CFA 17/SEP/20-13

United States

U.S. Mint
2021 National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Program
Designs for five-dollar gold, one-dollar silver, and half-dollar clad coins
Review Type


Dear Mr. Ryder:

In its public meeting of 17 September conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternative designs for a three-coin set commemorating the National Law Enforcement Museum. The Commission’s comments and preferences are as follows.

The Commission members provided several general comments concerning the large number of submitted designs. They expressed support for using traditional design motifs such as laurel wreaths, roses, shields, and text, particularly when they are part of a composition that relates to the circular shape of the coin. They also supported the use of double portraits, which would be more effective than single portraits in conveying a sense of the diversity of law enforcement officers. They discouraged the compositions featuring animals, commenting that the artistry was often inadequate, with an inappropriate sentimental quality, and there may be undesirable associations invoked by the depiction of police dogs. They also discouraged the inclusion of children in the compositions, describing the resulting designs as conveying odd or ambiguous narratives. They reiterated their continuing request for a stronger pool of artistic talent in developing the candidate designs.

In making their recommendations, the Commission members observed that the rationale was unclear for presenting the designs in association with a particular metal, denomination, and size; they noted that most of the presented preferences of the Mint’s liaison disregarded the listed categories. Their specific recommendations were as follows:

First pairing (suggested for the Five-Dollar Gold Coin): For the obverse, the Commission members recommended alternative LE-S-O-02, suggesting refinement of the man’s expression within the double portrait; they noted that this alternative was among those preferred by the Mint’s liaison organization. For the reverse, they recommended alternative LE-G-O-03A, with the text to be adjusted to the inscriptions required for a reverse design; they also observed that both of these designs include a rose, and they suggested deleting this element from the recommended obverse.

Second pairing (suggested for One-Dollar Silver Coin): For the obverse, the Commission members recommended alternative LE-G-O-02A, featuring a double portrait and a folded U.S. flag. For the reverse, they recommended alternative LE-C-R-03, depicting a laurel wreath encircling the central text.

The Commission did not support the remaining designs and did not make a recommendation for a third pairing for the coin set. 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