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Who is the most important influencer today in the designs of US Coins and Medals?

CasabrownCasabrown Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭
edited May 18, 2023 7:41PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Current and former members of the CCAC are ineligible to answer this questions!!


  • DNADaveDNADave Posts: 7,232 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To me current coin and medal designs are committee approved and autocad generated to the point there is no original art work left to inspire. Otherwise my answer is the Greeks.

  • CasabrownCasabrown Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭

    I can't say that I am entirely surprised, but I was hoping for different responses. Because I am optimistic, I will be patient to hear more responses.


  • NysotoNysoto Posts: 3,717 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Congress has the most clout to influence coinage designs, in 1792 and present. To a lesser extent Mint artists, CCAC, and the public.

    Jeanne Stevens-Sollman stated that US coinage "needs more guts" - bolder designs with higher relief, but I think her plea will fall on deaf ears. Joe Menna needs to step up on this as he does have authority to make changes on the technical attributes of coinage.

    The original intent and congressional action leading to the Coinage Act of 1792 (section 10) should be studied by CCAC. The obverses of primary circulating coinage are the opposite of what the Founders intended.

    There were more, and better, coin denominations in 1796 than there is today. The cent needs to go and higher denomination circulating coinage should be re-introduced, IMO.

    I believe that CCAC has influenced and approved some excellent reverse designs on National Parks Quarters and the American Women on Quarters Program.

    Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty - biography of US Mint's first chief engraver
  • Eldorado9Eldorado9 Posts: 1,921 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The Bald Eagle.

  • CasabrownCasabrown Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭

    In the interest of full transparency, I am the current Chair of the CCAC. I am also a member of the baby boomer generation. Because of both, I have come to appreciate that there is value in engaging all generations by using terminology that lands with as many views as possible, being authentic and diplomatic.

    The term influencer has come to land on many over the past few years. If we are to continue the enjoyment of our hobby to future generations, we must be willing to hear them even if we differ.

    I am also confident that we can leave the impression that despite the differences within the numismatic community that we are not just a pessimistic or sarcastic bunch.

    just my two cents!

  • sfs2002usasfs2002usa Posts: 805 ✭✭✭

    This is a thoughtful question. IMHO most all of the pre-1933/45/47 coins featured Liberty in various motifs, including Native Americans as symbolic of Liberty. I would have to go with the original leaders - The first four Presidents and affiliated Congresses who decided to Make US Coinage Feature LIBERTY, to the advent of Presidential busts on the coins. The last circulating coins to feature Liberty were the dime (Mercury - 1945), and half (Walking Liberty - 1947). I believe (?) it was John Quincy Adams who visited the Monnaie de Paris mint operations in 1780, prior to Washington's Presidency, and communicated with his wife, and then Thomas Jefferson about setting up a Mint.

    FYI : Here is a great article on African American themed coins

  • gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,173 ✭✭✭✭✭

    George T Morgan

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • NysotoNysoto Posts: 3,717 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The one person who has the final authority on coinage design is the Treasury Secretary, although that authority is more approval than an influencer, and I don't believe Janet Yellen has anything to do with design development.

    Chief Engraver Joe Menna has left his mark in many ways including the modeling of the shield reverse cent, dollar designs, and various NCLT designs. I believe that he could do more with the circulating obverse designs by asserting his authority. It is the circulating coinage that the public sees, most people are not aware of the NCLT coinage or dollar coins. I hope that the CCAC has direct contact with the Chief Engraver so that items such as Stevens-Sollman request for "more guts" (quote from ANA presentation) can become a reality on coinage.

    Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty - biography of US Mint's first chief engraver
  • CasabrownCasabrown Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭

    Let me say that I really appreciate the recent comments to this post. I wonder if my question was too vague so I believe it is important that I revise the question to the following:

    Who is the most important influencer today in the designs of US Coins and Medals?


  • telephoto1telephoto1 Posts: 4,638 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's not a single person, but rather groups of activists/lobbyists in concert with politicians.

    RIP Mom- 1932-2012
  • sfs2002usasfs2002usa Posts: 805 ✭✭✭

    Still a very thought-full question. Could it be the Mint Director or is this job strictly about execution, distribution, marketing, and sales ? Circulating coins are somewhat predetermined and legislated. If we go by popular coins however, take the ASE - the most popular bullion coin in the world, it would seem that the designer Damstra would hold key position together with the person (Treasury Secretary with recs. from CCAC and CFA, and possibly the Mint Dir.) who made the decision to put her Eagle design on the coin.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 18, 2023 5:59PM

    @Casabrown said:
    Who is the most important influencer today in the designs of US Coins and Medals?

    Some people of the past continue to influence today.

    @gumby1234 said:
    George T Morgan

    • 2022 Morgan Dollars
    • 2021 Morgan Dollars
    • 2006 SF Old Mint Dollar Reverse
  • CasabrownCasabrown Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭

    Very interesting responses.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 18, 2023 9:26PM

    I think one of our most talented medallic sculptors is Heidi Wastweet, who was a member of CCAC and in the AIP now. An interesting exercise is to compare her US Mint coins with her privately commissioned work.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,735 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 18, 2023 9:15PM

    @Casabrown said:
    Who is the most important influencer today in the designs of US Coins and Medals?

    An interesting thing is that CCAC was formed in 2003, during the 50 State Quarters Program. Immediately before CCAC, I would say the most important influencer in coin designs were U.S. Citizens through the various state quarter design competitions that were held, however, during the course of that program, the ability of citizens to influence the coin designs was diminished. Today, it's a bit unclear me who has the most influence, but it does not appear to be US citizens as there seems to be limited participation from citizens today.

  • CasabrownCasabrown Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭

    Very interesting comments. I will share my perspectives after Sunday.

  • FrankHFrankH Posts: 703 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Current designs in many many cases obscure US history. The political and social agendas of current coin designs seem to seek to ignore the symbols of the past.
    Hopefully not to bury them.

  • CasabrownCasabrown Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭

    Quite interesting

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,398 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I long for the more complete use of the exergue in the application of design elements. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, Ricko, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, Jzyskowski1, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich

  • TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,572 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Dan Carr gets my vote. He keeps up.

  • TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,572 ✭✭✭✭✭

    re-designs :smiley:

  • CasabrownCasabrown Posts: 2,094 ✭✭✭

    Re-designs are coming.

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