During a teleconference meeting held this afternoon, the members of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) expressed their support, enthusiasm, and excitement for potential 2015 24-Karat Gold Ultra High Relief Coins and accompanying Silver Medals from the United States Mint. Members commented on how the initiative could serve to fulfill former Mint Director Edmund Moy’s call for a neo-renaissance in American coin design.
At the onset of the meeting, April Stafford of the US Mint provided some background on the potential gold coin and silver medal. Back in April, the CCAC had made a formal recommendation for a new reverse design for the American Silver Eagle. Ms. Stafford indicated that the US Mint would not pursue a reverse design change for the Silver Eagle, but instead pursue the idea of a potential ultra high relief gold coin and silver medal.
The potential gold coin would carry the eagle reverse design recommended by the CCAC, along with an obverse design carrying a modern rendition of Liberty. The coin would be struck in 1 troy ounce of 24 karat gold with the denomination to be determined. The silver medal would feature the same design as the gold coin.
Authority to produce the gold coin would be sought from the Secretary of the Treasury under 31 U.S.C. § 5112(i)(4)(C). As discussed yesterday, this section of the law provides the Secretary with the authority to strike gold coins with broad discretion over the design, specifications, qualities, denominations, and inscriptions. Authority to produce the silver medals would be sought from the Secretary under 31 U.S.C. § 5111 (a)(2). This section allows the Secretary to produce national medal dies and strike national and other medals.
Ms. Stafford and CCAC members recalled the original intention of Director Edmund Moy when he created the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin. The original design envisioned by Augustus Saint-Gaudens back in 1907 could not be realized due to limitations in the technology of the era. Moy sought to correct this past failure by using modern technology to finally fulfill Saint-Gaudens’ artistic vision. Moy had been hopeful for future ultra high relief coins with modern designs. Despite the six year gap, the proposed coin would put the original idea back on track.
CCAC member Donald Scarinci called the Mint’s proposal a historic initiative that could fulfill Moy’s calls for a neo-Renaissance in American coin design made during a keynote presentation delivered in September 2007 at the FIDEM “Art of the Medal” conference. In effect, the 2009 UHR had brought about the close of one era, setting the stage for the dawn of a new era.
Could the neo-Renaissance finally be close at hand?
The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee provided their endorsement and support of the Mint’s proposal for the 2015 Ultra High Relief Gold Coin and Silver Medal. The motion carried the unanimous support of all current members of the committee.