Dear Mr. Moy:
In its meeting of 21 February, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the proposed design for the Louis Braille Bicentennial-Braille Literacy Commemorative Coin. In recognition of the beneficiaries of Braille's achievements, the Commission recommended that the coin be struck in the highest relief possible to give it the greatest tactile quality.
For the obverse, the Commission reiterated its general support for profile views and recommended Design #BC-O-10 due to the strong composition showing Braille in profile. If a different composition than profile must be considered, the Commission expressed support for Design #BC-O-03. The Commission also commented that the date "1809" is confusing in combination with the required issue date of "2009" and recommended that the birth date be omitted; the relation of the coin's issue to Braille's birth year could instead be indicated by including the word "Bicentennial" on the coin, possibly on the reverse.
The Commission members were not satisfied with the alternatives for the reverse, commenting that these had the appearance of poster art rather than numismatic designs. They noted the difficulty of developing a satisfactory depiction of children and recommended that their image be omitted from the reverse, instead placing the Braille code prominently in the center of the coin while retaining the text at the perimeter. This revision to the coin's composition could provide sufficient room for including the word "Bicentennial."
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
Thomas E. Luebke, AIA
Edmund C. Moy, Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220
cc: Kaarina Budow, U.S. Mint