Q. David Bowers
The Dollar Design
The silver dollar portrays on the obverse Madison in three-quarters facing portrait offset to the left and facing right. LIBERTY appears in front of Madison at eye level, with JAMES MADISON in two lines at chin level. IN GOD WE TRUST and 1993 appear along the rim at the bottom of the coin.
The design review panel recommended making the head of Madison slightly smaller. Its members said attention had to be paid to his face and hairlines, and also recommended adjustments with the "inconsistent" lettering, balancing letter widths, and making LIBERTY larger than IN GOD WE TRUST.
The reverse of the dollar depicts a frontal view of Madison's Virginia home, Montpelier, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA along the rim at the top, and E PLURIBUS UNUM above the building. The historically incorrect inscription MONTPELIER is below the building, with ONE DOLLAR along the rim at the bottom.
The design review panel made the following suggestions: Make the lettering smaller; move ONE DOLLAR down; drop the dots flanking the E in E PLURIBUS UNUM; remove the bushes in front of Montpelier; change the number of steps to six; change the front door to a split door; add a split window over the door rather than a pediment; change the rails on the top of the wings to a Chinese Chippendale design; and remove the pillars of the rails. (One cannot help but wonder what was left of the artist's original design, after reading of these revisions!)
Designs were approved, with some recommended changes, by the U.S. Commission of fine Arts on November 29, 1992, except for the half dollar, for which the Comission suggested that another design be used from the 815 submissions received."
Surcharges received from the sale of these coins were to be paid to the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Trust Fund. The Fund awards fellowships to high school teachers and those aspiring to become high school teachers of American history, government or social studies for the study of the Constitution of the United States-again, a worthy cause, but should collectors be "taxed" against their wishes to pay for it?
It developed that the backers of the Madison coins greased the publicity skids well, and scarcely a negative word about the motivation of the program appeared in Coin World or Numismatic News. Apparently, little lamb-collectors enjoy being fleeced!
Options and Prices
The Washington, D.C. firm of Henry J. Kaufman and Associates, Inc. was awarded the Madison commemorative contract worth up to $1,959,000 for advertising and promotion. The same firm had also handled promotions for the 1991 Korean and 1992 White House commemorative coin programs.
Mints were designated as follows:
$5 Uncirculated and Proof: West Point Mint. $1 Uncirculated: Denver Mint.
$1 Proof: San Francisco Mint 50Â¢ Uncirculated: West Point Mint. 50Â¢ Proof: San Francisco Mint.
The following purchase options include those with silver dollars. The option numbers are those of the Mint:
M02: Proof silver dollar, pre-issue $25.00; after March 5, 1993, $29.00.
M03: Proof silver dollar and half dollar, 2-coin set, pre-issue $35.00; after March 5, 1993, $39.00.
M05: Proof silver 50Â¢, silver $1, and $5 gold, 3-coin set, pre-issue $215.00; after March 5, 1993, $245.00.
M07: Uncirculated silver dollar, pre-issue $22.00; after March 5, 1993, $27.00.
MO8: Uncirculated silver dollar and half dollar, 2-coin set, pre-issue $31.00; after March 5, 1993, $36.00.
M10: Uncirculated silver 50Â¢, silver $1, and $5 gold, 3-coin set, pre-issue $205.00; after March 5, 1993, $230.00.
M1l: One each of Uncirculated and Proof silver 50Â¢, silver $1, and $5 gold, 6-coin set, pre-issue $445.00; after March 5, 1993, $495.00.
M12: Prestige Set containing the Proof Madison 50Â¢ and $1 plus a regular 1993 Proof set with five coins, cent to half dollar, pre-issue $51.00; after March 5, 1993, $57.00.
Commemorating: James Madison, fourth president of the United States and the Bill of Rights, the connection of which with the year 1993 is unknown.
Obverse motif: Madison in three-quarters facing portrait offset to the left and facing right. LIBERTY appears in front of Madison at eye level, with JAMES MADISON in two lines at chin level, IN GOD WE TRUST and 1993 are along the rim at the bottom of the coin.
Reverse motif: Frontal view of Montpelier, Madison's home in Virginia, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA along the rim at the top, and E PLURIBUS UNUM above the building. MONTPELIER (instead of the correct MONTPELLIER) is below the building, with ONE DOLLAR along the rim at the bottom.
Authorization date: May 13, 1992.
Date on coins: 1993.
Date when coins were actually minted: 1993.
Mints used: Uncirculated coins: Denver Mint; Proof coins: San Francisco Mint.
Maximum quantity authorized: 900,000.
Total quantity minted: Not known at press time. Quantity melted: Not known at press time.
Net number distributed: Not known at press time. Issued by: U.S. Mint (Customer Service Center, United States Mint, 10001 Aerospace Road, Lanham, MD 20706).
Standard original packaging: Not known at press time.
Official sale prices: 1993-W Uncirculated, pre-issue $22, later $27; 1993-W Proof, pre-issue $25, later $29.
Designer of obverse: William J. Krawczewicz. Designer of reverse: Dean McMullen.
Interesting facts: Artists competing to design the coin were told to keep the sales appeal of the piece foremost in mind! At least, the motives of this issue were not disguised!