CCAC Recommends Two Designs Out of 55 Candidates

The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) recently sent a strong message to the United Stats Mint about the quality of coin design candidates. During their most recent meeting, they recommended only one obverse and one reverse design out of the total 55 candidates provided by the Mint.

The meeting was held on July 27, 2010 in Philadelphia. The committee reviewed 21 different design candidates for the 2012 Presidential Dollar obverses and 34 different design candidates for the 2011 First Spouse Gold Coin and Bronze medal obverses and reverses.

The same design candidates had been previously reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) who were not nearly as critical. The CFA issued recommendations for seven different obverse designs and three different reverse designs, while withholding recommendations for only one obverse and one reverse.

The CFA’s recommendations and comments were covered in two articles previously published on Coin Update. (See the articles for the 2012 Presidential Dollars and the 2011 First Spouse Gold Coins.)

The CCAC’s single recommendation for an obverse and reverse design were shared by the CFA. These were the obverse design #2 and the reverse design #5 for the Lucretia Garfield First Spouse Gold Coin.

The main reason the CCAC recommended so few designs was a change in procedures adopted at the beginning of the meeting. In order to receive a recommendation, a particular candidate must receive at least half of the eligible votes. Each member of the ten member committee can award 0, 1, 2, or 3 points per design. Therefore, in order to receive a recommendation, a candidate must earn at least 15 points.

The recommended obverse and reverse for the Lucretia Garfield coins had earned 16 and 17 points each.

Based on the recently published minutes of the CCAC meeting, recurring issues with the obverse designs seemed to be the fact that the portraits were copies of work done by other artists and not truly original. Another recurring issue was glaring historical inaccuracies such as the inclusion of a sewing machine on one reverse design years before it was invented.

Five US Mint artists were in attendance at the meeting, including John Mercanti, Don Everhart, Joseph Menna, Phebe Hemphill, and Renata Gordon. The CCAC Chairman requested that art staff be present at all future meetings in order to maintain an ongoing dialogue. In the past, CCAC members have gone out of their way to state that they believe the problem is with the US Mint’s procedures rather than the skill of the artists.

Earlier this year the CCAC formed a subcommittee on design excellence, tasked with producing a “visual definition of design excellence” and developing recommendations for addressing design quality for future proposals. The final report of the CCAC Subcommittee’s will be sent to the Secretary of the Treasury.

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  1. Anonymous says

    Thanks for sharing this, Michael. It's a step in the right direction for the CCAC. Hopefully these new policies will result in some better choices for new coin designs.

  2. Anonymous says

    I'm not ready to soil my shorts just yet. The final report of the CCAC subcommittee goes to the Secretary of the Treasury. If I am not mistaken he has been the one responsible for approving the most pc of all designs out those submitted on several coins. To wit; the BSA commemorative coin is one of them. Hopefully he just needs some education or is getting OTJ training and will do better in the future. We will just have to wait and see.

  3. Anonymous says

    To the CCAC….stick to your guns boys and girls, maybe, someday soon, the powers-to-be will listen.

  4. Max Cherry says

    You can see this stringency paying off; the Garfield designs are actually pleasing, and a distinct step above many previously approved designs (see: Edgar Buchanan/Augustus Gloop reverse, Boy Scout obverse, 2009 plat proof reverse, etc. etc. …)

  5. Anonymous says

    It's interesting that they now are looking at historical accuracy as a part of coins designs, the Jamestown gold coin they issued was not historically accurate. The boy scout coin featured a girl on it, and the Forming a More Perfect Union Platinum coin was also not historically accurate. That phrase has no reference to racial Equality as the coins pretends to show, it was about uniting the states in the early years of the country.

    Hopefully they will be accurate from now on and stop making up things about history.

  6. Anonymous says

    Isn't it about time for the mint to decide if they are going to do Proof Silver Eagles and Proof Gold Eagles this year? Time is running out and I wish they would just come out and say yes or no!

    Bullion demand has been falling lately, so I hope that means that will make proofs!

  7. Jerry says

    BEG TO DIFFER. US MINT Revised August silver eagle sales upward by quite a substantial amount. Their original month end report showed 1,906,000 silver eagles… and now its been revised up to 2,451,000 . Look at silver prices up the last few days!
    The beautiful silver proofs that were always there to buy from the US Mint are gone most likely forever! Sad but true and all the wishing won't change the real facts.

  8. Anonymous says

    If they skip the ASE this year, I hope they come up with a new design and a firm commitment to make them each year when they are ready to make them.

  9. Anonymous says

    u.s mint will be producing 2010 proof gold eagles $50 $25 $10 $5 in Octber…..No proof silver eagles

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