Vote on the 2014 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Silver Dollar Design

One of the two commemorative coin programs authorized for the coming year will mark the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The program will feature a silver dollar with a maximum mintage of 350,000 pieces.

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.” The Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) recently reviewed design candidates and gave their recommendations. The United Negro College Fund (UNCF), who will receive surcharges raised from the sale of coins, also expressed their preferences.

The United States Mint had provided a slate of 15 different obverse and 10 different reverse designs for the 2014 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Silver Dollar, which can all be viewed in this article.

CFA & UNCF Recommendation

The CFA and UNCF had recommended the obverse and reverse design candidates shown above (click for larger version). The obverse is intended to be symbolic of all marches that helped to galvanize the civil rights movement. The CFA did recommend reducing the size of the inscription “LIBERTY” and adjusting the composition to move the protester’s sign from the coin edge. The UNCF recommended that the diversity of the people depicted should be increased.

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

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.” Accordingly, he felt that the designs depicting the protests did not commemorate the act or its continuing contribution.

CCAC recommendation

Following additional discussion, the CCAC recommended the obverse and reverse designs shown above. The obverse depicts the March on Washington inside a silhouette of the Liberty Bell with reverberating bands and the inscription “Let Freedom Ring…” The throng of people by the reflecting pool would have been Martin Luther King’s view from the Lincoln Memorial. The rays beyond the Washington Monument represent the dawn of the bright day of justice as quoted by Dr. King in his speech.

The reverse design depicts three intertwined flames symbolizing freedom of education, freedom to vote, and the freedom to control one’s destiny. The design was developed based on the quote by Dr. King, “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.” The CCAC did suggest that the cauldron at the base of the flames should be enlarged or emphasized.

As in the past, I wanted to give Mint News Blog readers the opportunity to vote on their preferred designs. Since there is such a large number of different candidates, I have included three voting options: the recommendations of the CFA & UNCF, the recommendations of the CCAC, or another combination.

Results from 2014 Native American Dollar Design Poll

I wanted to follow up on the previous post which allowed readers to vote on designs for the 2014 Native American Dollar. To recap, the theme for the design is Native American hospitality which helped ensure the success of the Lewis and Clark expedition. There were a total of seven different candidates and the various groups tasked with reviewing these designs offered five different recommendations with no single design recommended by more than one group.

Voting from readers was similarly divided with five different designs receiving at least 10% of the overall vote.


The largest percentage at 26.51% was captured by design #1 commemorating the relationship between the Nez Perce and Lewis and Clark through the offer of horses. This was the recommendation of the National Congress of the American Indian.

The second highest percentage of votes at 24.59% was captured by design #8, which depicts Sacagawea carrying a basket of corn for barter with Lewis and Clark seen in the background. None of the groups who reviewed designs had recommended this alternative.

Next at 16.79% was design #2 showing the friendship and mutual respect that developed between Lewis and the Mandan Chief.

This was followed by 15.61% of the votes for design #6 featuring a depiction of Chief Cameahwait warning Lewis of the unpassable river route through the mountains and instead recommending a land route further north. This had been recommended by the CFA.

Finally, at 10.75% was design #3, depicting a Native American man offering a pipe and his wife offering provisions, which was recommended by the CCAC.

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  1. gatortreke says

    I’m not surprised that the horse theme is popular but since we already had a horse themed design in 2012, I’d be inclined to go with some other option. The designs I tend to favor usually poll poorly (design #3 in this case though it is similar to design #8) so I think I should offer my services to the designers. They can inquire with me as to whether I like their design and if the answer is affirmative, they know they need to start over from scratch. :^)

  2. Blair J Tobler says

    Re: Civil Rights designs

    I would favor the O-10 and the R-08. It would create a “new” quote: “Let Freedom Ring…for All of God’s Children”.

  3. Smiledon says

    I have stated in the past my feelings about where the surcharges go. I have to pass on this coin because of where the money goes. I give money for kids that are trying to work through college. I pay for kids in college when I pay my taxes. I saved for my son’s college fund.
    Why do I get the feeling that this is more PC? Why not give the money to the museum where MLK was gunned down? Parents who have kids are the ones that should be footing the bills.
    The voting seems to be going against the choice for the UNCF. Oh well.
    I am looking to pas on this coin.
    I am not really liking any of the designs so far.

  4. rsf says

    It will be interesting to see how they translate the bell’s ringing vibrations from a graphic image to the surface of a coin. As an image and concept it’s quite effective. Maybe one of their new enhancement techniques will be employed.

  5. says

    I greatly prefer the CCAC’s recommendation. Aesthetically, I almost always prefer to see symbolic depictions (including liberty) on coins rather than people. I also thought the art quality has the potential to be really outstanding if they make the proof using the new laser tech.

    I have a feeling the CCAC’s recommendation will ultimately be rejected, though.

  6. thePhelps says

    I also prefer the Freedon Ring design… coin “shall be emblematic of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964…”

    The other coins that were shown came across to me as protest coins leading up to the actual enactment and not celebrating the actual law itself.

    I’d be inclined to possibly buy the CACC recommended coin.

  7. fmtransmitter says

    agreed with thePhelps…Curious as to the effect of the bell ringing as well. Similar to the ripple effect of the water on the Canadian Autumn Bliss coin.

  8. samuel says

    -whats the lowest price for the 2013 plat eagle so far?
    -usmint has a link for BEP now.

  9. says

    I’ll chime in on interest in the “ringing bell” as well – that was what I was I was talking about when I mentioned I thought the design would be great with the laser tech.

  10. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    It was a significant moment in time, and as a kid I still remember the separate public drinking fountains for “whites” and “colored’. I’m white and was raised not to focus on color by my single-parent Mom. Those segregated fountains were always something that didn’t resonate well with me and I avoided using them.

    So, this is a coin that I’d be proud to add to my collection as a piece of history (as are many others I’ve collected). If a portion of the proceeds goes to the UNCF, then I’m OK with that too. I’m still trying to hold onto what my Mother taught me and I don’t see “color” in this coin either.

    I too prefer the CCAC’s pick.

  11. VARich says

    thePhelps – from 2-3 weeks ago, thanks for the input on the profiles set – back from biz travel and able to check it out, very nice indeed – so thanks!

  12. Jerry Diekmann says

    I guess I would join most of the other voters, as I like the CCAC version the best, but I would have liked to see MLK Jr’;s picture on the coin, as he did so much to see that the law finally was enacted. To quote the old song by Dion, we have honored Abraham, John, and Bobby, and they have been shown prominently on our coins, but still no Martin. If not, why not?

  13. fmtransmitter says

    @samuel: I saw that as well. I just hope “J.J.” in the shipping department can do a better job. He had it almost right and really went above and beyond to protect my item but if he had just taped up the sides of the cardboard along with the top and bottom, it would not have moved a mm. That one error made it slide out of it’s holder and get bent. Oh well…

  14. VA Bob says

    Would have preferred the proceeds go to a civil rights museum or other related public place where it would benefit anyone so inclined to visit. If the coin was commemorating the UNCF, which started in 1944, I could see it, but it just doesn’t seem to fit. While they seem to manage their money well (low admin and advertising costs), their fund raising seems to do pretty good, as shown here:

    I will have to see the final product before I make up my mind on this one. personally I would havpreferreded MLK got his due on the coin. I have a similar issue with the Baseball HoF for the upcoming baseball coin, an industry that pulls in 100’s of millions annually, and they need the coin collector to provide a subsidy? Kinda of like Habitat for Humanity building a house for Warren Buffet. The money shoud go to the National Little League where the game is still about fun, not huge contracts. This is the other end of the spectrum I suppose.

  15. CoinDoc says

    Kind of ironic the mint issues this commemorative coin the year after the Supreme Court basically eviscerated the law by ruling that the enforcement clause was unconstitutional.

  16. someone says

    I’m surprised that the horses design won the poll, as I don’t think much of it. If the Mint chooses that one, it will be crappy design/coin number 5 for the 2014 set (hint: the other four are the Presidential coins). For the Civil Rights coin I agree with Blair (Obverse design 10 with Reverse design 8).

  17. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    Without MLK with the Civil Rights Act, what’s the point? Children will ask why he isn’t on the coin. The March is so small on the liberty bell design it looks like a big overall view just like the media portrays the masses not as individual people but as one to give statistics about. Again where is MLK? Did he bolt the scene?
    Most of the designs do not evoke any emotion, except Obverse #2 is very good where they are singing.
    Reverse #10 evokes the most emotion with the words, “Until justice rolls down like water ang righteousness like a mighty stream.” Those are mighty strong and great words by a great man.

    Put my motion in for Obv. #2 and Rev. #10 definitely.

  18. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    Civil Rights Rev. #10 looks like the river Jordan.

    For the dollar, I think the horse design is great

  19. thePhelps says

    For those wanting MLK on this coin – I think your off the mark. This coin is about the law being enacted in 1964.

    If you put MLK on the coin it becomes the MLK Freedom coin – not the Civil Rights Enactment coin. MLK contributed to the cause to get this law enacted for sure – but he isn’t the reason this law exists.

    I’m no opposed to any kind of MLK coin at some point – but if his image was used here it would be all about him…

  20. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    Of course, I’d like to see an MLK coin, e.g. similar to the Kennedy half dollar. But if there is some kind of copyright on MLK that prohibits his image on a coin, then instead of Obv. #2, Obv. #10 is the best since the Great March will be depicted for future generations and coin collectors.

    Whichever design they choose, I will definitely be purchasing this coin.

  21. Goat says

    What am I missing? A coin with Washington Monument, when the man and his family had and promoted slaves/slavery. Yes THE speech was presented in the area but why not look at the true meaning. As thePhelps has noted about the law being enacted in 1964! Very long time since the Civil Rights War owed in President Lincoln days.

  22. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    The Washington Monument, Reflecting Pool and sea of people that came there for the 1963 “March on Washington” is an appropriate image for a coin that recognizes the Civil Rights Act that followed in 1964. It is that day that they are capturing within the Liberty Bell and it looks good to me. Great coin and am looking forward to see it in person. 🙂

  23. simon says

    I do plan to get the Civil Rights Act coin. The resonating bell would be awesome but the pattern IMHO should also include a pattern outline of the clapper, perhaps swinging outwards. The design is a reversal of the normal pattern from physics where the spacings of the outline would normally be wider near the bell and damper outwards but the arrangement symbolizes the spread of the Act.

    The 2014 NA design which received the most votes had several comments on the ears. I actually don’t mind the ears; I found the placement of the $1 designation a bit too distracting form the image and its message. If they do select this image they should consider moving the $1 off to the side as they did with the other designs. That said, I chose #3 for the combination of the food basket and the peace pipe. It is also a very appealing design all round and independent of previous designs.

  24. Ray says

    so we will see 2 commem programs for 2014, baseball HoF and this civil rights coin? interesting. i passed on both this year, but i’m interested in both for next year. ive been on the fence about the profile set for about a month now, and i’m probably going to order it after all of the great comments about it in the blog comments.

  25. high low silver says

    Ray: I saw the silver dollar proof General coin at a coin show today, I was not impressed very much with it.It was a beautiful coin, but so were the 9/11 medal and a 95 Civil War commem. The profile set would be the way I would go if I was to purchase. It looks like all the other proof silver dollars IMO.

  26. thePhelps says

    High Low… while I agree with getting the profile set, which I think is a very nice set… I have to say I am actually quite impressed with the proof General dollar. I have the other coins you mention, and yes they are nice – but the clarity of the General proof is head and shoulders above them…imo.

  27. high low silver says

    thePhelps : I used a set of reader 2X glasses to view those dollars and it didn’t stand apart from the other proof silver dollars he had. Not one dealer had the profile set. (I wanted to see that Mccarther medal).:(

  28. high low silver says

    These Civil Right coins are just an artists drawling…..Hope they pick a good design.

  29. AkBob says

    Sorry, but off topic but can anyone tell me what years there were Uncirculated dollar sets produced (ASE, Presidential and NA $1 Coins) (6 coin set) produced by the mint? I know they did them for 2007, 2008 and 2012. Are there anymore and I’m hearing there will be one for 2013 as well coming out soon. Thanks in advance.

  30. simon says

    AkBob : it is scheduled for 11/14. I pick up a set each year when available. The LESPS set is also on my list.

  31. VA Bob says

    Well if they really wanted to teach with the Civil Rights coin, they could have put the vote tallies on it from Congress, but that might go against some preconceived notions being portrayed 😉 .

    I can see some of the points made about not having MLK on the coin, but let’s be honest, he was the face of the civil rights movement. Nothing against the others, but they are nowhere close.

  32. fmtransmitter says

    Interesting that march on Washington was for JOBS…50 years later what are we talking about? JOBS…

  33. thePhelps says

    @AKBob The years you listed are the only years the sets have been released – so far.

    @hls – I think you are doing a forest and trees comparison. The coin isn’t going to be a PF71 – but if you look at the details of the coin itself it is pretty stunning. (again that is my opinion). I collect the modern commemorative coins and noticed instantly that this coin seemed sharper and more detailed than most I have.

    @VA Bob – I agree MLK was a leader in the movement for civil rights. It might be they chose the wrong subject for the coin? Or had some other legal issues around using him as the subject – but the coin is about the Civil Rights Enactment becoming a law – not the civil rights movement en-total. That is why I prefer the Liberty Bell version – it is inline with the objective for the coin itself.

  34. stephen m says

    I was raised and still live in the southeast. I was 14 in 1964 and remember the separate water fountains at the courthouse with the signs on them along with a lot of comments from the older white men about the changes that were in the air at the time. It appears that society doesn’t want a person to see color but it’s obvious and always will be there. We don’t judge a book by it’s cover. African American, Hispanic, Asian and etc. colors are here to stay for a very long time although it’s true that we are one big melting pot. I like the Liberty Bell version the best out of the 2 presented here.

  35. stephen m says

    Hi Lo Silver awayyyyy…………My water still comes out of the ground in the backyard. Some small communities still get their water from wells that is a county or city owned water system. There is even a well know bottled water plant close to us. Would you care to know where their water comes from? That’s right! out of the ground from multiple wells on the bottled water plants property. What has this to do with coins? Right again, nothing.

  36. VARich says

    Back on coins – the new Morgan Zeke has a much, much improved press than the Walker with some fine detail that’s pretty cool. As another poster commented, they have a ‘burnished-like’ background, the same can be said with the Molon Labe which I’m happy about as the Spartan detail is rough stone-like. I’m also happy about that when the Zeke’s do come a knocking, all this stuff has cut into my beer money as well…, so I’ll be able to run a little faster with the loot in tow!

    Speaking of loot.., ~80 days left in this CY for the mint to kick off the remainder of this year’s offerings! As some point, the presses will need to be reconfigured for early ’14 eagles

  37. high low silver says

    I understand the concept of PR70 and a ground well. In the early 60, you try to sell bottled water for 10 cents to the public, you might be stoned, today it is accepted everywhere for 1 dollar. Just a little outside the box Civil Rights history.

  38. AkBob says

    Simon &
    thePhelps – Thank you so much for the info. I have been trying to find one for 2011 and couldn’t so now I know why! Appreciate your help very much. Happy Collecting you and to ALL!

  39. fmtransmitter says

    @Mark: The Mint would rather sell to Dealers…If it hasn’t become plainly obvious yet, keep watching…

  40. fmtransmitter says

    Exclusion G: Loss or damage arising directly or indirectly from nuclear reaction, nuclear radiation or
    radioactive contamination, however such nuclear reaction, nuclear radiation or radioactive
    contamination may have been caused.
    Sorry but I think the Zombucks are excluded due to the nature of the potential invasion of the body snatchers…

  41. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    fm, something that I recently learned in conversation with State Farm about their coin insurance. The value that they use for replacement is not what you paid for the coins or even retail value. It is based upon what a dealer would pay. So at least with State Farm, Blue Book prices only (or something similar) when setting the insured value of your collection.

  42. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    Oh, one more thing. Your price of $0.70 per 100 is good. State Farm wants $1.25 per 100 for coins. They use a higher rate on coins than other collectables (according to them) because coins are more likely stolen.

  43. fmtransmitter says

    The policy is through Broker Hugh Woods, long time respected Insurer in the Industry and there is language about replacement values in the policy as well. It is ABOVE Dealer value, it is what “you” would have to pay to replace it.

    B.E.P. email this morning about the new $100 bill:

    Dear Customer ,
    Unfortunately, we are not planning to offer a new $100 product in Oct. once the bill is released but we will at some point in the future. When? We do not know and we do not know what the product will be yet. Sorry.

  44. fmtransmitter says

    IMO it is best to go with people that are “in the business” with something like Art and Collectibles for Insurance.

  45. fmtransmitter says

    Actually is the “blacklist” Jus-a-coin-luvr , that is the sheet dealers use daily.

  46. fmtransmitter says

    The wholesale guide to coin prices is a series of newsletters published over a cycle of weeks called the “Coin Dealer Newsletter” (or “CDN” for short.) Because this newsletter is printed on grey paper, coin dealers call it the “Grey Sheet.”

    The Grey Sheet lists prices for all major U.S. coins and mint sets, in a wide range of grades, and with two price points, the “bid” and the “ask” price. The “bid” price is the price dealers are paying for the coin, and the “ask” price is the asking, or selling price.

  47. fmtransmitter says

    Quote I found online about the Grey Sheet: May be helpful at the coin shows for us average Joe’s.
    The Grey Sheet publisher sells the newsletter by subscription, but you can also buy a “sample pack” for about $14 that includes one of each of the latest issues in the 7 issue cycle. I highly recommend buying this sample pack about twice a year for most collectors, just to have as a reference. I’ve gotten many dealers’ prices down just by having a copy peeking out of my satchel at coin shows and stating that I’d be back later after I look up the coin in the Grey Sheet.

  48. simon says

    *** ” at 10.75% was design #3, depicting a Native American man offering a pipe and his wife offering provisions, which was recommended by the CCAC ”

    This design was chosen for the 2014 NA Dollar

  49. fmtransmitter says

    Thanks simon, I like that design. The partial compass should strike well, looking forward to it in proof version.

  50. Smiledon says

    Coins go up in value, so I insure my coins at what I paid for them. After about 5-7 years, I have them appraised, and then increase what I insure them for.

  51. fmtransmitter says

    There goes spot for PM’s, up up…Suspected such due to looming news of default…

  52. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    fm, good information and thanks! I know that we are being OT, but feel that this kind of discussion may be useful to others in general. I ignored State Farm’s coverage and costs. Have also seen Hugh Woods site and agree about being in the biz can be a huge difference. Thanks for the info about the “Grey Sheet” too. 🙂

  53. fmtransmitter says

    IMO this blog is for information to HELP other collectors, whatever form that may be in. Hope I am at least OT as far as the hobby itself. You are quite welcome.

  54. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    Smiledon, before talking to State Farm, I was thinking the same thing (insuring at what I paid for the coins). But after understanding that they do not use the price(s) I paid and that they use their own method of value, I realized that my idea and their idea of value could be very different. What the Insurance company uses to assess value can be an important thing to understand when it comes time to having to file a claim.

  55. fmtransmitter says

    Just to add one more point about coverage, if the coins are recovered after a “payout”, the Insurer gets to keep them. I am thinking about adding a clause that I can purchase back the items at the same price they paid “me” for them. I like that clause!

  56. HarryB says

    OT: Thanks for the discussion on insurance, a subject I have been working thru myself. My State Farm agent would not even discuss the subject of my Coins and Bullion, recommending I look further.

  57. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    Got my “Morgue Anne” Silver Zombucks today from Provident. Simply beautiful coins and detail to be enjoyed with magnification. Sweeetest silver rounds that I’ve seen so far that look way better in person than the marketing photo reveals. I’ve become a fan of the 2×2 Lighthouse Quadrum coin holders with the black inserts. Now I have to order some in 39mm for my Zombucks.

  58. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    On that design #3 for the N/A coin. I wonder if the pipe will be removed due to the NCAI “religious and ceremonial” issues with using it on the coin that were reported.

  59. Eddie says

    I really like the Liberty coin. It is a great looking design and if the Mint uses the enhanced process it would be one of the best coins the Mint has minted.IMO

  60. Doug says

    Based on the tail and the mouth its possible the fish are freshwater drumfish, (sheepshead). When I was on an archaeolgy dig site years back in illinois we used to find drumish palattes quite a bit.

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