The paths of numismatic junkies and architecture enthusiasts will cross in 2017, as a new palladium coin from the U.S. Mint will feature a design from the AIA Gold Medal. The $25 coin, recently commissioned by Congress as the result of the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010, will create fervor among collectors when it becomes the first palladium coin ever produced by the U.S. Mint.
Both sides of the coin will feature Adolph A. Weinman’s design work. The obverse will feature Winged Liberty, known primarily from the 1916 Mercury dime, and the reverse will feature the AIA Gold Medal’s eagle. The scanning of the Gold Medal’s original 1907 plaster and the 1907 test strike took place this summer at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia; the coin itself will be minted in 2017.
“It’s great to be working with an organization with such a long history of innovation and pushing the art form forward,” says Rhett Jeppson, principal deputy director of the U.S. Mint. “We think we do the same thing.”
The AIA Gold Medal—the highest honor that the Institute confers upon an individual or pair of individuals—was designed by Weinman in 1907, first awarded that same year, and most recently bestowed on Denise Scott Brown, Hon. FAIA, and Robert Venturi, FAIA, at the AIA’s 2016 Convention in Philadelphia. Its eagle was chosen as the best-suited of Weinman’s historic designs to pair with the sought-after Winged Liberty.
“The craftsmen and designers at the Mint have a lot of commonalities with architects,” Jeppson adds. “I heard an architect say, quite proudly, that his work will be around for the next hundred years. And our coins will be around for a hundred years, or more, as well. Both architects and coin makers draw inspiration from the past while trying to look to the future.”