Foot Soldiers of the Selma to Montgomery March Congressional Gold Medal Design Candidates

Under Public Law 114-5, a Congressional Gold Medal will be awarded to the Foot Soldiers who participated in Bloody Sunday, Turnaround Tuesday, or the final Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March in March 1965, which served as a catalyst for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The United States Mint recently released the design candidates for the obverse and reverse of the medal. The entire slate of design candidates appears below. Click on any image to enlarge.

Obverse Design Candidates

o1 o2 o2a o3 o3a o4 o5 o6 o6a o7 o8 o9 o10

Reverse Design Candidates

r1 r2 r2a r3 r4 r5 r6

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  1. Dave SW FL says

    More hands! Starting to look like a fettish!
    Thus it’s # for me are
    Obv 6,8, or 9
    Rev 1

  2. gary says

    WOW! What a huge effort on the part of the U.S. Mint artists! I favor obverse #1 or #8 and reverse #1.
    Yes, puh-leez no more hand gestures in design proposals. Not very artistic.

  3. Louis says

    Like others I think 6 is the best obverse and probably 4 for reverse. Most of the obverses are excellent.

  4. Tinto says

    I like a lot of the Obverses but 06 stands out IMO and R1 or R4 for the reverse (hands but at least the quote is attributed to LBJ)

  5. Ends in Error says

    I’m a bit weary of hands on US Mint artwork as I’m positive many others are also. And I gotta say I’m also getting a bit weary of all the time given to Blacks as we are forced to look back at the 50’s and 60’s Civil Rights era.

    Hey we have voted in a 2 term black man as President , doesn’t that count for anything? What more can be asked from us all? Oh, of course, we’re supposed to allow black criminals to have free reign in society. Cops have become the new criminals because they have the gall to gun down black people behaving in dangerous ways. Oh I forget, the Cops can only react after they themselves have been shot or killed. By that time it’s obvious to all that ill will was intended.

  6. D Rittenhouse says

    Does anyone else find it ironic that 5 out of the 7 reverse candidate images depict voting as dropping a folded paper ballot into a slotted box? Does any state still permit this type of voting in Federal elections? Weren’t paper ballots briefly outlawed in most places within the US as an over-reaction to Palm Beach County’s famous “Butterfly Ballots” used during the 2000 presidential election in Florida?

  7. Ends in Error says

    Hey here’s a concept I could get behind. How about a group of black 60’s marchers being confronted by a bunck of KKK dudes on horses. Or maybe just a rowdy bunch of southern redneck yokels blocking their path. Anyway I could actually get behind a bunch of upraised hands ( no make that fists ) with extended single fingers . Now THAT ( IMHO) would be a cool and worth Coin with both Hands and Blacks on it.

  8. Ends in Error says

    Just to be clear I’m talking about black hands/fists extended toward the offending white people. Nothing hateful, mind you, just a bunch of peaceful colored folk extending the one fingered salute to their white pals.


  9. Dave SW FL says


    I believe most blacks voted for the first time with pencil & paper ballots. That’s probably why the paper ballots. It was the 60s after all. The computers took up entire buildings back then!

  10. Darek says

    Obverse #6 is nice but I hope they not choose this one because I see Al Sharpton in front line ( 3rd from the left).

  11. MikeinPa says

    D Rittenhouse, we still use paper ballots for all elections in my small PA. town

  12. stephen m says

    This theme and all similar ones related of this subject must sell well. $! Go mint.

  13. Dustyroads says

    Number 01 is my pick for obverse, it’s free of too many people and well balanced, centered, and true to actual event likeness with the flag in hand.
    04 reverse is good, and will probably make it to coining.

    “The first suggestion to use mark sense technology to count ballots came in 1953, but practical optical scanners did not emerge until the 1960s. The Norden Electronic Vote Tallying System was the first to be deployed, but it required the use of special ink to mark the ballot. The Votronic, from 1965, was the first optical mark vote tabulator able to sense marks made with a graphite pencil.”

    My bet is that there were many votes cast in boxes in the era.

  14. Ends in Error says

    How soon will we have a series dedicated to the young black martyrs of American Social injustice? I’m thinking Trayvon Martin and all the innocent young iced tea craving angels slain by the racist thugs and cops out there.

    Oh the humanity!

    Think of all the Gold Medals Congress could award to these young heros.

  15. John Roberts says

    Ends in Error–I agree, I’m getting tired on seeing all these coins commemorating blacks and civil rights stuff. I did not discriminate against any blacks, yet I have seen my own job and other opportunities lost to minorities and women. Enough with the political correctness, but then again, this is DC we are talking about.

  16. Mike says

    I Got a Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter D in my change today. I looked on the Mint and the Quarters are not suppose to be released until June 29th of this month.. How is this possible?

  17. D Rittenhouse says

    I believe the “release dates” you see for “new” coins are only applicable to numismatic products sold by the Mint. I think the Mint ships product (i.e. circulating coins) to Federal Reserve banks as necessary to meet demand and without constraint by “release dates.”

  18. Ends in Error says

    @ Mike

    On 4/22 the America the Beautiful Quarters Uncirculated Set was released ( P & D of each of the 2015 ATB Quarters ). Maybe someones kid needed Ice Cream money ?

  19. A Bob says

    If you don’t like the design or the event being commemorated, keep your wallet in your pocket.

    I’m underwhelmed by the designs proposed. The artists don’t want to tell a story using symbolism, just a snapshot from a newsreel.

  20. fmtransmitter says

    I say back to the drawing board…Just my HO…Ya’ll got into last night I see…

    Thanks for the info about the HR gold…Flip it, toss it, spin it, oh I heard those words recently….Lady liberty is so liberating…

  21. paul G says

    i just got home from work and spent a few minutes reviewing the wide variety of opinions generated by the selma gold medals. i won’t buy any because i prefer the more simpler coins with eagles and buffaloes and rendiitions of liberty. that have been produced throughout our history. but to each his own. regarding some of the conflicting opinions, it remainds me of the old saying that an opinion is just like an a_ _ hole, everybody has one…and they all stink!

  22. Ends in Error says

    Back around 2008 I had 2nd thoughts about a 1 oz Platinum Eagle I’d received from the Mint. I suppose the metal was plunging although the memory is a bit fuzzy now.

    Anyway before sending the thing back, I removed the hi-density Coin from the capsule and flipped it around a bit. It felt heavier than a 4 ounce fishing sinker. A really amazing experience – the only time I’ve done such a thing.

  23. VA Bob says

    The last medal I bought was the Doolittle Raid. I rarely buy medals so have no opinion on these. I leave it to those buying. Medals rarely appreciate, so one must really buy it because they like it. The Mint all ready has me down for coins that won’t amount to much beyond my personal enjoyment, so I not really interested in expanding to another collection money pit.

  24. Dave SW FL says

    Well, I’m a coin collector and do not consider myself a bigot. But like John R , I have never discriminated against others and I understand his frustration at having the discrimination charge continually thrown out as if EVERYONE not black is a bigot. It actually angers me to be constantly accused of what I had no hand in. Seems to me that I am the one being discriminated against in that case!
    So we elect a black President two terms in a row and he feels the need to use the ” n” word in public appearance??? How Presidential! And the media has to bleep the President!! That is a first to my recollection.
    Well, you don’t have to be a bigot to recognize the political correctness which surrounds coinage design in the last decade. Most of the bloggers here have seen it happening and I suspect very very few of this blogs participants are bigoted.
    Thank God and our military men and women that we still have free speech. Maybe we need a commemorative for free speech before it gets shut down.

    Done venting.

  25. plmark says

    1) The release date for the high relief gold coin has been moved up to July 23, 2015.

    2) The finish might be a business strike (similar to uncirculated) since the release of this coin falls under the authority given by Congress to the Secretary of the Treasury to set the specifications of gold coins. If this turns out to be the case, then some of the coins from early die strikes could have a prooflike appearance (like in 2009 with the UHR coin from that year).

    3) The facial features of Liberty on this coin seem to resemble those of Nike on the 1988 Olympic gold coin, which was designed and engraved by Elizabeth Jones who was the chief engraver of the United States Mint at that time.

  26. HiCal says

    I wasn’t expecting a July release of the HR liberty gold coin. Now that hurts… my wallet. Jackie Kennedy in 3 days, what to do.

  27. cagcrisp says

    I am Not a FS person. IF I was a FS person, I would Not be a happy person today. FS needs Something besides trying to buy the Lowest mintage FS proof or uncirculated coin. FS needs Something to bring in new blood to the FS series, The FS seried needs to be jump started. FS needs Jackie Kennedy. FS Needs Jackie Kennedy to be successful. They need a 30K sellout. 10K Sales in Day 1 will not be good enough. There were 56,694 Gold JFK’s Sold at $1.240.00 on Day 1. That’s $70million. 30K @ proof price of $790.00 is $23.7million. I doubt there will ever be 30K Jackie Kennedy Gold sold.

    I have No Idea how well the Jackie Kennedy will be received or Sold in two days. I do think Sales will be down because of the 07/23 release date of the 2015 HR. I know I had planned on participating BUT with the 2015 HR coming out exactly 1 month from today, I have decided to Pass completely on the one and only FS coin that I had planned on buying.

    IF I was a FS person, I would Not be a happy person today…

  28. Larry says

    The HR coin will probably be around for quite awhile, so I don’t think there needs to be a rush to buy it even if it comes out in July.

  29. GoldFishin says

    @Cagcrisp- Where did gold prices end up in relationship to the Jackie release? Will this week’s price drop mean a lower price for the offering next week or week after? I don’t really keep up with this on an ongoing basis. Thank you in advance.

  30. cagcrisp says

    @GoldFishin, Looks like $770 and $790. No price change from this week. Early it looked like there could be a possible price Increase but with the optimism with Greece, it appears there will be No Change w/w.

  31. cagcrisp says

    The Current deadline for Greece is the end of June. IF a deal is reached, the Euro should strengthen and Gold should drop. How much of that is baked in the cake is yet to be determined…

  32. wonker says

    Mint BEP are short sighted on replacing Hamilton on $10 bill. Should replace $20 bill with a Woman.

  33. cagcrisp says

    @Larry, I would say the same thing about the Jackie Kennedy. It will be around for a while. Why buy on Thursday? Wait and see what happens with Greece. IN two weeks you may get the Jackie Kennedy $25 cheaper… OR … IF a deal is not struck, Gold will go back up. By waiting you have a chance of saving some bucks. Unless you are a First Strike person, why not wait for a possible cheaper price?

  34. Kevin says

    I’ve been a lurker for a few years now and have really enjoyed these blogs & comments for quite some time now (thanks guys).

    After reading some of these comments, I feel compelled to toss my 2 cents onto the table, so here it goes –

    1) Take a look at the current offerings on the US Mint website and let me know how many (as 1 poster so eloquently described) “coins with blacks on it” are currently being offered. I fail to see how we are being overrun with these types of offerings.

    2) Please note that many of the landmark events in the civil rights movement are approaching or have recently had their 50th anniversary. These are major points in American history and ABSOLUTELY deserve just as much recognition as any other event that has already been recognized through the commemorative coin program.

    3) There is a MAJOR difference between calling every non-black a bigot and calling out someone as a bigot after that person has made the comments that Ends in Error made. Since I don’t personally know this individual, I can only go by what Ends in Error chooses to post here…. and yes, it KIND OF sounds like he leans bigot.

    4) There is no need to bring the whole Trayvon Martin thing into a discussion about coins. Not only that, but when you double down with inflammatory comments like “iced tea craving angels” it drowns whatever point you were trying to make (no matter how valid) in a vast sea of bigotry.

  35. GoldFishin says

    @Kevin- if you have been reading this blog for a couple of years, you should know by now who the trolls are…a few people that just say things to spark a negative response from the board. A few people choose to keep responding to them, thinking they can change them or something. But the best thing to do is ignore them and let them live in their “very small” world by themselves. I think your post was well thought out accurate. Welcome!

    @Cagcrisp- I am now out on the FS Jackie as well. I would rather put my money in the first release of a potential new series, than one of the last releases of an ending series. I can always pick one up later if it strikes me, I think there will be enough sales for it to be around on the bay for some time to come as well as on the Mint’s site. There may also be another long backorder wait on the Jackie if the US Mint is playing it cautious and only has an initial production run of say 4-8K or so, which could lead to future cancellations. The Jackie might be ok for FS/ER people and flipper’s for a few weeks, but I am not playing that expensive game of chance. Everyone that wants a Jackie should be able to buy it at issue price or below at some point before the US Mint pulls it.

  36. cagcrisp says

    @GoldFishin, Yep. That’s the way I’m looking at it.

    Off the top of my head, some reasons to Buy Jackie FS on Thursday:

    1. You are a flipper and want to get one before they go backorder
    2. You are a First Strike person
    3. You think Gold is going Up and you want to Buy before a price increase
    4. You think there will be a Sellout and you don’t want to buy on secondary market
    5. Because you just Can and you don’t care about having any reason

    For me None of the first 4 reasons matter, I was in the #5 reason Before I saw the 2015 HR. I don’t want just One of anything. I have several people that I buy for so I am either In or Out Completely on an issue. Paying approximately $1700 for a HR with another $1350 coming in 2016 for the Potential Gold dime, quarter and half and looking at multiple orders, Something has to give…

    There will be Winners and Losers…

  37. Louis says

    Kevin is spot on. As I have said many times, and others have done the same, straying into politics and race issues here is a recipe for disaster. It turns people off, and if that is what you want to comment on, there are tons of others places where it would actually be appropriate.

  38. GoldFishin says

    @Louis- attacking loyal posters and good people, because they might make an unedited and/or completely thought out post turns people off as well. I have now witnessed several long time posters be attacked for views that I personally do not believe they hold. Many of them have left or greatly reduced their activity on MNB. Others are more resilient and do not cede to unfounded bullying. When a person’s integrity and character is called into question in a public forum, it can be painful for them and also painful for other’s to witness. There is a proper balance somewhere of being able to listen to others views, even if somewhat controversial, without crossing over into the land of censorship or personal attacks. JMHO

  39. GoldFishin says

    Now they have also pulled the HR Coin off the 2015 product schedule for July Release, back to TBD. Seems they have been reading MNB again. Funny.

  40. Dustyroads says

    GoldFishin, The I see the release date for the 2015 Liberty gold is still in July, it may be that the Mint has not decided on a definite day. Putting the month of release on the link may act as a tease, or it may be a mistake. As KCSO said earlier, this coin may be a good one to release during the Chicago ANA show, but of course July is too early for that, so who knows what’s going on with this!

  41. Mike says

    Wow, some really nice design candidates. Looks like our resident racists have their panties all bunched up as usual anytime we issue a coin that acknowledges black people. Oh the horror!

  42. John Roberts says

    Dave SW FL–Thank you for your words. I see that political correctness is alive and well on this blog too. If you have ever experienced discrimination because you are a white male, then you would sing a different tune. BTW, mark me down for neither the FS or the high-relief, I’m saving up for the fantastic 2016 gold coins coming up.

  43. Jerry Diekmann says

    Edmund Winston Pettus

    United States Senator
    from Alabama

    In office
    March 4, 1897 – July 27, 1907

    Preceded by

    James L. Pugh

    Succeeded by

    Joseph F. Johnston

    Personal details


    July 6, 1821
    Athens, Alabama, U.S.


    July 27, 1907 (aged 86)
    Hot Springs, North Carolina, U.S.

    Political party


    Alma mater

    Clinton College of Tennessee

    Military service


    United States of America
    Confederate States


    United States Army
    Confederate Army

    Years of service

    1847–49 (USA)
    1861–1865 (CSA)


    Lieutenant (USA)
    Brigadier general (CSA)

    From Wikipedia:

    Edmund Winston Pettus (July 6, 1821 – July 27, 1907) was an American lawyer, soldier, and legislator. He served as a Confederate general during the American Civil War, during which he was captured three times. After the war he was a Grand Dragon of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan and a Democratic U.S. Senator. The Edmund Pettus Bridge across the Alabama River in Selma, Alabama, was named in his honor.

    Please, can we just leave his name off the bridge if that is the design chosen? Why would we want to call attention to some long-dead KKK leader?

  44. Jerry Diekmann says

    Clark – I wonder if you might know where and when that photo of all the womwn was taken. None of them looks happy or is smiling.

  45. Clark says

    @Jerry D–Sorry, I don’t know. The photos look like museum photos. I’ve noticed few smiling faces (men or women) in most early black and white photos from yesteryear. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a pic of Abraham Lincoln sporting a big toothy grin? I suppose they wanted to look serious to be taken seriously.

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