By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for Coinweek …….
The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) (www.ccac.gov) convened on March 15 to review numerous obverse and reverse design candidates for the 2017 20th Anniversary American Eagle Platinum Proof Coin, the 2017 Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coin Program, and 2017 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin and Silver Medal.
The selected designs were released in a press release that the United States Mint. With the CCAC recommendations now finalized, the designs must go before the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), which will provide their choices to the U.S. Treasury for consideration.
2017 Boys Town Centennial Coins
Boys Town, a non-profit organization that raises funds for saving for children and helping families, turns 100 in 2017. The Boys Town organization, headquartered in Boys Town, Nebraska, will be honored on a 90-percent gold $5 half eagle, 90-percent silver $1 dollar coin, and copper-nickel clad half dollar.
The CCAC’s recommendation for the 2017 Boys Town Centennial $5 Gold coin calls for an obverse featuring Father Edward J. Flanagan, an Irish-American priest who founded the Boys Town children’s home in 1917. The obverse design includes the words BOYS TOWN CENTENNIAL in a semi-circle above Father Flanagan’s head. To his right are the words IN GOD WE TRUST and on the left, the founder of the Douglas County, Nebraska, organization is identified by his name, FR. EDWARD FLANAGAN. Below the image of the priest are LIBERTY and the date, 2017.
The reverse of the coin shows a young child’s hand holding an oak sapling growing from an acorn, which the U.S. Mint says represents “the potential of each child helped by Boys Town to grow into a productive, complete adult.” The central reverse feature is bordered along the top of the coin by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and along the bottom with the words FIVE DOLLARS and E PLURIBUS UNUM. Just above the hand is the inscription THE WORK WILL CONTINUE.
The silver dollar obverse depicts a young girl looking up at a leafy branch extending from an unseen oak tree. Atop the obverse image is the inscription BOYS TOWN; under the girl is the phrase IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, and the date, 2017; on the obverse of the coin is also the phrase WHEN YOU HELP A CHILD TODAY…, with the ellipses begging the viewer to flip the coin to its reverse, on which one can read …YOU WRITE THE HISTORY OF TOMORROW.
Above the continuation of the phrase on the reverse are five children holding hands as they play under a mature oak tree. Below that image are the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, HALF DOLLAR, and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
The half dollar obverse shows an image of an “older boy carrying a young polio victim,” according to a description by the U.S. Mint. On the upper-left of the obverse, by the rim, is the word LIBERTY; on the center-left of the obverse is the phrase HE AIN’T HEAVY, HE’S M’ BROTHER, which became the official Boys Town slogan in 1943.
BOYS TOWN is inscribed below the slogan, with the date, 2017, below that. On the reverse of the coin is another image of an older boy carrying a younger child, both looking on to a pillar bearing the BOYS TOWN logo.
Emblazoned across the edifice is 100 YEARS; below is the phrase E PLURIBUS UNUM and a numerical representation of the denomination, $1, and above are inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HELP HEALING HOPE.
2017 American Eagle Platinum Proof Coin
2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the first American Eagle Platinum bullion coins, which were first released in 1997. John Mercanti’s (View Designer’s Profile) popular obverse image, of the Statue of Liberty’s head looking directly upon the viewer surrounded by the inscriprtions E PLURIBUS UNUM, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, and the date have always appeared on the coin and will in 2017.
However, the reverse approved by the CCAC, designed by Thomas D. Rogers, Sr. has not been in use since 1997 and has been recommended for the reverse of the 2017 platinum coin.
2017 High Relief $100 Gold Coin
The 2017 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin resurrects the image of a Miss Liberty with African-American features – a concept considered by the CCAC for the $75 high relief gold coin in 2015. The 2017 0.9999-fine gold high-relief coin bears a denominational value of $100.
On the obverse, Liberty bears a crown of stars, similar in fashion to the Statue of Freedom seen on the U.S. Capitol dome. Spanning either side of Miss Liberty is a dual-date feature of 1792-2017, which signifies the 225th anniversary of the United States Mint and the appearance of Miss Liberty on U.S. coinage. Atop the obverse bust is the word LIBERTY and below her is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST.
On the reverse of the coin is an eagle in flight that is “bold and powerful… with eyes toward opportunity and a determination to attain it,” says the U.S. Mint. Should this design be approved by the Commission of Fine Arts and the U.S. Treasury, it would become the second issue in the American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin series, which began in 2015.