This post will conclude our look at some unused coin designs from various commemorative or rotating design coins issued by the United States Mint. The purpose of these posts is to provide a second look at some of the more distinctive or interesting unused coin designs of the past few years.
The previous article examining nine different unused designs can be found here.
To start, here is an alternate design for the 2014 Native American Dollar, which carried the theme of Native American hospitality ensuring the success of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This design depicts the friendship and mutual respect that developed between Lewis and Madan Chief Posecopsahe (Black Cat) within a nicely balance composition. The actual design for the coin depicted a Native American man offering a pipe with his wife offering provisions.
Here is an alternative design for the 2014 Proof Platinum Eagle, which carried the theme “To Secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and Our Posterity”. The design features an allegorical depiction of America as a young nation standing on high ground holding an olive sprig and the Constitution surrounded by thirteen stars. The actual coin design featured a depiction of Liberty as a young child, holding a torch with the sun rising in the background.
This alternative obverse design for the 2014 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Silver Dollar had been highly praised by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, yet ultimately it was not selected. The design depicts the March on Washington facing east inside a silhouette of the Liberty Bell with vibrating bands. Rays beyond the view of the Washington Monument were intended to represent the dawn of the “bright day of justice,” as quoted in Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The selected obverse design for the silver dollar instead featured three people holding hands during a civil rights march with one holding a sign “We Shall Overcome”.
Shown above is one of the design candidates for the reverse of the 2014 Grace Coolidge First Spouse Gold Coin. It portrays a touching moment where Mrs. Coolidge is meeting with a young visually impaired girl. This was inspired by Mrs. Coolidge’s work with Helen Keller. The selected design instead showed three hands finger spelling the letters USA against a backdrop of the White House.
The design above was presented as one of the candidates for the reverse of the 2015 March of Dimes Silver Dollar. The same basic design with different inscriptions was also included amongst the candidates for the obverse design. The actual selected reverse design depicted a baby sleeping in the hand of a parent.
The reverse of the 2015 US Marshals Clad Half Dollar had one of the most specific and expansive set of legal design requirements I have ever seen. Here is the design requirement from Public Law 112-104:
The reverse of the half dollar clad coins issued under this Act shall bear an image consistent with the role that the United States Marshals played in a changing nation, as they were involved in some of the most pivotal social issues in American history. The image should show the ties that the Marshals have to the United States Constitution, with themes including—(I) the Whiskey Rebellion and the rule of law;(II) slavery and the legacy of inequality; and(III) the struggle between labor and capital.
The actual selected design included a conglomeration of varied items to represent this multitude of themes. Shown above is a design candidate which tries to bring across the main themes with far fewer elements.
Here is an alternate reverse design for the recently issued 2015 Bess Truman First Spouse Gold Coin. The design features the imposing image of a 1940’s style locomotive engine with a stylized flag and date banner. The actual selected design depicted a close up of a train wheel.
The reverse of the 2015 Native American Dollar honors the Mohawk Ironworkers who worked from 1886 onwards building prominent landmarks in New York City and other skylines. This alternate design depicts a Mohawk iron worker on a beam. The actual selected design shows a worker reaching for a beam against a curved skyline.
Lastly, here is an alternate reverse design from the 2015 Kisatchie National Forest Quarter from the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. While I did like the actual selected design featuring a turkey in flight, this alternate design depicting a red cockaded woodpecker in flight is framed from an interesting viewpoint as if looking aloft from the forest floor.