28 June 2012
Dear Mr. Peterson:
In its meeting of 21 June, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed design alternatives for three commemorative coins honoring the nation's five–star generals. The Commission provided the following recommendations:
Gold five–dollar coin (Douglas MacArthur). The Commission members recommended obverse #2 due to the superior quality of this portrait, and reverse #2 with the request that the text "$5" be rendered as "Five Dollars" and placed within the circumferential band of text.
Silver one–dollar coin (Dwight D. Eisenhower and George C. Marshall). The Commission members noted the difficulty of composing a coin with two portraits and recommended obverse #8 as the simplest and most balanced composition with the best facial expressions; they added that the design includes a relatively generous size for the heads, allowing for clearer portraits. However, they suggested reducing the proportions of the elements slightly to eliminate the overlap of the portraits and "Liberty" text. The Commission members recommended reverse #4 as a simple and elegant composition, again with the request that the allegorical figure be reduced in size or shifted to avoid overlap with the circumferential text. They also characterized as inappropriate the concept of reverse #2, which features a medal superimposed on the format of a coin.
Clad half–dollar coin (Omar Bradley and Henry "Hap" Arnold). The Commission members recommended obverse #6 as the most elegant, noting the clear separation of portraits and text in this alternative. They recommended reverse #7 for its simple and abstract composition, observing in general that the depiction of five stars is included on the obverse and is therefore an unnecessary element on the reverse.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Richard A. Peterson, Deputy Director
cc: Ron Harrigal, U.S. Mint
Last Modified: June 29, 2012