Jim Thorpe will be honored on the Native American $1 Coin for 2018, recently published candidate designs reveal.
Fifteen designs are competing for the reverse or tails side of the dollar. Each of them features a design emblematic of Thorpe’s athletic accomplishments. Thorpe, who was a Sac and Fox Native American, is often credited as the world’s greatest athlete.
Proposed designs for the 2018-dated coin were reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee on Oct. 7 and by the Commission of Fine Arts on Oct. 15. Not too unusual, the two presented differing opinions as to which designs were the best.
The CFA selected the same #4 design as Thorpe’s sons. Shown directly below, it depicts a profile of Thorpe in the background while the foreground highlights his achievement in football and as an Olympian. Inscriptions include JIM THORPE and BRIGHT PATH.
The CFA suggested replacing BRIGHT PATH with WA-THO-HUK, Thorpe’s Indian name that translates in English to "Bright Path."
The CCAC preferred design #10, which highlights Jim Thorpe’s football career. This design depicts Thorpe against a silhouetted Chief Black Hawk, one of his ancestors.
The CCAC also passed motions for recommended revisions. Their suggestions include:
- Inscription of JIM THORPE moved from the Chief Black Hawk silhouette to the upper left border, replacing BRIGHT-PATH.
- Enlarging Thorpe’s depiction within the silhouette.
- The use of the Lithos font for border inscriptions, like used on Native American $1 Coins from 2009 to 2012.
Line Art Images of Candidate Designs
Below are line art images and descriptions of all the design candidates.
2017-NA-R-01, 2017-NA-R-02, and 2017-NA-R-03 highlight Jim Thorpe’s participation in decathlon events held during the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. Design #3 incorporates a black sparrow hawk, a reference to Thorpe’s ancestor, Chief Black Hawk. The design contains one or more of the following inscriptions: "Jim Thorpe," Bright Path," "Wa-Tho-Huk," and "All American Olympian."
2017-NA-R-04 depicts Jim Thorpe in the background, while the foreground highlights his achievements in football and as an Olympian. The design has the additional inscriptions "Jim Thorpe" and "Bright Path."
2017-NA-R-05 and 2017-NA-R-06 depict Jim Thorpe as a football player or an Olympian discus thrower. The additional inscriptions include his English name "Jim Thorpe" and his Indian name "Wa-Tho-Huk."
2017-NA-R-07 depicts Jim Thorpe as he waits for the javelin throw event. It incorporates a stylized black sparrow hawk, a reference to Thorpe’s ancestor Chief Black Hawk. The additional inscriptions are "Jim Thorpe," "Wa-Tho-Huk," and "All American."
2017-NA-R-08, 2017-NA-R-09, and 2017-NA-R-10 highlight Jim Thorpe’s football career. Design #9 incorporates his Olympic medals and a black sparrow hawk, a reference to Thorpe’s ancestor Chief Black Hawk, while design #10 incorporates a silhouette Chief Black Hawk. Designs contain one or more of the additional inscriptions "Jim Thorpe," "Bright Path," "Wa-Tho-Huk," and "Spirit of Excellence."
2017-NA-R-11, 2017-NA-R-12, 2017-NA-R-13, 2017-NA-R-14, and 2017-NA-R-15 highlight Jim Thorpe’s athleticism. Designs #11 and #13 depict Thorpe in his Canton Bulldogs football gear, while design #12 has him proudly displaying his Olympic gold medals. In the background of all three designs are silhouettes of Thorpe engaging in the 1500 meter run, the 110 meter hurdles, the shot put, and the discus throw events. Design #14 depicts him kneeling with baseball and football gear in the front of him, while design #15 depicts him posed in his athletic uniform. The designs contain one or more of the additional inscriptions "Jim Thorpe," "Wa-Tho-Huk," and "1888-1952."
Design Requirements and Final Selection
Under the authorizing law of the series, Public Law 110-82, the Treasury Secretary is tasked with making final design selections. The chosen design must celebrate the contributions to the United States by Native American tribes and individuals.
Obverses or heads side of Native American $1 Coins share Glenna Goodacre’s portrait of Sacagawea carrying her infant son, Jean-Baptiste.