Sitting at my desk eating a late lunch after long weekend, I was surfing the Internet looking for news from the numismatic community. I surfed to the website for the US Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and started to read their meeting notes from their June 15 meeting. The notes include a letter to David A. Lebryk, Deputy Director of the US Mint, about the proposed designs for the San Francisco Old Mint Commemorative Coin.

Judging by CFA’s response to Lebryk, the Mint may have been thinking about concepts to use for the commemorative but did not try to execute anything until the passage of the San Francisco Old Mint Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 109-230 [GPO: text/pdf]) and submitted designs to the CFA for consideration. Apparently, the CFA was not quite happy with the submissions. For their review of the reverse of the $1 silver coin, they wrote:

“The Commission did not like either SR-01-A or SR-01-B, because the drawing of the Mint used for both was so poor. The suggestion was to use one of the designs proposed for the gold reverse or, if it was felt necessary to use a design based on Shirl J. Winter’s medal, at least make a better drawing of it.”

When I wrote “This bill is going to put the system to a real test,” in The Granite Lady Gets Her Commem, I was anticipating problems since the bill says that the coins can be issued “only during the 1-year period beginning on January 1, 2006.”

While I applaud the Mint for its quick work and the CFA for its quick consideration, I wish the Mint would have done a better job. It is not clear if the Mint can just use the rejected reverses from the gold coin and start making dies or do they have to return to the CFA for approval. If approval is necessary they have until the next CFA meeting on July 27 to come up with a new design.

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