Dear Mr. Ryder:
In its meeting of 17 October, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternative designs for a commemorative silver medal honoring the centennial of women’s suffrage, to be issued in 2020. At the Mint’s request, the Commission also considered the submitted designs for a commemorative silver coin, to be minted if authorized by the enactment of currently pending legislation. The Commission provided the following comments and recommendations.
From the set of alternatives based on the historical theme of the campaign for women’s suffrage, the Commission members recommended historical obverse alternative #1A and historical reverse alternative #2. They cited the beauty and strength of obverse #1A, conveying the combined effort of many women in fighting for the right to vote; they noted that this recommendation is consistent with the preferences of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the Mint’s liaison. They commented that reverse #2 would be an appropriate pairing because it does not depict people, avoiding competition with obverse #1A, and because it includes the text of the 19th Amendment; they acknowledged that this text may be replaced by the required coinage inscriptions if this pairing is used for the commemorative coin.
From the set of alternatives based on a modern interpretation of women’s suffrage, the Commission members recommended modern obverse alternative #4, depicting a group of four women in front of the U.S. Capitol dome, paired with the composition of modern reverse alternative #3A combined with the text of modern reverse alternative #3C, using a reduced lettering size. By including the text of the 19th Amendment on the reverse, the upper inscription on obverse #4 could be shortened and consolidated to the upper left portion of the design, allowing for the correct proportion of the Capitol dome on the right side. They commented that the composition of reverse #3C suggests a heavy weight bearing down from above; they said that the theme is better conveyed by the variation of this design seen in obverse #3A, where the higher position of the stone in the composition suggests that the weight is being pushed upward.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
David Ryder, Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220