Dear Mr. Jeppson:
In its meeting of 15 October, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternative designs for the 2017 and 2018 issues of the Native American One Dollar Coin series. The Commission provided the following recommendations.
For the 2017 coin featuring the theme of Sequoyah creating the Cherokee syllabary, the Commission members recommended reverse alternative #1 for the clear juxtaposition of the phrase “United States of America” with its translation using the syllabary; they also cited the clarity of the portrait of Sequoyah.
For the 2018 coin featuring the athlete Jim Thorpe, the Commission members recommended reverse alternative #4. They encouraged the modification suggested by other reviewers to use the Native American rendering of his name. Noting that the change would alter the composition of this text, they supported using smaller letters or adjusting the layout slightly, while keeping the background house and trees; they also suggested a more accurate depiction of the meadow landscape. They commented that the alternatives focusing on a single portrait of Thorpe would be inappropriate in combination with the obverse portrait of Sacagawea, resulting in the potential perception of a two-headed coin.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Principal Deputy Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220