Dear Mr. Peterson:
In its meeting of 20 September, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternative reverse designs for the 2013 Native American One Dollar Coin, featuring the theme of the Delaware Treaty of 1778. The Commission recommended alternative #9 with the following comments.
The Commission members recommended that the design motif of alternative #9, using figure-ground reversals of a Native American wampum design, be studied carefully to ensure that the proposal is an authentic and respectful use of the historical Native American artistic motif. They also commented that the representation of the treaty in many of the other alternatives—using scrolled paper or quill pens to signify the historical document—would be illegible and convey little connection to Native American culture for this circulating coin; they encouraged more creative concepts in generating design alternatives.
In addition, the Commission members reiterated their past guidance to render the coin's denomination as "One Dollar" rather than the less dignified text "$1" which could be misread as a price tag. They acknowledged the legislative source of the Mint's rendering of the denomination but emphasized that this choice is a typographic design issue that requires flexibility to achieve an aesthetically satisfactory result. They commented further that the proposed typography of the dollar sign in alternative #9 is itself abstracted from the standard symbol and may be misunderstood by the public when using this coin.
The Commission was pleased to have the opportunity to meet you at the presentation. As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Richard A. Peterson, Deputy Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20220
cc: Ron Harrigal, U.S. Mint