WASHINGTON – The U.S. Treasury is closing in on a final design for a set of three coins to be minted next year honoring the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service.
The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee met last week to discuss the 47 designs for the coins that the U.S. Mint put forward as possibilities for the gold $5, silver dollar and copper-nickel clad half dollar coins.
The panel settled on six designs for the fronts and backs of the coins that it is recommending as the best choices to meet the criteria established by the 2012 law Congress enacted to mint the commemorative coins.
"It is truly a group collaborative and thoughtful process that doesn’t take place spontaneously," said committee member Erik Jansen of Mercer Island, Wash., a life-long coin collector.
The 11-member appointed committee includes artists, historians and coin enthusiasts that are called upon to recommend designs to U.S. Treasurer Jack Lew.
The U.S. Fine Arts Commission will consider the recommendations made by the CCAC at its monthly meeting on Thursday, before a final recommendation is made to Lew, said Michael White, a spokesman for the U.S. Mint.
Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, authored the legislation to mint the commemorative coins to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Marshal’s Service. The first $5 million raised by surcharges for the coins would go to the U.S. Marshals Museum that is being constructed in Fort Smith, Ark.
"I am pleased at progress that has been made on the U.S. Marshal Museum coin," Womack said. "I look forward to seeing the finished product."
The committee recommendations for the U.S. Marshals commemorative coins are:
$5 Gold, front – An image of the U.S. Marshals Service Star with a western-style backdrop and the inscription "225 Years of Sacrifice."
$5 Gold, back – An eagle holding a flag. Protecting the eagle’s chest is a U.S. Marshal shield.
$1 Silver, front – An image of the U.S. Marshals Service Star with silhouettes of Old West U.S. Marshals on horseback.
$1 Silver, back – A U.S. Marshal wearing an old western duster coat, holding a "Wanted" poster on his left hand and gripping his gun belt with his right.
Half dollar Copper-clad, front - A present day U.S. Marshal with an Old West Marshal in the background.
Half dollar Copper-clad, back – A copy of the U.S. Constitution with a U.S. Marshals badge propped against it, along with other images paying homage to the U.S. Marshals Service’s roles in the historic 1794 Whiskey Rebellion, 1894 Pullman Strike and 1960 New Orleans school integration.
The advisory panel changed one element of the U.S. Mint design for the back of the half dollar – removing an image of a set of open handcuffs on the U.S. Constitution that the artist originally proposed.
Jansen said the committee felt that handcuffs placed on top of the U.S. Constitution could be viewed as inappropriate for the commemorative coin.