Today, I noticed that the US Commission of Fine Arts posted the final minutes from their April 17, 2008 meeting. The CFA is part of the coin design bureaucracy that is required to approve, reject, or recommend changes to coin designs. These minutes approve of the 2009 Double Eagle gold coin US Mint Director Edmund Moy proposed the design to the Citizens Coin Advisory Committee.
The CFA approval reads as follows:
Confirmation of recommendation on the 2009 Double Eagle Gold $20 ultra-high relief coin based on 1907/08 design by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Mr. [Thomas E.] Luebke [Secretary] said that the proposal had been circulated to the Commission members for a vote prior to the Commission meeting due to the U.S. Mint&rsqou;s tight production schedule and the similarity of the proposal to a historic coin design; he asked the Commission to confirm the recommendation. He said that the Mint’s proposal was to reissue a coin from 1907 designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens: the original high-relief design was minted for one year, then adapted by the Mint to a low-relief coin that was issued from 1908 to 1932. The only proposed changes to the 1907 design would be to update the minting year, which will continue to be rendered in Roman numerals; to add a rim which will improve the production process; and to add the phrase “In God We Trust” which was historically included on the coin from 1908 onward. Upon a motion by Mr. [Earl A.] Powell [Chairman] with second by Ms. [Dianna] Balmori, the Commission confirmed its recommendation to approve the updated design with the comment that the Roman numerals for the issue date be as similar as possible to the original design in scale, spacing, and character.
As for the necessary legislation to allow the Mint the produce these coins, H.R. 5614 passed the House of Representatives on May 15 with a unanimous vote. The Senate’s version, S. 2924, is still in committee.