On Tuesday, July 31, the United States Mint unveiled possible designs for the 2018 American Innovation $1 Coin. The dollar will introduce a new 15-year series of designs that recognize innovation or innovators in each state, territory and the District of Columbia.
Members of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) discussed the proposed designs in a teleconference meeting on Tuesday. They decided not to recommend any of them over quality concerns. And that’s putting it mildly.
In past CCAC meetings, members have voted to recommend certain designs, they have suggested reworking of designs, and they have even requested brand new designs. None of those options were forwarded in Tuesday’s meeting.
Instead, after an hour of talking committee members unanimously passed a motion not to review the designs. What?
Frankly, the choice seemed diametrically opposed to the mission of the CCAC and its members.
The lowest points of Tuesday’s session happened when certain male CCAC members appeared arrogantly outraged while pontificating on their soapboxes about what was before them. Aah, the agony of having an opportunity to help shape the direction of U.S. coinage. Those guys have it tough.
Still, U.S. Mint officials and their artists may glean a few insights from it all. They just have to filter out that noise, and that meeting-ending motion.
The Mint is required by law to make these coins. They’re coming whether some of us want them or not. Hopefully, future CCAC sessions for the dollar series will be more constructive. Collectors can pass on this series but CCAC members shouldn’t.
As directed by Congress under the American Innovation $1 Coin Act, a single design will be shared on each dollar obverse. It must include inscriptions of "In God We Trust" and "$1." It must also show a likeness of the Statue of Liberty that extends to the rim of the coin and is large enough to provide a dramatic representation of Liberty.
The U.S. Mint’s candidate for the obverse features a reworking of Don Everhart’s Statue of Liberty design that appeared on reverses of Presidential $1 Coins from 2007 to 2016.
Reverses will be unique with four designs each year, beginning in 2019, as well as the optional one for 2018. As mandated in the Act, the reverse for a 2018 dollar must include the inscriptions "United States of America" and "American Innovators." It must also show a representation of the signature of George Washington as it appeared on the first United States patent.
All dollar edges will be incused with the year of issue, a mint mark, and the inscription "E Pluribus Unum."