New reverse designs for American Eagles undergo Commission of Fine Arts review

June 23, 2020 2 min read

New reverse designs for American Eagles undergo Commission of Fine Arts review

By Paul Gilkes , Coin World

Published: Jun 19, 2020, 11 AM

Silver and gold American Eagle bullion coins will exhibit a new look in 2021 with the reverse designs being replaced with new renditions featuring eagles.

The Commission of Fine Arts recommended designs for the gold and silver coins June 18 after considering 39 total submissions. The Mint submitted 39 shared designs for review; each design was presented in two versions, one each for gold and silver. The only differences between the gold and silver version of each design are the inscriptions for the respective denomination and the placement of mandated inscriptions IN GOD WE TRUST and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

Placement of the two standard inscriptions differ on the existing designs. On the gold American Eagle, IN GOD WE TRUST and E PLURIBUS UNUM appear on the reverse. On the silver American Eagle, IN GOD WE TRUST appears on the obverse and E PLURIBUS UNUM on the reverse.

United States Mint officials have not disclosed whether the proposed designs were rendered by the Mint’s engraving staff, outside Artistic Infusion Program artists or both, and whether the designs are completely new works or submissions for previous coin programs such as platinum Proof American Eagles or commemorative coinage.

The same 39 reverse designs were set to be reviewed June 23 by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

The proposed reverse design favored by the CFA for the American Eagle silver bullion coin, according to the U.S. Mint narrative, features “a heraldic eagle in a style that strikes a balance between a naturalistic depiction and a symbolic composition. The eagle holds five arrows, presenting the five branches of the military. The 13 stars represent the original 13 Colonies.”

The proposed reverse design favored by the CFA for the American Eagle gold bullion coin focuses “on a single eagle coming in for a landing, carrying an oak branch as if to add it to a nest. The oak leaves symbolize strength.

All 39 proposed reverse designs can be reviewed online at

Changes afoot

Replacement of the silver American Eagle reverse design was suggested by the CCAC in 2014, but the initiative never moved forward within the bureau. When the counterfeiting of the world’s most popular gold and silver bullion coins increased, however, the redesign of both coins became a priority for the Mint.

Anti-counterfeiting technology will be incorporated into the new reverse designs. Mint officials have not identified the technology to be used, but they indicate the design changes are being introduced to coincide with the implementation of anti-counterfeiting at the production stage.

The redesigned reverses will be introduced first on bullion releases dated 2021. The anti-counterfeiting measures and new designs will be introduced later on the Proof and other collector versions.

Sculptor Miley Busiek’s Family of Eagles and John Mercanti’s Heraldic Eagle reverse designs will be replaced by new designs on the American Eagle bullion coins in 2021. They have appeared, respectively, on the gold and silver American Eagles since the program was introduced in the fall of 1986.