TRIVIA: Who Was the US Mint's Most Prolific Coin Designer?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Clinker, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    Maybe seeing some of his designs may help:
    ( photos)
    Reverse of American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins:

    Reverse 1999 Pennsylvania State Quarter:

    Reverse 2001 North Carolina State Quarter:

    Reverse 2003 Arkansas State Quarter:

    Reverse 2004 Iowa State Quarter:

    Reverse 2005 West Virginia State Quarter:

    Did you notice his initials on those coins? They are JM. Do you now know who he is?
    Maybe the following US Comnmemorative coin photos will help ( photos unless otherwise noted):
    1984 Olympic Gold $10:
    When viewing this coin, mind you, it was the first US gold piece issued in 50 years. Its measurements and composition are the same as the $10 gold Eagles issued in 1933 (51 years previously).

    1986 Statue of Liberty $1:

    1989 Congress Bicentennial Gold $5:

    Obverse 1990 Eisenhower Centennial $1:

    Obverse 1991 Mount Rushmore $5:

    Obverse 1991 Korean War Memorial $1:

    REVERSE 1991 United Services Organizations $1:

    Obverse 1992 Christopher Columbus Quincentenary $1:

    Obverse 1994 Vietnam Veterans Memorial $1:

    Obverse 1996 (1995) Atlanta Olympics $1 - Cycling $1:
    ( photo)

    Reverse 1996 Smithsonian Instution 150th Anniversary $1:
    ( photo)
    Obverse 1998 Black Revolutionary War Patriots $1:

    Reverse 2002 West Point Military Academy Bicentennial $1:

    Obverse 2003 First Flight Centennial Half Dollar:

    Reverse 2004 125th Anniversary Of Edison's Elictric Light $1:

    May I introduce you to the man who designed all those coins?
    Meet John Mercanti, Chief Engraver of the US Mint during the years 2006-2011 (Wikipedia photo):

    In 1974, Mercanti joined the United States Mint as a sculptor-engraver after working as an illustrator. On May 19, 2006, he was appointed Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint (also known as Supervisor of Design and Master Tooling Development Specialist).
    His accomplishments in designing coins and medals surpasses 100 in number AND he's still going strong!
    Hope you enjoyed this post...
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  3. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector Moderator

    Prolific indeed! I had come across his name before but had no idea about how many coin designs were his. (Side note: The "1989 Congress Bicentennial Gold $5" may need a different image. ;) ) What is also interesting in my opinion is that some coins have his initials while others do apparently not. Are there any rules or guidelines about that?

  4. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    All designers want their initials or monograms on each coin they create, but many times it's impossible because of restraints imposed by the act proposing the coin, room (preventing clutter), or a decision by the Mint Directior and/or his superiors.

  5. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    I knew he was prolific in his designs but I failed to appreciate to what extent. Thanks for posting this piece Clinker!
  6. Siwash

    Siwash Senior Member

    I keep wanting to dig up Mercanti's address, now that he's retired, and ask him his thoughts about US coin art. I'd like to see if he agrees with me that figurative designs, especially those with Lady Liberty (e.g., Gasparro's dollar design) can be done in "modern" times. I like the allegorical, highly detailed stuff, and dislike the plain Jane, clean and clear, stuff.
  7. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    Hi, once again, my friend...

    I had long never noticed his contributions to America's coin history, but am glad to have discovered same so I could share his industrialism with Coin Talk visitors and ,embers like you!

  8. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    Hi Siwash...

    Certainly hope you succeed in your quest. Any of you other Coin Talk memvers know how/where Mercanti can ve contacted?

  9. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector Moderator

    This seems to be him ... not a contact address but a neat video.

    As for contacting Mercanti, he seems to work for Goldline now (or appears in their commercials); maybe asking that company could help?

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