Designs Selected for 2014 Civil Rights Act Silver Dollar

Late last week, the United States Mint announced the design selections for the upcoming 2014 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Silver Dollar. The coin is issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The authorizing legislation provides that the designs for the coin “shall be emblematic of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its contribution to civil rights in America.”

Initially, the US Mint had prepared a wide field of 15 different obverse and 10 different reverse designs. These were reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). The two groups made recommendations for different pairs of designs. The final design selections ended up following the CFA’s preferred obverse and the CCAC’s preferred reverse.

Read coverage of the CCAC and CFA’s reviews here and here. The articles both contain images of all of the original design candidates.

cra-obverseThe selected obverse design features a depiction of three people holding hands at a civil rights march. The man holds a sign which reads “We Shall Overcome”. This image is intended to be symbolic of all marches that helped galvanize the civil rights movement. Additional inscriptions read “Liberty”, “2014”, and “In God We Trust”.

This was the obverse design candidate endorsed by the CFA as well as the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), which is the beneficiary organization for the commemorative coin program. The CFA did make recommendations that the protester’s sign should be moved from the coin edge and the size of the word “Liberty” should be reduced. It appears that these recommendations were not followed. The UNCF recommended that the diversity of the people depicted should be increased. It appears that this recommendation was followed, as the figure to the right of the composition is changed from the original.


The CCAC had recommended an alternate obverse design depicting the March on Washington inside a silhouette of the Liberty Bell with reverberating bands and the inscription “Let Freedom Ring”. The group had specifically shifted their focus away from the designs depicting protests since the design requirements from the authorizing legislation called for the designs to commemorate both the act and its contribution to the nation and the contribution is something that could not have happened prior to its enactment.


The selected reverse design for the 2014 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Silver Dollar features three flames intertwined to symbolize freedom of education, freedom to vote, and the freedom to control one’s own destiny. The design was inspired by a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., “They get the fire hose. They fail to realize that water can only put out physical fire. But water can never drown the fire of freedom.” Inscriptions read “Civil Rights Act of 1964”, “Signed into Law July 2, 1964”, “E Pluribus Unum”, “One Dollar”, and “United States of America”.

This was the reverse design candidate recommended by the CCAC. They did suggest that the cauldron at the base of the flames should be enlarged or emphasized. This suggestion was followed, as the cauldron appears larger than in the original design candidate image.

cfa reverse

The CFA and UNCF had recommended a different reverse design featuring a graduation cap and tassel, intended to represent the initial thrust of the civil rights movement when the NAACP challenged the “separate but equal” doctrine with Brown vs. Board of Education. A partial quote “…for All of God’s Children.” appears in reference to Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.


The 2014 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Silver Dollars carry a maximum mintage of 350,000 across proof and uncirculated versions. The coins are scheduled to go on sale January 2, 2014. Additional coverage will be provided prior to the release.

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  1. thePhelps says

    As mentioned in the previous thread…not much to get excited about with this coin. They ignored the best design and pushed the protest. I do like the reverse design though.

  2. Hidalgo says

    Being a Baby Boomer, the theme of this coin has a special place in my heart and my mind. It will go well with the special Kennedy set that the U.S. Mint plans to introduce this year. I’m in for one of each….

  3. Hidalgo says

    Off topic – in case anyone is interested, when I was surfing the web, I noticed one major coin company that is selling PF70 certified 2013-W $50 proof gold buffalo coins for $2,349. Since mintages are often talked about on this blog, you may be interested in buying one of these beauties. It’s nowhere near the price of PF70 certified 2008-W $50 buffaloes, so it may be a real deal for some of you.

    Note: I previously said that there was no real “surprise” factor in the 2013-W Buffalo’s sell out. That, in my view, is contributing to the lower secondary market value of this low-mintage gold buffalo proof coin.

  4. Sith says

    Now sure why people are complaining the coin looks nice. I would have loved to see the coin with the shadows of the protesters in an enhanced format but only because those coins remind me of the Kangaroo at Sunset coin. The other coins IMHO left you scratching your head or seemed “angry.” It was a good choice.

  5. KEITHSTER says

    I also like it having lived through it I remember many protests power to the people>and now the peoples got it on a coin cool 🙂 I know most like the bell but that was made in 1753 and dont connect it to rights act but this one rings a bell ! But to each their own but we got this one so enjoy or make up a sign and take a stand. Good Luck All & Merry Christmas:):(:>

  6. says


    A lot of people (including myself) seemed to prefer another design, particularly the Liberty Bell one. The chosen design doesn’t particularly excite me. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I will probably give it a pass like I did the girl scouts coin and most of the Five Star General coins. It just seems rather bland.

    One moderate point of interest is that the stock photo makes it look like the mint is going to use the new laser technology for the proof piece.

  7. Larry says

    It looks like the reverse is using different finishes, kind of like the enhanced uncirculated ASE. I can’t find anything that talks about that. But on the mints website you can zoom in and look and it sure looks like three different finishes.

  8. Hidalgo says

    The finish, according to, is that the coin is an “enhanced proof.” In my opinion, it’s really beautiful (not real crazy about the design, but I’m still in for one of these).

  9. says

    Good find Hidalgo, definitely looks like they will be using the laser. Perhaps Michael or another reader can post photos once it comes in, I really like the new “enhanced” finish style.

    I am also looking forward to its use on the proof AtB quarters this year, that will be something to see!

  10. Arizona bill says

    I would like to see a coin with Mrs. King’s image in the same style as the “first ladies” gold coin…she is a real American beauty.

    Hats off to Mrs. King…

  11. Sith says

    CO – The liberty bell design was visually superior, but was one of those that did not really say what we were celebrating, and minimized the human element of the civil rights movement.Maybe if they would have replaced or modified “Let Freedom Ring,” with something more appropriate to the civil rights movement I would have felt like most of the people on the blog.

  12. Ray says

    12/22 #’s have the gold buff up to 18,906.

    BU7 2013 AM BUFFALO GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 18,906 12/22/2013 N

    Hmmm. Maybe it will go down again. That seems like a large increase for not being available for the week.

  13. Sith says

    CO – I did not realize the 50 anniversary celebration for the March on Washington was called the ‘”Let Freedom Ring” Ceremony, and involved bell-ringing ceremonies. It seems I was wrong and the phase had major if modern significance…oh well they did not choose it but now I’m in your boat they should have went with that design.

  14. VABEACHBUM says

    I am particularly drawn to Michael’s comment about the CCAC recommendations, specifically:

    “The group (CCAC) had specifically shifted their focus away from the designs depicting protests since the design requirements from the authorizing legislation called for the designs to commemorate both the act and its contribution to the nation and the contribution is something that could not have happened prior to its enactment.”

    I think the CCAC was right on point with their interpretation of the legislation and their support of the allegory and symbolism found within the “Bell” artwork. Would have been glorious with enhanced finishes.

    If the Mint does incorporate enhanced finishes into either or both Dollar coins, I will probably add one of each to an “Enhanced Typeset” collection.

    OT and FYI Captain & Samuel – as we had discussed this in another thread, I received a notice today that Provident has the 2014 1.5oz Arctic Fox BU Silver coins in stock and available for shipping. Second in their series; hopefully PR versions will follow in mid-2014.

    Thank You, Michael, for another great year. I can’t wait to read your assessments of the Mint’s Annual Reports.

    Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

  15. Dustyroads says

    That is a good catch Hidalgo. Earlier I had been trying to see the enhancement in the image of the coin, but thought it looked more like uncirculated. I’m beginning to believe that the enhancement detail done to dies will be around for a long time to come. I too would like to see the enhancement process done to the AtB 5 oz. P’s, but feel the Mint will not want to disrupt the already begun vapor blasting technique.

  16. gary says

    Hidalgo, only time will tell but paying close to twice gold melt value for someone’s idea of a newly minted “perfect” coin seems, well, kind of dumb.
    If gold settles in for a long period of $1,200 or under bullion price you’d probably have a long time before you could hope to get your money back if you had to.
    I’ve noticed already that the RP Buffalo can be had for original Mint cost or less on Ebay which would indicate to me that some owners of the coin are bailing on it, take a loss now, and buy other coins or stock maybe. Don’t get me wrong, I do like certain gold coins but I believe that you could do well by purchasing in the aftermarket, buy an OGP (you could always grade it later) instead of paying so much for plastic & a label.

  17. Dustyroads says

    Although a great number of us agree on the beauty and significance of the liberty bell reverse, I think we should take into consideration the symmetry and simplicity of the flame design and it’s probability of providing ease of production, maintaining clean high grade coins throughout the process.

  18. Tim says

    Are most of you missing what the huge crowd in front of the Washington Monument symbolizes? Look closely, who spoke there?

  19. Dustyroads says

    Gary~There are untold numbers of people who are looking to buy 70 graded gold Buffalo key proofs. I disagree that $2,349. is an unreasonable price if this is what the market will bare. This coin has far more value than you are giving it credit for. Sure, there may be a new low someday, but there may not! It all depends on how much YOU are willing to gamble.

  20. fmtransmitter says

    Cool coin. I bet will look nice. Will wait for dust to settle on after market and see where these fall in price.

  21. Hidalgo says

    @Sith – the now-famous event where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech was officially called the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”

    I learned about the official name on television news and at a Smithsonian Instituion exhibit.

  22. VARich says

    Look now –

    2013 5-Star Generals Commemorative Coin Program Uncirculated $5 Gold Coin (5G2) – bye, bye!

  23. VARich says

    Oh, and so much for the “Act Fast! Only 8 days left to purchase.” that still shows adjacent to the coin

  24. Samuel says

    u guys said they should sell the 5* until the last day of the yr, right? fortunately, i did not cancel it.

  25. says

    I think the five star generals coins will mark the end of the trend of sales numbers moving downward for the commems. I’m expecting a big spike for both the gold and silver varieties (and probably also the clad halves) next year with the baseball coins.

  26. thePhelps says

    CO…the spike next year will be based on topic and the change in design. There doesn’t seem to be an influx of commemortive collectors. I think they’d do a lot better with the coins to drop the clad half and issue them in silver – they’d draw more buyers simply based on the metal content alone – even if they miss with the topic.

    The enhanced coins will help spike sales as well – but – I don’t envision a new trove of collectors to a boring design for the CR coin. They could have made an iconic coin and instead made it a social one and will turn off many (myself included). The Liberty Bell design was far and away the better design choice.

  27. VARich says

    hawk – let’s not get overly exuberant now.., there’s a possible Low Trifecta for 2013 – & it doesn’t involve MacArthur

  28. Zaz says

    That would be Cleveland 1st, Harrison, and Cleveland 2nd in proof, the 3 uncs have already gone above Lucy Hayes. The Harrison coin is the one to watch as it has the potential to set a new low, until the ’13 spouses wrap up, that is.

  29. Jerry Diekmann says

    The liberty bell design for the CRA coin which was not used should be kept and used as the reverse for a long overdue coin honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., who is probably more responsible than any other single person for the passage of the CRA, culminating his nine-year effort to see that everyone would finally be treated equally in this country. The 80th anniversary of his birth occurs in 2019 and the 50th annivsersary of his death occurs in 2018. The numismatic community should push hard for this man to finally receive the honor due him. RFK was also a strong proponent for civil rights legislation, and he received his commemoration in 1998 on the 30th anniversary of his death – just two months after MLK Jr. was also assassinated – a very, very dark year in the history of this country. I remember the turbulent 1960s all too well.

  30. someone says

    I don’t really like the obverse that was chosen, but the reverse isn’t bad. I’m on the fence about buying one of these.

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