2015 High Relief Gold Coin and Silver Medal Recommendations

by Mike Unser on January 28, 2015 · 31 comments

Design reviews and recommendations are in for the 2015 High Relief Gold Coin and 2015 High Relief Silver Medal, one-year issues planned by the United States Mint based on the success of the 2009 $20 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle.

Likely Designs for 2015 High Relief Gold Coin and 2015 High Relief Silver Medal]

Based on CFA and CCAC recommendations, the above obverse and reverse designs will likely be featured on the 2015 High Relief Gold Coin and 2015 High Relief Silver Medal. The silver medals would not bear any coin-specific inscriptions to include the mottoes, denomination, weight and fineness. The type of finishes are not yet known.

Last week the United States Mint published design candidates for the two high reliefs (see the gold coin designs or the silver medal designs). Both collectibles will share the same basic designs, with the Treasury Secretary ultimately responsible for selecting them. Those of the silver medal will vary mainly by their lack of coin-required inscriptions.

All the Lady Liberty and American Eagle candidates were reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) on Thursday, Jan. 22, and then by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) on Tuesday, Jan. 27. Apparently finding it hard to decide, the CFA endorsed two possible designs for both obverses and reverses. The CCAC stayed true to the task and recommended one for each side, even as committee members voiced many favorable opinions for other designs.

Before jumping into the design recommendations that will get sent up to the Treasury Secretary, the CCAC also unanimously passed a series of six major motions. These basically equate to strong suggestions for how the U.S. Mint should produce the two collectibles. In summary, the six motions:

  1. For the silver medal to maximize its "eyeglass" appeal, stick to the same 40.6 millimeter planchet that is used to strike American Silver Eagles.

  2. Maximize the relief of the silver medal to the fullest extent possible, making it deeper than the obverse of the proof American Silver Eagle.

  3. Use an inscription of "One Union" followed by "$100" for the gold coin’s denomination.

  4. Include mint marks on the silver medals with the possibility of both U.S. Mint facilities in West Point and San Francisco striking them.

  5. Add edge reeding to the silver medals to dress them up, which isn’t traditional for medals.

  6. Make the silver medal the first in a series of annual Liberty-themed issues.

As for the design recommendations, the CCAC unanimously scored obverse candidate #11 and reverse candidate #1 as the winners. In a first, each of the 10 members gave the two designs their top score.

2015 High Relief 24K Gold Coin Candidate Design, HR-O-11-C

Obverse Candidate Design #11

There was a motion made about obverse candidate design #11. Members disliked how the flag pole ran into the "W" from WE TRUST. A motion passed to lower the font of the year 2015 and then place IN GOD WE TRUST beneath it in two horizontal lines.

2015 High Relief 24K Gold Coin Candidate Design, HR-R-01-C

Reverse Candidate Design #1

For reverse candidate design #1, a motion was made and passed to trim the size of the olive branch that’s held in the eagle’s talons.

Unable to lockdown their decision, the CFA recommended the same designs as above as well as obverse candidate #3 and reverse candidate #10.

2015 High Relief 24K Gold Coin Candidate Design, HR-O-03-C

Obverse Candidate Design #3


2015 High Relief 24K Gold Coin Candidate Design, HR-R-10-C

Reverse Candidate Design #10

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

jim January 28, 2015 at 9:48 am

Well, I’m glad these are only recommendations. I’m hoping that treasury secretary Lew will use his head and not just blindly go with these recommendations. The 2009 ultra high relief gold coin was a one off by the famous sculptor Saint-Gaudens. These designs are obviously not and more evidence the CFA and CCAC don’t understand. More sad evidence of Peterson’s legacy: another fiasco, another loser idea.

John January 28, 2015 at 10:44 am

Look on the bright side. Ugly, and may be low mintage?
I still won’t buy it if one of the 2 shown above.

JOE #2 January 28, 2015 at 11:22 am

Call me crazy, But i do like the forst eagle showing. That’s about it.

JOE #2 January 28, 2015 at 11:22 am

“first”

Namvet4 January 28, 2015 at 11:46 am

Why even create a HR coin? What “event” is this created to celebrate or commemorate? Liberty is a constant concept / theme in the US mint presentations.There are noteworthy events and persons that can be honored by having a HR coin. If the US mint is hoping to duplicate the success of 2009 ultra high relief, they are off the mark. As Jim referenced, the 2009 was a one off of the Saint-Gaudens design. None of the designs are even close!
just my 2 cents . . .

Mary Jo January 28, 2015 at 12:03 pm

St Gaudens design was beautiful, why cheapen an ultra relief…the eagle is fine….hopefully they will reconsider the front…bad choices…

Joe C. January 28, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Bad choice for the obverse.

Richard January 28, 2015 at 12:36 pm

At least going to $100 for the never-issued “Union” coin makes more sense than the odd $75 denomination. But it’s still a very questionable idea to do this at all. As I’ve said elsewhere, nothing is being commemorated and we already have annual gold issues.

Vadim January 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Agree, bad choice for obverse. No good reason for another gold coin and especially HR!

US Mint, just wait till 2019 for HR!!!!!!

Senior January 28, 2015 at 3:07 pm

The CFA and CCAC elders need to be put out to pasture,I doubt any of these board members collect what they’re recommend.

SalivateMetal January 28, 2015 at 3:47 pm

The reverse is great with the eagle. The number 11 obverse isn’t terrible. But, it could be better. As long as they don’t pick number 3 then this program should be successful. For those complaining and wanting the Mint to rehash old classic designs, I say that we should give the Mint some credit for bringing back themes of liberty. It does commemorate something…..LIBERTY which is foundational to the country. I’d much rather have fresh new designs than to rehash a St Gaudin’s which is issued every year with the Eagle bullion program.

jim January 28, 2015 at 9:02 pm

If it ain’t broke then don’t futz with it.

Senior January 28, 2015 at 11:49 pm

Jim,Mr Petersen was an appointee filling a chair he personally is not responsible for any of the confusion we as collectors have deallt with.Do you really believe it aiin’t broken.

colec January 29, 2015 at 9:14 am

The USMint needs a whole new theme of designers. “B” for effort but simply boring designs.

Senior January 29, 2015 at 10:18 am

To me the selected was marginal nothing really electrifying.

jim January 29, 2015 at 10:26 am

I believe that as the top person at the mint Peterson was responsible for all the decisions the mint has made while he was in that position. That includes coming up with a third 1 oz gold coin and thinking that because it is a high relief coin it will be bought with the same enthusiasm and gusto that the ultra high relief 2009 $20 gold double eagle was despite the fact that gold now costs $400+ more per oz. and Liberty is depicted as an anorexic scarecrow (scares me anyway).

Other issues include the high household limit for the baseball gold coin, including one of the 4 week only limited sales coins in another different set, and not publishing a full year product schedule, a practice Director Moy had started. So yes I believe Peterson is responsible.

What I don’t believe is broken is the tradition of using Lady Liberty as designed by famous artists when the designs recommended by the CFA and CCAC so clearly are not. Obviously the CFA and CCAC are trying to add diversity in their recommendations but their choices are poor. Not their fault I guess if they can only pick from the choices the mint provides. Maybe they should be included more in the design process rather than just as final recommendation committees.

Whistler January 29, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Seems our stamps & these medals show a PC desire to show diversity to the point where – for example the US commemorative stamps, feature one type of human being over another, just saying getting kinda obvious….

Senior January 29, 2015 at 6:37 pm

I believe Mr Petersens responsibility lies mostly in administration,marketing and production and possibly the original renderings.The CFA and CCAC selects and chooses the final art for the series.The US Marshals I believe had some pretty good art but to me the final choice by the CCAC was weak and this medal offering looks to me a bit shaky.Personally I by the art work not the theme and speaking of theme what the heck is the theme of this medal.

Brandon January 30, 2015 at 10:47 am

The obverses are weak. The reverses are, perhaps, marginal.

I do not think that the U.S. knows how to design coins anymore.

Kenneth L. Luck January 31, 2015 at 5:02 pm

I am a disabled veteran and have started a collection for my new born grand childred, with this said, “it is bad business to not show the complete year of what is to be produced. We have to manage the fixed income that we find ourselves at this point in our lives. Not knowing and not shipping them when you place the order is not acceptable. Also, the Limited Silver Proof Set was supposed to be minted last year and it was not. Not even a word from the mint as to why that happened. It is listed again this year but who knows?????

RonnieBGood January 31, 2015 at 10:01 pm

Kenneth – The Mint’s web site has the “2014 Limited Edition Silver Proof Set” with an issue / release date of 3/17/2015.

jim February 1, 2015 at 10:19 pm

The costs of the standard collector sets and coins (proof set, unc set, proof silver eagle, unc silver eagle, etc.) have been pretty stable and dependable and with generally unlimited mintages. So you can budget your money for these kind of coins and buy when is most convenient for you (but watch out near the end of the year). So while the product schedule doesn’t list release dates for everything at the beginning of the year that shouldn’t be a big problem. And if you wait until the third quarter to buy, all of these sets and coins are available and you can place a single order and save yourself multiple shipping charges.

Commemorative coins are generally released near the beginning of the year to give enough time for sales to approach/reach the mintage limits set by law. Again the silver and clad coin costs don’t vary significantly from year to year. Don’t get me wrong I am a hearty proponent of a year-long product schedule and complained about it when it disappeared but building in a slush fund in my budget has helped to manage release date variations and allows me to buy when I think timing is important for a popular coin (set).

I normally don’t buy the limited silver set because it’s just a repackaging of what’s already available in other sets. But I am interested in the 2014 set since multiple finishes of the Kennedy half were made and it’s a possibility that even another finish version may come out with the limited silver set and catch everybody by surprise. BTW, I think the 2014 limited silver set is the first set that the mint has released outside its year date – a bad precedent to set indeed. They should have just cancelled the 2014 set as they have cancelled other coin issues in the past. Yet another example of former Dep Dir Petersons almost total lack of communication with the collecting public and lack of understanding of what the year on a coin is supposed to mean.

AdintTellus April 15, 2015 at 11:14 am

I think the first (top) design is beautiful. If that’s the one chosen, I’ll buy it.

The US Mint makes some of the most boring coins. Worse, when you compare them to other world mints like the Perth Mint, Canada or the Royal Mint. Why not get a little creative and do a little renewal? Does anyone really think the First Lady coins are simply amazing? Probably not.

It’s nice to have a creative alternative, rather than boring coins like the First Lady series or rehashes of old stuff, like the buffalo.

Mark April 20, 2015 at 7:08 pm

It would REALLY be cool to have Lady Liberty depicted in the second design! And a national first!

deacono May 16, 2015 at 12:11 am

@AdintTellus
Im proud of the US mint and Mexican mint for not becoming the Canadian Mint, Perth Mint or some of these others. Its probably one of the last traditional mints not falling into; colorized, jade inserted, diamond encrusted, country shaped, non commerative, glow in the dark, black light imbued coins. It is all a little too much.

AdintTellus May 16, 2015 at 9:50 pm

I’m not looking for a lot of the kitche style coins. Just better quality. What we do put out, except for one or two coins, are basically crap. Again, I point to the President, First Lady Series, and the Sacagawea coins.

Terry May 22, 2015 at 7:41 pm

I have a very simple problem with the U.S. Mint, their profit margin is way to high.
Today Gold closed at $1206.00 a ounce but a One ounce 2015 gold Buffalo is costing $1590.00 from the mint. I get .02 percent from the bank that holds my money. How is this fair?

jim May 23, 2015 at 10:48 am

First of all, change what you can change. I get .9% interest from an online bank – you might want to look into a different bank to put your money in. I know even .9% isn’t much but it’s better than the almost nothing you’re getting now.

As to the price of gold, good luck changing that. And the US mint uses American labor and American resources. I doubt the US Mint will ever ship it’s minting process to China or anywhere else for cheaper labor so the markup will likely continue to go up over time. I think you’re going to have to just live with it.

Jason June 21, 2015 at 12:26 pm

I dislike BOTH designs. Horrible. The one looks like the photo was taken off the Aunt Jemima syrup bottle and replaced the doo-rag on her head, with wreath leaves. The only positive about these two designs would be low mintage. Who wants Aunt Jemima on a gold coin?

Marie Johanson July 23, 2015 at 6:52 pm

The design of the woman (HR-0-03-C) is incredibly elegant and delicately lovely. The artistic rendering honors the diverse richness of the USA. We will definitely will purchase this historic piece.

Charles kostet August 29, 2015 at 5:26 pm

Ugly coin

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