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New Designs for Platinum
By Debbie Bradley, Numismatic News
October 25, 2013

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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The current platinum coin series based on the six principles of the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution ends in 2014. The big question is, what comes next?

The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee offered its opinions when it met via teleconference call Oct. 18.

The U.S. Mint began issuing American Eagle platinum coins in 1997. Since then it has sold more than 317,000 platinum proof coins.

And while 2008 was the last year platinum bullion coins were produced, they are to be re-introduced in 2014.

The obverse of the platinum proof and bullion coins have remained the same each year – a rendering of Lady Liberty from the Statue of Liberty. Reverse designs on the proofs have changed regularly to increase the collectibility of the coins.

The Mint surveyed its customers to find out what designs would be most appealing going forward. The top two choices were classic eagle designs and classic coin designs.

But that isn’t necessarily what the CCAC has in mind.

“Recycling old classic images was a disappointing idea,” said CCAC Chairman Gary Marks. “The CCAC has worked very hard over the last few years to strive to encourage the Mint to look at new, modern, creative designs on American coins and medals.”

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The Mint has produced plenty of the old classic designs, Marks said, citing the 2001 commemorative dollar with a Buffalo nickel design, the 2009 gold double eagle, the First Spouse series that features old reverse designs when a president did not have a wife and the silver Eagle with the Walking Liberty image from the half dollar series.

“We’ve done classic designs over and over again,” Marks said.

He encouraged the Mint to “consider engaging our artists to develop new and fresh images of Liberty and other American series for the platinum series.”

There has already been success in that area, he said. Look at the platinum designs for the theme “To Form a More Perfect Union in 2009, “To Insure Domestic Tranquility” in 2011 and “To Promote General Welfare” in 2013.

“We have the talent to do that,” he said.

“It’s time we make new classic designs that future generations will look back at and admire, just as we look back at the old classics and admire them.”

Marks said it’s time for America to express national values in the modern time through the art that is put on our coins and medals.

Committee member Heidi Wastweet agreed, he said, and suggested that if the Mint felt it needed classic designs it might go into the archives and find old classic designs that are recognized as great art but that never made it onto United States coins.

Marks said he expects the CCAC to discuss the platinum design direction at future meetings.

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