread; you guys would put St. Gaudens to shame, you,re that good! Actually, it sounds like most of you are cranky old farts that I suspect couldn’t design a boil on your butt. I think No. 3 is an attractive design. I have to wonder if the real reason some of you are trashing it has more to do with Miss Liberty’s skin color than anything else – when you complain about “political correctness “, isn’t that really just code for “she’s not white”? C’mon guys, and join the rest of us in the 21st century.

  33. says

    Obverse 14, Reverse 7. Strong images.
    Images are so important, and this poor country needs strong images and leaders.
    Yes, several of them are much too revealing. Clean stamps and bold lines make for good minting…
    so these two have my vote. Should look great in the white metal as well. Recall the roaring twenties, and the 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter (whose designer just passed away), that SLQ typified the era. For this era, display conservative strength. We only have so many choices.

  34. VA Bob says

    Mac – Or maybe it’s just the designs? What ever the mint puts on the coin it will be silver or gold. I’m unaware of them doing any type of colorized coin. The Mint is a business that has represented minorities heavily, it’s just that going by sales figures most of your “21st Centurions” don’t seem to be purchasing the PC products in large quantities, the sales figures seem to bear that out. You and the others that like to “wonder” would most likely be wondering incorrectly as you know nothing about the people that comment here.

  35. cagcrisp says

    @mac, it has nothing to do with color or being in the 21st Century. O3 is a Poor Choice. If you like it and they choose it, buy it . I will Not…

  36. VA Bob says

    No one is telling the Mint what they can or can’t produce. They made the GSA and CR coins, both which should have sold loads, they didn’t. One can ask why, but it boils down to uninspired designs, be it the obverse or reverse, or both. It’s not anyone that comments on this blog, we are just a small portion of the hobbyists. I own both of these coins, but not because I think they are the finest examples of numismatic art. I would say most of the hobby vote with their wallets though. Painfully obvious with these two coins.

  37. A Bob says

    I think design O-3 is ok but she does not say “Liberty” to me. With just the wreath on her head we are missing some context. A full side profile could help that design but still, something is missing.

  38. achmed says

    this is an info for jerry diekmann:
    all the one ounce gold coins that I bought from the mint have written 50 $ on them, not 100 $ as you write. Only the platinum one ounce coins have 100 $ written on them.

  39. Dustyroads says

    Black, white, brown, yellow, end the end we are all equal as we populate the soil we build our homes on. In the end there’s no one to give a dam_ anymore about who has less or more. The only thing that will ever have any real meaning is how we treat our fellow man. Come at me with a gun, expect a gun fight, come at me with an outstretch arm, and you can work along my side. There’s no place here for greed our stupidity. So if we are asses in the way of others, expect to be moved, and don’t blame others for what we our responsible for, it keeps us from gaining respect.
    The image of the black woman in O-03 is too simple, if it were to be in a better mock-up, she could be selected for this coin. After all, Hettie Anderson, St. Gaudens model for Liberty that has been on the AGE since 1907 is black, and loved by all.
    I think this entire selection of choices is absolutely bizarre. What is O-19 even doing here, the artists at the Mint can’t be serious about some of these. I think they must already have a selection in mind and just threw in some extras, but O-19 is straight out of a Mad Magazine. Oh well, I guess I’ll just go alone with it.

  40. Daniel Orellano says

    Really bad designs. If I had to choose though I would pick HR-0-24-C for the obverse and HR-13-c for the reverse. Some of these designs are insulting……..

  41. Tom says

    Liberty is more of a spritual concept and an Ideal that I don’t think should be
    relegateted to a super close up(portrait) of just one super closeup phyicalaty.
    Alot more distance allowing other details that help substantiate the Ideal it is better.

    I like O 18, 20, and 22 The strong Eagle of R 2 and 11 look really good too.

  42. A Different Jeff says

    Wow! What a lot of uninspiring designs. After reading these comments and going over all the designs, none really do it. 19 would probably look the best on a coin IF:
    1) get rid of the Capitol building – makes it WAAAYY too busy, especially for a background object. Besides, isn’t this about Liberty? How does Congress further that idea? ;P
    2) Fix the face. Maybe use the face from 14 or 16 or something similar.

    As for the reverse, 4 or 5 look the best to me.

    This looks like a self-limiting issue. Maybe the flippers will find there is nothing to flip.

    Still think the best sleeper will prove to be the circulating S mint AtB quarters. We’ll see.

  43. systemBuilder says

    I love the african-american lady-liberty #3 and #4, especially #4 because the 1/4 turn of her head fills the coin better. The design is superb. I vote for reeding along the edge, like the morgan dollar.

    I am hoping, wishing, and praying that we have an african-american on a coin soon, to honor the civil rights movement, which was at its peak 50 years ago. It’s about itme.

    I want to give these coins to my eurasian sons this xmas. Fingers crossed!

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