Presidential and military-themed silver medals also discussed by CCAC
By CoinWeek News Staff ….
On Tuesday, January 16, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) held a public meeting to review designs for the 2019 America the Beautiful Northern Mariana Islands American Memorial Park quarter and make their final recommendation. This was the second portfolio of designs for the Memorial Park quarter that the CCAC has discussed; a first round of art was reviewed at its September 19, 2017 meeting.
Tuesday’s meeting was open to the public via teleconference.
American Memorial Park (Northern Mariana Islands) Quarter
Back in September, the CCAC discussed candidate designs for all five 2019 America the Beautiful quarters. Besides American Memorial Park, these quarters commemorate Lowell National Historical Park (Massachusetts), War in the Pacific National Historical Park (Guam), San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Texas), and the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness (Idaho). But while the committee was able to make final recommendations for the other four, it was not content with the artwork presented for the Mariana Islands at the time. The CCAC requested that the Mint’s artists produce another set of drawings based on design one from the first folio.
Of this second set, the group recommends design four.
According to the Mint’s Sales and Marketing Program Manager April Stafford and American Memorial Park liaison Theo Chargualaf, designs three through six were the preferences of the park management. Each of these four designs feature a young Chamorro woman in traditional garb approaching the flag circle in the court of honor. She rests her hands upon a plaque honoring those who died liberating the island of Saipan (where the park is located) from the Japanese during World War II. The United States flag is most prominent, and is surrounded by flags representing the U.S. Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines.
The legend “COURT OF HONOR” is located above and to the right of the flags. “AMERICAN MEMORIAL PARK” arcs along the top half of the coin, while “NOR. MARINA ISL.”, “2019” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” are inscribed counterclockwise along the bottom half.
Both the CCAC and American Memorial Park staff sought to honor both the sacrifice of our service men and women during the war as well as that of the native peoples, the Chamorro, who have inhabited the Mariana Islands for thousands of years. It was for these reasons that the committee was not completely satisfied with the first portfolio.
Presidential Silver Medals
After the Northern Mariana Islands quarter design was selected, the United States Mint briefly talked about two potential silver medal programs.
The first involves producing silver versions of the presidential medals it produces traditionally in bronze for purchase as mementos by the public. These medals will use the same planchets as the American Silver Eagle, which means they will contain about one ounce of silver and have a diameter of about an inch. The medals will be struck to demand, though only a couple would be available in the first year. Four medals would be released every year after that until the program has caught up with the current presidential term of office.
CCAC member Thomas Uram suggested that the Mint produce improved packaging for the silver presidential medals as befitting the theme.
The second silver medal program, which the Mint does not yet have permission to strike, would involve the production of medals honoring the service branches of the American military. These medals, which would see release starting in 2020, would be two sided and emphasize the emblems and symbols of each respective branch of the military as opposed to specific events or anniversaries. The silver military medals would be available “in perpetuity” from the Mint, though they would lack dates and mint marks.
Five Freedom Platinum Eagles
And finally, the CCAC heard about the next themed series of American Platinum Eagle coins, the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment. Starting in 2021 and running through 2025, the Platinum Eagle would feature a design emblematic of (respectively) the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the freedom of the people to peaceably assemble and the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The current three-coin set (2018-20) is themed around the phrase “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” from the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence. The first entry in the set, “Life”, is scheduled to debut January 25.