Designs for Nevada quarter head to D.C.
October 1, 2004
Five ideas for the design of Nevada’s official U.S. quarter are on their way to the U.S. Mint in Washington, D.C.
Treasurer Brian Krolicki said they were selected by an 18-member volunteer committee which reviewed more than 500 ideas submitted by Nevadans.
“Narrowing the design themes to just five was extremely difficult, but I believe our group ended up with themes that truly reflect the essence of our state,” he said.
The mint is issuing quarters each year with the normal Thomas Jefferson bust on the “heads” side with a design depicting the heritage of individual states on the traditional “tails” side. They are being issued in the order the states were admitted to the union, which means Nevada’s will be number 36 – scheduled for release into circulation as a U.S. coin in January 2006.
Unfortunately, Krolicki said, the rules for the program prohibit states from submitting proposed artwork for the quarter. Instead, each state submits five different descriptions of a coin which will be turned into a graphic design by artists and engravers at the Mint.
The official reason given is that amateur artists may not understand the technical requirements and limitations of designing for an engraving on a coin.
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But Krolicki confirmed there is another reason: Some of the artists who submitted designs for the first round of quarters tried to claim ownership rights to the artwork.
“Some people had artistic patent in mind,” Krolicki said. “This way, the design is in the public record.”
But he conceded it makes it more difficult to ensure the Mint artists know what people had in mind for a design.
There are a number of common themes running through the design descriptions forwarded to the Mint – most notably the Desert Bighorn Sheep, the silhouette of snow-capped mountains, the piñon pine and wild horses. Each description includes at least a half-dozen proposed elements but Krolicki said artists in Washington can choose some or all to include in the designs. He said other proposed elements include petroglyphs, a Tule duck decoy from Fallon, the outline of the state’s boundaries and mining symbols.
The young student named to the advisory group, Krolicki said, was his own daughter Katherine, who attends Zephyr Cover Elementary – “Call it nepotism if you want.”
“She strongly favored wild horses,” he said.
He admitted there are a number of themes that aren’t on the list. First, he said, Mint officials made it clear they don’t think any gambling icon such as a slot machine would be appropriate. Nor do they want such things as one of the prominent Strip casinos, or a showgirl as part of the design.
No political statements are allowed so a nuclear mushroom cloud or anything to do with Yucca Mountain is out.
The idea, he said, is to try represent Nevada’s heritage through the design.
The Mint will send from five to a dozen designs back to Nevada by the end of the year, but Nevada will make the final selection, he said.
The advisory committee will be called to review those designs and narrow it to three to five final choices.
“Then we think it’s important to open this up to Nevadans,” he said.
The public – through the Internet or by phone and letter – will be invited to participate in the final decision, which will be sent back to Washington, D.C., in April.
The quarter will be minted and issued into general circulation nationwide in January 2006.
Contact Reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.