CFA and CCAC Recommendations for 2015 High Relief Gold Coin and Silver Medal

Last week the United States Mint released the design candidates for the upcoming 2015 High Relief Gold Coin and Silver Medal. The obverse design will feature a modern rendition of Liberty, while the reverse will feature a modern rendition of an eagle.

The 25 different obverse and 16 different reverse design candidates were reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) during a meeting held on January 22 and by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) during a meeting held today, January 27. I had the opportunity to listen in on the CCAC’s meeting and will be covering some aspects of the meeting including six separate motions unanimously passed prior to the design discussion. This coverage will follow later today on

Update: Article now posted on here.

For now, I wanted to relay the designs recommended by the CFA and CCAC for the gold coin and silver medal. The design candidates for the gold coin, which currently contains a placeholder denomination of $75, are shown below. The designs for the silver medal contain the same primary elements with the removal of certain inscriptions.

O 03 C O 11 C

For the obverse, the CFA recommended obverse designs #3 and #11. (Although the CFA recommended two different designs, ultimately only one obverse design will be used across both the coin and medal.)

The CCAC strongly supported obverse design #11, which received a perfect 30 points in the voting. A motion was passed to move the position of the motto “In God We Trust” beneath the date, horizontally stacked in two lines.

R 01 C R 10 C

For the reverse, the CFA recommended designs #1 and #10. (Once again, although the CFA recommended two different designs, ultimately only one obverse design will be used across both the coin and medal.) As a side note, during the CCAC meeting, some members expressed surprise at the CFA’s recommendation of design #10 due to the basic anatomy problems with the eagle.

The CCAC strongly recommended design #1, which received a perfect 30 points in the voting. This represented the first time that a perfect score had been received in the voting for both the obverse and reverse designs. A motion was unanimously passed to trim the size of the olive branch held in the eagle’s talons. Design #1 has been seen before as a reverse design candidate for the US Marshals Commemorative Coin Program and was also subsequently recommended by the CCAC as a potential new reverse design for the American Silver Eagle.

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  1. says

    # 11 & # 1 would make for a nice coin. I would buy these in the silver unc. & proof. I have about 75% of the silver commemoratives. Eagle on #11 is a good design maybe a few arrows in his claws also.

  2. Keep Calm & Stack On says

    point 2. Ongoing mint series – HAHAHA!!!!!!

    Well, we found ‘The Replacement’ for the First Spouse Series……..


    # 11 & # 1 would make for a nice coin – Just not my coin, you guys have fun with it!

    KCSO is Out. 🙂

  3. Bob says

    I am SO tired of the political correctness rampant in today’s elitists (including the CCAC board members), who are constantly trying to assuage their own guilty consciences regarding their personal untoward racial feelings. Case in point, there’s not a single African American member on the CCAC; NOT ONE! But this “tip of the hat” will allow the CCAC members to pat themselves on the back, get a good night’s sleep, and maybe go to heaven for their good works.

    Based on the timing, we should just go ahead and call this coin what it is: the CCAC’s Ferguson Solidarity Coin.

  4. says

    Again, why do we need another HR gold coin? Does the Mint think their buyers have an insatiable appetite for a contemporary design-fueled gold coin? I’ll take the AGE or Buffalo gold over this offering anytime.

  5. POP says

    I like the 11 obverse & the 01 reverse and am hoping that they are selected so I can purchase some.

  6. jeff says

    (DEA) DEAD ON ARRIVAL Think this will turn off more of the collector base . I don’t even buy gold and this turns me off . Any future mint offerings I’ll scrutinize more closely because of this lack of collector input . l say a boycott of mint gold products starting immediately. Hope they strike the entire mintage and it goes bust.

  7. Bob says

    I meant to add in my earlier post, there is a much larger Hispanic population in the USA than there is African American. Why didn’t the CCAC chose a Hispanic Lady Liberty? The CCAC is just opening themselves up to these sorts of questions, but it’s doubtful that they’ll ever hear them while embraced in their group hug.

  8. Larry says

    Could be a neat coin. How about making it enhanced unc also? That could be a really nice coin, being the first high relief enhanced.

  9. A&L Futures says

    Well that just freed up $1600.00 — thank you CFA/CCAC. Your continued failure just cost the Mint millions.

  10. Keep Calm & Stack On says

    Hawkster – the Silver Lining is this is that, 1) it’s definitive for me, as in a definitive ‘No’ as it appears to be for you, & 2), it allows me some time to DOUBLE DOWN on what really matters, and that’s in 2016!

    So I see this as a Win-Win – Double Down on the Liberties and neat AtBs of 2016!

  11. Keep Calm & Stack On says

    This Offering is Really just FILLER, you guys need to see it as such and seize the opportunity! Good luck with your decision! 🙂

  12. says

    I am happy enough with the eagle, but I think CCAC and CFA both made selecting the “runway model” design as the obverse. Given that she received a perfect score, perhaps the CCAC saw something I did not?

    I am not sure I agree the coin is “DOA” as jeff suggested, but I am pretty uncertain as to how it’s going to perform. I’ll wait for additional photos and information. I am hoping for an actual photograph of the coin, as opposed to a US Mint stock photo, prior to its release to help me make my decision. Michael’s pictures of the silver Kennedies last year were much better than the US Mint’s stock photos.

  13. says

    I think that you meant to say it’s a “definite” for you, not a “definitive”. Correct? If so, it appears that you’re taking some liberties.

  14. Sith says

    @CO – I agree it might still be a winner, but that would depend on the mintage. Maybe it will pull a Jackie Robinson. At least I can look forward to Jackie O unless of course they select one of the less than desirable designs. And for the record your description of runway model is perfect.

    @ Michael – Thank you for the clarification o the designs.

    @fmtransmitter – Any word when that medal will be out? I’m getting one even if they show a Asian instead of a Latin.

  15. Hidalgo says

    I can live with the recommended obverse design. Not my favorite though. Something tells me that the design will look much better on a gold planchet. I’ll have to see pictures of the minted coin to decide if the coin is a “buy” or “no buy.”

  16. Mister Kim says

    These coins are really ugly. They look like they were designed by some politically correct panel. Whatever happened to issuing a UHR version of the Mercury Dime in gold? That coin I’ll buy, not any of these fantasy pieces.

  17. Ends in Error says

    That Afroqueen design would lead to an all out race war which would destroy this country. All the young black thugs would be breaking into whiteys house hoping to find the new hot rare not wanted by the majority new black beauty coin. After a few cops shot a few thugs you would see St Louis and New York X about 100. Soon the US Mint would be forced to restrike the issue and the Numiskingdom would rise up like nothing ever seen in National Guard history.
    Soon the entire country in in full riot mode.

  18. Keep Calm & Stack On says

    Something tells me that a Zombuck will look much better than this one on a gold planchet. 🙂

    Hawkster – yeah, that’s what I get for taking liberties while multi-tasking

    CaptainOverkill says “Given that she received a perfect score, perhaps the CCAC saw something I did not?” – the word “Mandate” comes to mind.
    That discussion and vote occurred long before today. I’ll call it “An Agenda”

  19. GoldFishin says

    Just so all of you know…you can make O-11 whatever ethnicity you want to. If you want Hispanic, fine…..Mulatto, cool…..Middle Eastern…great… can even pretend she is Caucasian if you want to. 😉

    Because according to the CFA this is why they choose the two designs. From Coinworld Article:

    “the commission(CFA) will send Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew recommendations that he select the image of a young African-America woman(O-3) or a less specifically ethnic woman(O-11)”

  20. stephen m says

    @cagcrisp, thanks for the clarification on the wanted poster and the short history lesson on Ft. Smith and the John Wayne movie. Great movie. I beginning to not like this politically correct era we seem to be stuck in. The mid sixties and the 70’s era were much better times.

  21. Bob says

    Jackie Robinson deserved a coin if anyone did. A true hero and credit to humanity on many levels. I don’t see his coin as PC; however, the timing of this coin smacks of political correctness.

  22. cagcrisp says

    NEW numbers are Out and Again…..Like last week…..They are different than the 1st excel spreadsheet released yesterday.

    TODAY there are 31 variances from Yesterday. Of the 31 variances, 22 Golds, 1 Platinum, 4 Silvers and 4 medals.

    SO…….Just like last week they have no problem counting the non PM’s on Day 1, they just cant get a good number of some of the PM items Until Day 2….

  23. says


    I agree on Jackie Robinson coin and was dismayed, when I discovered the coin, how much the value had gone up; I’d have likely bought one otherwise. I would also like to see a decent MLK coin some day.

    And I’d be willing to entertain a person of color being on the coin as I said in a post on the last thread, but it would at least need to be someone who looks like liberty. The headdress is the only thing that identifies the woman in 03 as “liberty” – the hairstyle and everything else is basically wrong.

    (Not that I’m going to be much happier with the runway model, #11, if she is chosen by the Mint – I don’t really like either design).

  24. GoldFishin says

    @CO- Why perfect scores? I think CCAC did the best they could with the design choices given and directives they had from the CFA and other nameless, yet influential proponents. My feeling is they gave the O-11 and R-1 perfect scores to try and influence Sec. Lew into siding with their recommended choices. It would be an obvious PC choice now if Lew went with the O-3 design against CCAC perfect score recommendations.

    I think CCAC may have saved this offering from complete disaster. I really like the reverse design and the obverse is acceptable. I will look forward to seeing them in High Relief with the proposed changes. The main problem I have with obverse choices considered is they do not seem “modern” to me. If they really just wanted ethnically diverse renditions of “liberty” they should have just said so from the beginning and maybe there would have been better designs offered to select from.

    I also think the additional things mentioned, like changing the denomination to $100 and utilizing a reeded edge for a medal, in the coinupdate article(site now crashed) indicate to me that there is a real effort going on to save this offering against a backlash of disdain from the collecting community. They are actually making this offering interesting now. The price point is really prohibitive however in my opinion with the 2016 24K offerings just around the corner.

  25. thePhelps says

    I get it… I have been looking at these designs all wrong. I believe it is fm who says this is the hobby of kings. You just need to step back, put down the Budweiser and peanuts. Pick up the Merlot and take out the Brie cheese and look at these offerings from a different perspective.

    These are art coins for the sake of art and they have no intention of doing anything beyond that intent. The majority of Americans will never see them anyway, so they can do whatever they want and if they sell 15,000 they can say it is a decline in interest from the collector community and not because of the lack of artistic designs being offered.

    Either way…I have no interest in the coin and medal set being offered.

  26. Louis says

    anyone else having trouble accessing Coin Update?

    by the way I will get the silver medal and after I see what the coin actually looks like and see if I can afford it, I would consider it. but I also want to see the platinum coin they issue and if that is nicer would prefer it instead again funds permitting, which right now is not bloody likely!

  27. thePhelps says

    Louis – I think the way this has been presented… it will be a set. You buy both – I haven’t seen anything saying you will be able to buy 1 or the other.

  28. GoldFishin says

    @thePhelps- how about a bottle MD2020 and a bag of cheetos? I am fresh out of Merlot and brie cheese. 🙂

    @Louis- the site is down, it was a very good and informative update

  29. Louis says

    Phelps- no I was a fly on the wall all day today and the idea is to also offer the medal separately. You do not have to buy the gold to get the medal.

  30. thePhelps says

    Goldfishin…I think what did it for me was the member stating they were “offended” by some of the designs. Really? I am as well…but I doubt I was offended for the same reasons. While some of the coins were not really that interesting and some took a more risque approach – none were sexual. (ok maybe the one with Liberty laying down).

    That puts a serious damper on my hopes for a Type 1 Standing Liberty gold coin for next year…

  31. Louis says

    To me the key question is: what exactly defines an image of a woman as representing Liberty? Is it because she holds a torch and a flag? Because she somehow embodies America? Since Liberty is really a classic allegorical concept, is the concept of a modern Liberty even possible or is it a contradiction in terms in many ways? Just wanted to throw that out there.

  32. GoldFishin says

    @thePhelps- by even using the word offended tells me all I need to know about those CFA committee members, I mean, you could say, those designs are a little too revealing or maybe not respective enough or something like that. But offended? When did we ever reach the point in this country where you have right not to be offended? Grow up and get over it and move on! I wonder what they would think of the Libertad coins? What are those people even doing on a Commission of Fine Arts?

  33. fmtransmitter says

    @fmtransmitter – Any word when that medal will be out? I’m getting one even if they show a Asian instead of a Latin.
    2016 I think they are issuing the gold to the members and members family’s, like they always do and then the Mint will have the bronze in 3″ and 1.5″ for sale…Again, I assume…

  34. Erik H says

    I posted my top 3 choices previously, O-11 would have been number 4. With so much negativity it could be a winner down the road. At least the premium will not be as high as some of the one offs that some world mints produce. There have been some very attractive world gold coins over the past few years but most are almost double melt value!

  35. Erik H says

    Chuck, I considered getting a silver version but the earth in the background reminded me too much of the “death star” and it became a distraction.

  36. VA Bob says

    Angela Bassett with a crew cut or Ali McBeal? Tough choice. I am curious to see the final product, but I believe with gold moving up it will be an easy choice “none of the above”, we’ll see. I guess it could have been worse, they could have given the black gal the torch and provide fuel to the fire suggested in Bob’s “Ferguson Solidarity” coin observation. Oh, and someone needs to give Ali a sandwich before her toga falls off and upsets the ladies on the CCAC and CFA. Maybe next years Lady Liberty will be a man.

  37. thePhelps says

    Louis…I think some of the Platinum coins tried and did a pretty good job of an updated Liberty. I get the distinct impression the mint has a different idea about what an update means and is trying to update the ideal and values of Liberty to a more modern impressionistic coin. I don’t think they are bring many of us along for that venture…

    Goldfishin… my brother inlaw is an artist and we have several paintings of his with naked women he did while in college. I’m also at a loss as to how a person subjected to viewing art – presumably with some tie to the art world – could be offended by a semi naked female form on a coin drawing. Most art students have both modeled nude or painted nude models… I found that “offended” comment to be a bit snobbish and highbrow – by someone looking down their nose.

  38. Dave SW FL says

    Get ready, y’all, cause it’s coming right at ya! Carefully read motion #6 from the meeting. They are looking at an ” ongoing series of Liberty themed medals ……would serve to satisfy the anticipated STRONG DEMAND (they’re clueless) from collectors and allow Mint artists to fully explore and develop the theme and MULTICULTURAL aspects of modern Liberty over a number of years. ( CAPS are my emphasis)

    So there you have it. They are saying they are going to redefine Liberty to be sure we get the multicultural aspects ( I’m sure as THEY DEEM IT). Sounds like someone who wants to transform something to me!

    Oh, for the days of the HOF method of coin design.

  39. Keep Calm & Stack On says

    VA Bob – NO BOB, a man of your stature out here on MNB SHOULD HAVE known better!!! (roll with me here) – They are the NEW…. First Spouse Replacement Series! lol

    Seriously, read this from Coin Update #6: “to fully explore and develop the theme and multicultural aspects of modern Liberty over a number of years.”

    Ha! I called it! It is really the First Spouse Replacement Plan in disguise! We’ve been snookered! Just add HR and a bigger $ value and I guess they think we’ll buy anything!

  40. Tim K says

    I’ve seen better coin design in 3rd world countries! This whole U.S. mint coin thing is embarrassing to me as an American.

  41. thePhelps says

    KCSO… I said it earlier. They plan on issuing coins for themselves. If they sell 15,000 they’ll blame it on the collector community for moving away from the hobby… and not accept that they are moving away from the coin collectors. They’ll just keep issuing coins no one wants and keep wondering why no one is buying them, and not stop to ask the people who were buying why they stopped.

    Seriously – after the Marshals – this years coin collecting gets really simple. 1 each of the ATB to continue toward 2016 – and my money is saved. I’ll can grab more bullion offerings with interesting themes like the Zombucks and be good for the year.

  42. sb in ak says

    I think the concept of a multiracial liberty is a great idea. It’s called change, folks. It’s not like Lady Liberty was ever a real person. It’s a concept. Why can’t she be black, latino, etc etc? Doesn’t that more fully embrace the concept of the USA? Now the designs…soulless. Moving on.

  43. sb in ak says

    PS, lets remove “In God We Trust” at the same time. Not everyone in the USA believes in God.

  44. Tim says

    Because O-11 is sooooo much better than O-3, O-3 will be chosen. No logic and no common sense, that left awhile back with the Boy Scouts Comm. Go back and look at those designs and then what “they” chose then……. Nothing here , move on.

  45. VA Bob says

    I wonder if anyone has done a study to determine how many more Native Americans are coin collectors because of the SAC dollars? I know most coin collectors in general enjoy collecting NA themed coins, but that is besides the point. It would be to their best interest to see just how much their multiculturalism expands their sales figures among the targeted demographic. Here’s two young men enjoying their collection of C notes, not sure what the treasury charged them for those crisp bills, maybe they will enjoy collecting coins too if the Mint could only make something they could relate to.

  46. Ends in Error says

    If you can’t sell a lot of a few coin series each year why not try selling a few of a lot of coin series each year?

    Franklin Mint all over again.

  47. VA Bob says

    Brice – Always like to acknowledge young collectors, hoping the Mint will find ways to get them more interested in their products, not just the treasury’s.

  48. Louis says

    you guys need a new hobby, one that makes you happy instead of angry, always seeing the glass half empty.

    life is short my friends. embrace the day.

  49. Joe says

    Let me throw in my two cents. Create four coins and make a series. Each with a different race. White, Black, Hispanic and Asian while keeping the same reverse. Any thoughts?

  50. Ends in Error says

    Diversity in our Lady Liberty. What a series that will be. Hey who’s that on the reverse of the 2014 Proof Platinum Eagle? Is that… could that be…. Aisha? The child bride of a certain well known prophet? Careful now, remember Paris and the things that happened there, recently.

  51. Sith says

    @Louis – You should see how this blog lights up when the mint gets it right. That has not been happening recently

  52. Jerry Diekmann says

    I could go along with the CCAC’s recommendations in a heartbeat! But the date looks fine just where it is – otherwise there will be just an open space, which is the same mistake that has happened to the Sacagawea dollar several years ago. Based on what the CFA thinks is great art, I think they should be removed from consideration for any future coin design.

  53. VA Bob says

    Sith -Well said. I’m sure the Mint would love if we praised and bought everything they pumped out, and not express an opinion that is otherwise counter to that.

  54. RSF says

    In the first place, neither of these are coins. They are shiny artistic baubles designed to allow us to diversify our portfolios a bit. Tubes of AGEs and buffalos get boring year after year.
    Secondly, we are not the target audience for this bullion offering. Those who buy a handful or less from the mint may sell a few and make grocery money from the ill-informed, (while there’s obviously some fun in that) most of these will eventually be gathered up by big dealers and sold at about melt to those looking for something new to fill this year’s safe.

    While these are not coins, the one possible upside for coin collectors is that the yearly competition of designs may eventually inspire an image that does get transferred to one of our coins. I hope that is in fact the underlying intent of this new series.

  55. VA Bob says

    The problem with the Mint, the committees, and the legislators is they can’t seem to grasp the fact that their best years are far behind them. When they want to make a coin that sells, they break out the 75 – 100 year old classics. Why can’t they learn from that? The designers today must never have seen a St. Gauden’s gold piece, a buffalo nickel, a walking liberty. At least they don’t act like they have. They just can’t seem to re-capture that fire and it’s hard to believe their isn’t one artist that can. End of angry, half empty glass rant.

  56. Louis says

    Sith- I know but to be clear it is the CCAC and the Mint’s artists that you guys are not happy with. It is not the Mint that is proposing the designs you all love to hate. But I know how the Mint is such a convenient target for the ire of the angry collector.
    I know I say this often, but I really think other countries just have better artists apart from someone like Mercanti and some others. For ex, I just received a gorgeous French bronze medal which depicts the famous Italian painter, Raphael, who has personal significance for me I will not discuss here, and it is great- high relief, etc. And as a straight man I can tell you it depicts the artist is a way that makes him look appealing. By the way, who said Liberty has to be a chick anyway? If she can be modern, why not a dude? I am Liberty, hear me roar!

  57. Ikaika says

    O-11 and R-O1 will look great despite not being my top pick. Let’s hope these are the chosen ones for the coin.

  58. Louis says

    @Va Bob- why are their best year’s behind them? Most of the CCAC members are either the same age as the members of this blog or quite a bit younger, and they are very successful in their fields. If you are on Facebook, go look up Heidi Wastweet. And many are lifelong collectors and yes they know the classics. You can disagree on the designs, but no need to cast aspersions where they do not belong. These folks do a lot of work for no pay at all. How many of you would do that? If you think you know so much, apply for the next opening folks.

  59. Louis says

    @Ikaika- it’s basically a done deal. I knew last night these would be recommended. They are on the chairman’s FB page, and the Secretary rarely goes against the CCAC.

  60. Jerry Diekmann says

    VA Bob – we already have had Liberty portrayed as a man – the 1892 – 1916 Barber dimes, quarters, and half dollars! And, oh, if we have a man as “liberty”, in order to be PC we need to change his name to “Libert” – like in Albert, Robert, Dilbert, etc., as female names “traditionally” have “y” or “ie” endings, like Betty, Debby or Debbie, Mary, Angie, Laurie, and the like. Maybe we should spell “Liberty” as “Libertie” if the allegorical symbol is female – wait! – don’t the French do that already? Just shows how much nonsense all this PC crap really is. Get rid of the CFA, at least for their imprimatur on coin designs – I’m offended at their art – they’re just a bunch of fake art-ists, and there is nothing “fine” about them – in IMO.

  61. VA Bob says

    Louis – Because they can’t duplicate the success of their past achievements. That’s my opinion, but if someone can point out a coin circulating or a commem (other than one of the popular classic remakes) that has the same gravitas as the golden age of US coins, I’d be happy to hear all about it. What design in the last 40 years do you believe the Mint will be re-striking 50 or 100 years from now because they are so beloved by collectors? The dead presidents? They might continue those but not because they are works of art. There are some nice ATB’s, but nothing endearing that would warrant a second look in the future.

    As for Liberty being represented by a woman, it because most men realize women are the best part of us, and fairly or not we transfer respect to them. They brought us into the world, nurtured us (hopefully),and there is a reason why they are called our “better half”. Men fought wars to protect them for centuries (though that is quickly becoming a thing of the past, and some men now seek the protection provided by women). I’m sure a subset of the population would love to see a male liberty, but to me that would symbolize more what we lost (the ability to protect mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters along with a sense of responsibility and self respect) than anything else. I speak for myself. Call it sexist if you like, I don’t look at men and women interchangeable.

  62. Louis says

    VA Bob- that all sounds fine to me, but I was struck by the earlier comments about the female CFA members being offended by the sexualized images in many of the designs, yet if you go back a couple days, many of the folks, males, on this blog were saying the exact same thing, that the images were in some cases overly sexual, even if they were not offended per se. I have never met a CFA member, whereas I do know some of the CCAC members, so I can’t speak to them, but hey, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Maybe these coins need to come with shrink wrap and an age warning!

  63. VA Bob says

    Jerry – I believe you just might have hurt Charles E. Barber’s feelings with that comment. 😉 But there is a reason those designs aren’t being reused. Hey, I get that some people like the stuff I feel is PC, they are welcome to it and could have my share of the mintage. Personally, I put it up there with the everyone gets a trophy mentality. They usually find out the hard way at some point that the real world don’t work that way.

  64. VA Bob says

    Louis – well you didn’t hear that from me. I love the female form. I can’t speak for others. I did read some of those comments, and maybe some had issues with the subjects pose, maybe something else. It didn’t bother me any (though I thought all the designs could have been better), but it apparently did to the women on the selection committees. Young people can be just as prudish as old people too.

  65. VA Bob says

    As long as they keep putting presidents on our coins the ladies will rarely get any eye candy (the last shot they got as far as I can recall was the 1926 – 1939 Oregon Trail, which featured a shirtless NA male, probably a few Olympic coins too). So the goose does occasionally get over on the gander. Problem is that most of geese tend to spend their cash on shoes and handbags, not buying coins, so coins appealing to the goose might not sell as well to the mainly gander buyers. That might sound foul but it is what it is.

  66. Louis says

    The Oregon Trail coin is terrific, a great design, and one of the most popular classic commems. As for the Barbers, yes, the word, “Liberty” appears, but I don’t think those are male Liberty designs per se. Also, they were considered to be very ugly when they were issued, and of course that is why even common dates are are to find now in decent grade.

  67. Sith says

    CCAC Chairman Gary Marks

    The quality of the Mint artist/engravers is not in question, to a person, we believe we have some wonderful artists and don’t doubt their talent at all, “ said Marks. “We want to find out how to liberate them so that they can create the best designs in the world. That’s the bottom line for this effort.”

    My advise is:

    “You can’t please everyone, and trying to is the kiss of death.” or “”I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” You would think they would have learned that lesson by now.

  68. Western Sage says

    Obverse 11 and Reverse 01 I can live with, though a few of the other suggested designs appealed to me a bit more.

  69. Mike says

    Unbelievable seeing the underhanded racism around these coins – would actually like to see someone to at least have the courage to say that they don’t like the coins because they are putting a black woman on it, and you just don’t like black people.

    The funny thing is by the time they get around to putting Obama on a coin, the people who would object to that probably won’t be around anymore – and the new collector’s base will welcome something like that.

    Don’t buy the new coins, more scarcity and rarity for the rest of us 🙂

  70. thePhelps says

    Louis you say we should find a new hobby – or that the mint isn’t the ultimate arbiter of the selections? 1st off the mint has employed the designers and artists and sets the direction for the coin designs. Secondly they are the ones that choose which coin ends up being utilized regardless of recommendations. It appears that at least the CCAC is trying to provide feedback on the decisions if you look back to last years CRA coin…

    “The CCAC opened their discussion of the design candidates with the Chairman calling emphasis to the design requirements from the authorizing legislation, which called for the designs to both commemorate the act itself as well as its contribution to the nation. Chairman Marks said that the contribution “is something that could not have happened prior to its enactment.”

    Yet the mint chose the coin many here view as a protest coin – celebrating civil unrest prior to the law and not the Civil Rights Act. You saw how well those sold last year. There have been far too many of these types of PC decisions happening and coins sells are dropping and the collector is the issue?

    Now much like our government wanting to update what they view as our Liberties, we have the mint updating what they believe our Liberties are on the coin. It might make for great cocktail conversations, but it will not make a coin that sells.

    I can’t imagine the phrase “Give me Liberty or give me Death” would have the same ring to it – if the speaker had to qualify his statement with a slew of caveats to encompass his hopes he wasn’t offending someone…

  71. Rudy says

    Nothing says Liberty like a race of human beings that were hunted like animals, chained, dragged kicking a screaming to a foreign land and forced to do labor that nobody else wanted to do. At least they could have picked a Hispanic, they come here willingly to do the labor that nobody else wants to do.

    I agree that Jackie Robinson deserved (and still does) a coin. I think the main reason the coin didn”t sell well is because we were coming off the ’95-’96 overkill of the Olympic coins. We collectors were pretty burned out by then. Also, take a look at mintages back then. On almost every commem, the proofs outsold the uncs 4 to 1. It wasn’t until 1998 where that ratio got closer to 2 to1. This made for the very low mintage for the JR unc.

  72. Keep Calm & Stack On says

    thePhelps – sounds like a good plan, I suspect many will be taking a seat on that boat to ride out the year. Personally, I welcome a breather following ’13 & ’14, and need to appreciate and enjoy more of what I have than focused on what to continually jump on next.

    cag – after seeing the sales #’s it appears we’ll be looking at a lot of 2014 offerings remain for quite a while. Not much fun in that. After the initial two-weeks of USM reporting is over, Monday’s may just never be the same and the sales report grow rather mundane for some time to come.., it’s been fun! 🙂

  73. thePhelps says

    KCSO…I did forget the other set of coins I’ll get this year. I plan on continuing my Coins and Chronicles sets – since those are going to be good this year as well. So while it will end up being cheaper in comparison to the last couple of years – I’ll still end up spending too much money at the mint.

    I also might update my ATB purchases too 2 of each – since I don’t expect many of them to reach 20k sales this year. I’ll have a bargaining chip for the future when I try to fill in my blanks in the series.

  74. Sith says

    @mike – I take the opposite view. I wish the mint would have simply declared from the beginning that they wanted an African-American on the coin. It would have allowed those artists free rein to come up with some nice designs. IE most of the desires were all ready DOA even before they started to make a decision. Now saying that some of the comments seem a little “colorful” I my case it’s hard to reconcile how comments seemed to indicate that the coin was going to go back to the days of classical liberty coins, but then turns into a modern rendition of Lady Liberty.

  75. stephen m says

    @ Mike, I’m from the south east. Black people are people too. I judge a book by it’s contents not by the cover and expect the same in return. The hair on the Lady Liberty of color doesn’t look right for her. If she is used on the coin let’s get the hair right. The white Lady Liberty does look like a runway model but hey, it’s 2015. Too many things change as we get older and the beat goes on. The 01 reverse, on the left, is the best of the two shown. Nice looking eagle. We could get a nice coin here with a little more politically correctness.

  76. Sith says

    @mike – I take the opposite view. I wish the mint would have simply declared from the beginning that they wanted an African-American on the coin. It would have allowed those artists free rein to come up with some nice designs. Then add that most of the designs presented were DOA because they were not what was envisioned.

    Now saying that some of the comments seem a little “colorful” But in my case it’s hard to reconcile how comments by mint officials and CCAC seemed to indicate that the coin was going to go back to the days of classical liberty coins, but then turns it into a modern rendition of Lady Liberty, but with a classical motif

  77. whatajoke says

    Are you kidding me? What are they thinking? Looks as if 2015 will be the year of the cartoon coins at the mint.

  78. gatortreke says

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I seem to recall reading a story reflecting on the fact that many of the coins we consider “classic” today were not well received by critics and the public at the time of their creation. I remember reading a review of the Morgan Dollar written in the period it was released and it was very critical of the design. Now it is a classic. Also, look at the Educational series silver certificates of 1896. To my eyes, they are some of the best designed notes I’ve seen but they weren’t well received at the time and the designs were changed at the first opportunity.

    Re: the criticism of some of the coins being sexually suggestive, wasn’t there controversy surrounding the release of the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter because liberty’s breast was exposed. Quick, get some chain maille to rectify this abomination.

    I say the above to say I’m open artists and the Mint presenting Liberty in all sorts of ways. We do come across as a bunch of old, cranky collectors. I’m very open to the representation of Liberty being different from the old classical idea. O-3 isn’t my first choice but we do need to try out different ideas, you never know which one will end up being the classic image to future collectors. I’d prefer to see an image of someone that appears to be multi-racial because that is what so much of America is today but let’s try out all sorts of ideas and see what rises to the top. It may be that the artists will rise to the occasion as we give them more freedom to express themselves. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  79. Tim K says

    Mike- It’s not about racism. The “vast” majority of the coinage/products produced by the mint today are crap! I’m afraid to look at today’s coins. It’s only a matter of time before I see “make in China”. Trust me, the mint (Gov’t) is the one making the money, not you.

  80. says

    I’m going to attempt a summary of the HR. Gold offering:
    1. The selection committee steered away from the more provocative female forms. I guess they wanted to keep the coin from receiving an “R” rating.
    2. Collectors who are determined to invest in this coin are reconciling themselves to an obverse design choice that is somewhat puzzling, if not controversial.
    3. Other collectors, who might have been on the fence, are now backing away from shelling out a large sum of money for this coin, based on the design choice. Instead, they are saving their discretionary funds for the ’16 anniversary offerings.
    4. The various depictions of a modern Miss Liberty have spurred a lively debate among Blog commenters.

  81. Larry says

    Regarding the HR coin, well at least the mint is giving us things to chat about. Like I have said before, give the coin a chance. The actual coin may be a lot better looking than the drawings. I have a funny feeling the release will coincide with the ANA show, so I am hoping I can see the coin there before I decide whether or not to purchase. I don’t remember, but has the mint said if this is going to be unc, proof, or something else?

  82. Sith says

    @Larry – I certainly hope so and coins that I thought were ugly have turned out to be spectacular.

  83. Sith says

    That all maybe true but the Peace Dollar was also not well received and even though it also maybe considered a classic you can still be buy key dates Peace Dollars at a fraction of the cost for equivalent Morgans.

    IMO the popularity of the Morgan is because it is “widely viewed today as a symbol of the Old West,”…and “no other U.S. coins dating back to the 19th century are so available – and affordable – in glittering mint condition.” IE it is popular in spite of a “pleasingly plump Miss Liberty on the obverse of the coin”… and a reverse showing a “strangely scrawny eagle which critics compared to a buzzard.”

  84. Bernie in FL says

    You know, all I’ve read so far is about Racism and Political Correctness in this Coin. I have no Problem with Moving on with the times.

    But to add to what MOST of us are saying, “The Coin is just Plain UGLY!!!” regardless of its Racial over tones and Political Correctness.


  85. Clark says

    KCSO–I would be grateful for your perspective on a big decision I need to make for my 5 oz ATB collection this year. I went overboard in 2010 and ordered way too many bullion coins from the Mint’s authorized purchasers and Ps from the Mint that year. I still buy one or two of each numismatic and bullion coin offered every year, but haven’t really been following the ATB market. I’m keeping my PCGS and NGC MS69s DMPL/PLs, but still have 7 bullion and 4 numismatic coins for all five 2010 issues that I’d like to unload if it makes sense. Conditions of the bullions range from avg to PL (ungraded). What would you do? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

  86. high low silver says

    kinda sad, that standing Lib reminds me of Elizabeth Barkley in the movis Showgirls the other looks like 9/11 medal face 🙁

  87. Keep Calm & Stack On says

    Hello Mint – U.S. Marshals Service 225th Anniversary 2015 Three Coin Proof Set

    We’re inside the 24 hour ordering window – Household Order Limit: TBD

  88. Keep Calm & Stack On says

    Hello Clark – good to hear from ya. Back with ya in a bit, though I can tell already I wish I had your issue! 🙂

  89. cagcrisp says

    Come On Man…

    24 hours to Go…

    Put the $$ Amount on the Marshal Golds, the 3 coins Marshals and LIST the HH limits…

    Come On Man…

  90. mgm says

    cagcrisp., here the prices for “the Marshal” …


    Introductory Prices

    Regular Prices

    Proof 50c Clad Half-Dollar 750,000 $14.95 $18.95
    Uncirculated 50c Clad Half-Dollar $13.95 $17.95
    Proof Silver Dollar 500,000 $46.95 $51.95
    Uncirculated Silver Dollar $43.95 $48.95
    Proof $5 Gold Coins 100,000 $412.60 $417.60
    Uncirculated $5 Gold Coins $407.60 $412.60
    Three-Coin Proof Set* $473.60 $478.60

  91. im just a bill says

    i think the O designs are terrible and will not be purchasing

    however, the R 01 looks good. but just knowing the O is there, turns me off.

  92. cagcrisp says

    @mgm, Thanks . I already knew what the Price of the Golds is Supposed to be, I just want the Mint to POST on the website. I have Others looking at this offering and I need a Mint website confirmation of the Gold pricing to get some dollars coming in as I am the point man on the offering…

  93. says


    I can sense your pulse rising in anticipation of those U.S. Marshals coins. What year anniversary are they supposedly celebrating? It’s always seems to be about some type of anniversary with the commemoratives; I guess something has to fuel the commem program. Gotta love the the Mint’s fondness for celebratory occasions.

  94. fmtransmitter says

    cagcrisp says
    JANUARY 28, 2015 AT 12:44 PM

    Come On Man…

    24 hours to Go…

    Put the $$ Amount on the Marshal Golds, the 3 coins Marshals and LIST the HH limits…

    Come On Man…
    lol, you are good about this stuff, I am sure you can assume a correct amount, or close…??

  95. says


    Maybe the Mint (or selection committees) felt that the Warrior Woman obverse is too similar to Xena, and would set them up for copyright infringement issues with whoever owns the rights for the TV show. What, you don’t think that explanation is plausible?

  96. fmtransmitter says

    That TV coin host ALWAYS say Morgans are to the coin world what Diamonds are to the Jewelry world. AND HE IS RIGHT! The MOST profit margin for the SELLER and the LEAST resale value for the buyer! LMAO Obviously I am talking about commons, not rare high grades, as he has the best set in the entire World he says…

  97. fmtransmitter says

    It’s because there’s a small pacific island coin coming out with a Xena colorized coin soon with gold plated metal COA and app to boot for the coin!

  98. Clark says

    Thanks, KCSO. No rush. I recall your thoughtful posts on 5oz ATBs over the years and know your intel to be consistently reliable and based on data. Because 2010 was the first year of issue and saw APs make controversial and very uneven distributions of the bullion 5 ouncers minted, I reasoned that coins from 2010 would grow more valuable as the series grows. I’m in no hurry to sell or trade them, but am toying with the idea of trimming the excess to help bankroll the tail end (mercifully) of my gold first spouse collections.

    As a follower of the “buy and hold” Ag/Au BHoF philosophy that you and I share, my visceral sense is to stick with my original plan and hold the 2010s at least another 10 years to see if the series’ popularity continues or dips like it did in 2012. Your views would be a great perspective to have.

  99. Tinto says

    I went to the CFA website to briefly check out the expertise of the 7 panelists, dunno if any of them have specific experience in medallic art/ coin minting area …. here’s what jumped out at me … others may have differing POV … of course

    Earl A. Powell (Chair) – Expert in 19th and 20th Century European and American Art

    Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk (Vice Chair) – FAIA architect and urban planner

    Philip G. Freelon FAIA, is the founder of The Freelon Group, an architecture firm

    Liza Gilbert is a landscape designer

    Alex Krieger, FAIA, is an architect and urban designer

    Mia Lehrer, FASLA, is the founder of an urban design and landscape architecture firm

    Elizabeth K. Meyer, FASLA, is dean and professor of landscape architecture

    FAIA – Fellow of the American Institute of Architects
    FASLA – Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects

  100. fmtransmitter says

    whatajoke says
    JANUARY 28, 2015 AT 8:45 AM

    Are you kidding me? What are they thinking? Looks as if 2015 will be the year of the cartoon coins at the mint.
    Get ready…This is the future…

  101. cagcrisp says

    @Tinto, Good info. Yesterday I checked out the two ladies that were “offended”. One lives in LA. How can Anything the Mint come up with Offend anyone on the Left coast?

  102. Ikaika says

    The Standing Liberty quarter with exposed breast had complaints. That is understandable. None of the obverse designs for the 2015 HR coin were even close to that. In fact, I am certain that if the struck coins were shown to committee members instead of the drawings, nothing would have been said regarding the offensive nature.

  103. Silver-Morgan says

    I’ll be picking up a 3 coin set tomorrow, and maybe a sliver proof or two for the kids.

  104. Louis says

    Clark- The 2010 ATB’s were minted in such large #’s compared to subsequent years that they will probably never be worth much over their melt value apart from 69’s. I made the same mistake and have been upside down on those for some time. I got rid of one to break even a couple yrs ago and just finding a dealer who would give
    me the silver value was hard. Only time I ever had trouble getting melt value for any kind of silver, though I think they have come up a little since then.

  105. Tinto says


    ” copyright infringement ..”

    Maybe if she had Xena’s outfit and looked like Lucy Lawless … both of which I would have welcomed … . 😉

    Hey they could always resurrect the design for future use … like they are supposedly going to do with that Platinum design candidate (Reverse 17) dropped from the 2015/16 proof line up because the Mint said it would be too tough to strike …

  106. Clark says

    Thanks, Louis. Not what I wanted to hear, but very important to know. The APs charged huge premiums for those 2010s, as I recall, and their behavior quickly drove the Mint to change its policies on wholesale pricing and distribution practices. Live and learn!

  107. Tinto says


    I know that feeling so well … ATB in raw format, commemorative silver, commemorative gold, tough to even get melt value from a dealer, esp. if they sense you’re in need of funds …. (unless one bought the gold commemoratives from the Mint in the early 2000 to mid 2005, 2006 then I think one is still ahead)

    I’ve got to visit that road again for a final time in a few short years though … hopefully PM will be higher then …

  108. cagcrisp says

    @Keep Calm & Stack On, Since they haven’t listed a HH limit by now, maybe they will not. Just monitor Opening sales and IF they see a need they can adjust accordingly. They’ve had Plenty of time after putting up the Gold prices…

  109. Bernie in FL says

    With a Limit of 15,000 on the Marshal 3 coin Proof Set. How long do you think it will take to sell out?

  110. MikeinPA says

    What would stop someone from buying the box on the secondary market and creating their own three piece set?

  111. Keep Calm & Stack On says

    Clark – I thought about this from various angles, and in all honesty, kept coming back to mintage WRT 2010’s as Louis has pointed out above. While I can’t tell you what I had for dinner last night, I somehow can recall the mintage’s for these puppies. I’ll start by saying you’re in a very enviable position, I wish I had boarded the AtB train four years ago, & you were very wise to pick up MS69 & SP(PL) along the way.

    To Louis’ point, them some high mintages (and this is the worse time to sell)! Given that it’s a buyer’s market, I would retain the BU pucks and ride it out.., all indications are that once the global economy picks up again and with the burgeon middle class growth abroad, I think you’ll be sitting pretty by the time the series ends (if not sooner).

    Here are some generalizations:
    1. I think 2010s have some winning designs that you see fewer of on ebay, esp SP70.
    2. The AtBs have a growing fan club that are retroactively pursuing sets.
    3. I think the AtBs have benefited from the drop in Ag, as new collectors buy in now at reasonable prices and commit to the series. I’m hooked, and due to the investment thus far, more inclined to stay the course as prices rise.
    4. People still don’t know about the 5 oz pucks, but are so impressive when that see them. I’ve sold many for the mint (by showing non-collectors mine).

    So I think if we were to have attractive designs that resonant with the average American, the pucks have a bright future. I’d hold onto to them and slowing liquidate as needed and as Ag rises. If you do need to unload and want to avoid fees, keep me in mind: fromrn2u at hotmail. Or to back channel leads.

    Hope this helps, & to do greatly appreciate the kind words (& vote of confidence), means a lot coming from you!

    GF – you may want to chime in and share thoughts on the future of the pucks….

  112. says

    Oh no, here we go again. The Mint, through their booth at the Long Beach Expo Coin Show, will be selling the Marshals commems, beginning at 12:01 p.m. tomorrow. Anyone who is into labels will now have to obsess about obtaining a special show label. How about “First Release” and the other idiotic designations? Let the games resume.

  113. Keep Calm & Stack On says

    cag – the mint likes to “surprise” us! Remember 26 March 2014? Whoahhh, that was quite the wrench for dealers!

    Bernie – remember, the mint will have 3 -sets in Long Beach tomorrow, by my estimate, 500-1000/day…, SO, that’s 2,000 to 4,000!

    I think the 3-set Sell Out will surprise some…, but I’m ready.., though I’ve been wrong before! 🙂

  114. Bernie in FL says


    Nothing actually. The only reason to buy the set from the Mint is if you send the Set to NGC or PCGS and want the First Strike or First Day Label. Otherwise, you’d never know.

    Good Point!!!!!!!

  115. cagcrisp says

    @MikeinPA, Happens all the time. Once someone send theirs off to get graded then they sell Old box on the bay. I buy Buffalo boxes, re-work them and put Gaudens in them…

  116. Hidalgo says

    @MikeinPA – anyone can create the same 3 piece commemorative set. I believe the coins in the 3-piece set are identical to those sold individually. The only difference? The packaging.

    All one needs to do is buy the original US Mint packaging with the certificate of authenticity, on eBay. Then add the three different versions of the coin. Viola! You have a 3-piece commemorative set.

  117. cagcrisp says

    @Bernie in FL, I think 15k will go within a week… The Gold is really a good looking coin. I don’t see a repeat of the Gold BHOF coins but with no Love for the March of Dimes and no Gold Kennedy to take money away from Buffalo’s and AGE’s maybe those looking for some Gold with buy the Marshals…

  118. Louis says

    I just like having a good box to display them together. This is something all mints need to focus on more. Who wants all these stacks of little boxes you have to open to see the stuff?

  119. fmtransmitter says

    I agree Louis, what good are they stacked up and put up…Displays are important to me. My Gods of Ancient Greece 2 ouncers will finally be complete and all 5 line up to create an ancient Greek Temple. Looks awesome! You can move them all around in different configurations… 🙂

  120. fmtransmitter says

    Tinto says
    JANUARY 28, 2015 AT 3:50 PM

    Just out of curiosity will the Mint be selling the Marshals sets at the show too ?
    YEP! and on site grading to boot!

  121. Bernie in FL says


    Other than buying the Set to send to NGC or PCGS for their “First Strike Set” label designation. Why should one rush in and buy the Set now, or just get them later with a OGP & COA off of ebay buying the three coins separately, put them together and possibly cheaper? Just curious…….

  122. PaulinMA says

    Of all the O designs, there were only two I did not like, guess which 2? Will not be purchasing.

  123. Sith says

    @fmtransmitter – No doubt they will get an “Authorized Facsimile” of Wyatt Earp’s signature for that one.

  124. says

    So, even those who place their Marshals orders at 12:01 tomorrow, via the website or through a phone order, are already far back in the line of recipients. You see, hundreds will be sold at the Long Beach show, starting tomorrow. Of course these buyers will immediately have these coins to do as they wish, such as being among the first to flip them on ebay. You gotta laugh. The vultures are already circling.

  125. Silver-Morgan says

    Someone mentioned just building the 3 coin set by buying separate coins. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the 3 coin set comes with a CoA that can only be had through the 3 coin set. Other than that I can easily see people building the 3 coin set if desired.

  126. says

    No problem. Soon it will be very easy to find empty boxes, along with the COA, listed on ebay. As these coins become graded, there is no longer a need for the Mint boxes. They are, therefore, disposed of on ebay.

  127. cagcrisp says

    @Bernie in FL, you have a valid point and there really is no rush to buy. I don’t buy or sell on the bay. You may get them cheaper OR not. I don’t see Any of the products getting Anywhere close to selling out…

    All options (expect the 15k) will be available all year long (IMO).

    I don’t do Graded coins, But if I did, I would sell the COA and box on the bay. They may come Higher than you think because some Original owners may use the 3 coins set box (after sending in the 3 coins for grading), buy more individually from the Mint or the bay and then re-sell as an Original 3 coin box set.

    For me the only thing I buy on the bay is coins no longer in production or foreign coins.

    The to be built US Marshal museum is in my backyard so that is why I am after the coins…

    I see them more as a Family opportunity than a Financial opportunity…

  128. Ends in Error says

    Hope they have EMS on duty at Longbeach. First sold will likely be worth getting jiggy over. Likely someone could get hurt.

    Maybe ” First Sold Kennedy ” guy will have competition this time around?

    These Coins hold even less attraction for me than the Kennedy’s did. A big pass from me.

  129. Clark says

    @KCSO–Thanks for your thorough analysis. I appreciate the thought you gave the issue. Based on your and Louis’ input, I’ll let these sit in the bank vault with the gold BHoFs and let them age another ten years. I truly had no feel for what raw 5 oz coins were worth after these 4 years. I knew from comments here that folks pay top dollar for 69s with PL finishes, but had no sense for what the rest are worth.

    Mintages* for the first year of issue were capped at 33K. which seems small compared to 126K+ for Gettysburg and Glacier in 2011. But, I find your suggestion that this series has the most growth potential of any current US Mint product very compelling–particularly, as you say, now that silver is relatively cheaper. The 5oz ATB series launched just as silver prices were starting to soar, which likely dampened early demand from long term collectors. It will continue on a long runway until 2021–and that’s a long time for interest in the series to grow and for new collectors to fill in early gaps.

    Thanks again for your thoughts. If I decide to unload these, which may well happen as I run out of room at the vault where I spent 3 hours today, you’ll get first pick. I owe you.

    *MNB reported 2010-2013 mintages at

  130. Silver-Morgan says

    Decided to pass on the 3 coin set. Only the gold proof interest me and I think I’ll just buy a PCGS one later down the line. Gotta focus on my ATB collection first. Happy ordering to those buying today though.

  131. Tom says

    A medal for What???
    The designs selected ecept for R-1 are horrible.
    Just shows the people on the commities have No artisic sense.
    the obverse should not have a close up of any One distinct person but a more distantant depiction of a women, allowing room for imagination and other details in the field that represent the Ideals of Liberty
    o-3 looks like Ms Joyner who ran in the olympics(congradulations on the wheaties box and now the late coin)
    o-11 look like an emaciated strung out from the night before girl lacking any presence
    as to why shes standing there holding a touch and the Flag so early in the morning.
    O-18, 20, and 22 are much better works of Art.
    As for the reverse R-1 it looks like the Eagle lost its arrows?
    and R-10 looks like a Thankgivingday turkey just before getting put down.
    R-2, 8, and 11 are much better designs.
    Seriously a Medal for What? I’m Not buyin it.

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