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Post Your Coins And Medals With A Design By John Mercanti

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 Posted 07/15/2021  10:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add IndianGoldEagle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
He does some nice work.
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 Posted 07/15/2021  5:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
He does some nice work.

No boubt adout it!


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 07/16/2021  08:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
John Mercanti is responsible for the design of the reverse of the 1995 Civil War Battlefields silver dollar.

The obverse design for the coin was created by noted Civil War artist Don Troiani. Mr. Troiani is a respected historical artist and creates such realistic images that the viewer is practically immersed in the scene. I find the images he developed for the Civil War Battlefield coins to be outstanding and among the best the modern series has to offer. The reverse of each coin was designed by a different artist/illustrator.

1995 Civil War Battlefield Silver Dollar


On the silver dollar's obverse, Troiani presents an infantryman raising a canteen to the lips of a wounded foe. I believe it reflects how one's humanity can come through regardless of the situation. The design was engraved by the US Mint's Edgar Zell Steever IV ("EZS" on the coin).

The coin's reverse is the work of John Mercanti. It depicts a portion of Little Round Top with the Castle monument (at left) that honors the 44th New York and two companies from the 12th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiments who fought at Gettysburg in 1863. The Castle was dedicated on July 4, 1893; it is the largest such memorial on the battlefield.

Mercanti placed a quotation from Joshua Chamberlain over the landscape image. Chamberlain was a college professor (modern languages and rhetoric) at Bowdoin College in Maine, He joined the Union Army in 1862, and became a famous part of US history at the Battle of Gettysburg when the out-of-ammunition 20th Maine Infantry unit under his command, made a victorious bayonet charge against the troops of Confederate General John B. Hood and secured the defense of Little Big Top.

Though difficult to see due to their placement among the trees, Mercanti's "JM" initials can be found at the 4 o'clock position near the rim.


To learn more about the 1995 Civil War Battlefields coins, check out:

- 1995 Civil War Battlefields Commemorative Coin Program


For more of my posts about commemorative coins and medals, check out: Read More: Commems Collection.


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 Posted 07/16/2021  09:36 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting bit of history I did not know. Very nice!
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 Posted 07/16/2021  1:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I had lingering questions about the total accuracy of one of the statements I made in my previous post on the 1994 US Capitol Bicentennial silver dollar, so I contacted the office of the Architect of the Capitol. As a result, I want to provide an update.

I originally stated, "Mercanti handled the coin's reverse design, which is a rendering of a segment of one of the four stained-glass skylights positioned within the grand stairways of the Capitol's Senate and House wings."

This statement is mostly accurate, but needs some updating. The coin's design is taken from a pair of standalone, circular windows with one found at the first floor landing of the grand stairway for the House and the other in the same location within the Senate stairway. The design is not "a segment of one of the four stained-glass skylights." The skylights do not include the Shield with Eagle design. As with the larger skylights, however, the circular stained-glass windows were created by John and George Gibson of Philadelphia.

The circular windows that served as Mercanti's source material are 59 inches in diameter - a design nearly five feet in diameter that was reduced to less than 1.5 inches on the coin!



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 Posted 07/16/2021  1:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Oldfordman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great read! Thanks
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 Posted 07/17/2021  7:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The US' 1995-96 commemorative coin program for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia is the largest single commemorative program ever struck by the US Mint. It included four CuNi half dollar designs (each design struck in proof and uncirculated), eight silver dollar designs (proof and uncirculated) and four gold half eagle designs (proof and uncirculated) for a total of 32 individual coins.

John Mercanti had a hand in several of the coins. I'll begin with a quick look at one of the two gold Half Eagles ($5.00) from 1995 - the Torch Runner.

This coin's design was created by Frank Gasparro, the former Chief Engraver of the US Mint (he was the 10th, serving from February 23, 1965 to January 16, 1981). Gasparro is best remembered for his Lincoln Memorial design for the Lincoln Cent (1959-2008), the reverse of the Kennedy half dollar (1964-present), the Eisenhower dollar (1971-1978) and the Susan B. Anthony dollar (1979-81, 1999). While at the Mint, he also designed a number of medals and coins for other countries.

Following his long career at the Mint - he was hired in 1942 - Gasparro stayed busy with many private commissions. On occasion, however, he also created designs for the modern US commemorative coin series. The reverse of the 1991 silver dollar for the Mount Rushmore 50th Anniversary coin program was the first.

For the Atlanta Olympics program, he was engaged for the 1995 gold coin designs. He prepared the designs for the obverse and reverse of the Torch Runner coin. Thomas D. Rogers, Sr (obverse) and John Mercanti (reverse) modeled the designs for use in creating coin dies.

The obverse presents an Olympic Torch runner, running to the left with the skyline of Atlanta in the background at left and the official logo of the Atlanta Games in the background at the right.

1995 Atlanta Olympics - Torch Runners Gold Half Eagle

Image Credit: Image courtesy of PCGS CoinFacts, http://www.PCGS.com.)

The coin's reverse design features a right-facing American Bald Eagle, presented in a strong pose with its wings back. The eagle is holding a ribbon in its beak with the inscription "1896-1996" to denote the commemoration of the centennial of the modern Olympic Games. Gasparro based his reverse design on a US Bicentennial medal he had created years before for the City of Philadelphia. Mercanti's "JM" initials can be found at the rim at the four o'clock position; Gasparro's "FG" initials are directly opposite.

The coin designs were also featured on a stored value card issued by NationsBank for use at the Games. Note: NationsBank acquired BankAmerica in 1998 and renamed itself Bank of America.

$50 VISA Cash Card for Atlanta Olympics





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07/18/2021 07:23 am
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 Posted 07/18/2021  07:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As I mentioned in my previous post about the US Mint's 1995-96 commemorative coin program for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, former Chief Engraver of the US Mint Frank Gasparro was engaged to design the obverse and reverse of the Torch Runner gold half eagle, with John Mercanti serving as the design's modeler.

The Gasparro-Mercanti effort on the reverse design of that coin was also used on the second gold half eagle for the Atlanta Games, namely the 1995 Olympic Stadium coin. The coins of each of the denominations of the program shared a common reverse design each year, so using Gasparro's strong Bald Eagle design for both of the 1995 gold half eagle coins was always part of the Mint's plan.

The coin's reverse design features a right-facing American Bald Eagle, presented in a strong pose with its wings back. The eagle is holding a ribbon in its beak with the inscription "1896-1996" to denote the centennial of the modern Olympic Games. Mercanti's "JM" initials can be found at the rim at the four o'clock position; Gasparro's "FG" initials are directly opposite.

The obverse of the Olympic Stadium coin presents the Atlanta Olympics Centennial logo in the foreground (to the right) with Olympic Stadium in the background (to the left). Olympic Stadium was purpose-built for the Olympics but later served (in modified formats) as the home for Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves (1997-2016) and Georgia State University's football team, the Georgia State Panthers, (2017-present). The obverse design is the work of noted artist/sculptor Marcel Jovine.

1995 Atlanta Olympics Gold Half Eagle - Olympic Stadium

Image Credit: Image courtesy of PCGS CoinFacts, http://www.PCGS.com.)



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 Posted 07/20/2021  10:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The next Mercanti coin for the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games that I'll take a look at is the 1995 Olympic Track and Field silver dollar - Mercanti was responsible for the coin's obverse design.

The coin is one of four silver dollars released for 1995 (one of eight in total for the two-year program) and depicts an elevated side view of two male runners as they come to the finish line of their race in track lanes "4" and "5." Above the track and runners are seen the Olympic rings. Mercanti's "JM" initials are found at the far left of lane "5."

(Note: Many International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) sanctioned tracks today have nine lanes, with lanes "2" through "9" used for races of 400 meters and under (i.e., races in which runners stay in their lane for the length of the race). These statements are not absolutes; there are any number of exceptions.)

Based on typical lane assignment rules used at Olympic competitions, it is likely that the two runners depicted on the coin are among the fasted in the race as, typically, the runners with the fastest times in previous races/qualifiers are assigned to the track's middle lanes (i.e., lanes "3" through "6").

It's interesting to note that the coin depicts one runner (Lane #4) in a modern one-piece running suit and the other (Lane #5) in the more traditional two-piece shirt and shorts. Such a mix was seen at the 1995 Olympic Games.

The coin's reverse (used on all four of the 1995 silver dollars) features clasped hands/wrists (not a traditional handshake). The design is meant to symbolize the fraternity of the Olympics and its team spirit. William Krawczewicz was the designer of the reverse (it was used on each of the four 1995 Atlanta Olympics silver dollars), with T. James Ferrell modeling the design for the coin dies. After his time with the Mint, Krawczewicz went on to be a Bank Note Designer at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

1995 Atlanta Olympics Track and Field Silver Dollar

(Image Credit: Image courtesy of PCGS CoinFacts, http://www.PCGS.com.


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 Posted 07/20/2021  12:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting and informative details regarding this release.
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 Posted 07/21/2021  07:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Mercanti was also the creator of the obverse design for the 1995 Atlanta Centennial Olympics Cycling silver dollar.

The coin is another "racing" silver dollar. Mercanti designed the Track and Field silver dollar (see previous post) which featured a foot race, where as this time out he crafted a design for a cycling race with his focus on (presumably) the three men leading the race as they push ahead toward the Finish Line.

Cycling at the Atlanta Olympics consisted of three categories: Road Cycling, Track Cycling and Mountain Biking. The type of bicycle depicted and the helmet style seen on the cyclists are enough for me to confidently state that Mercanti is presenting cyclists involved in a road race with his coin design.

- Track cyclists wear very distinctive, smooth, aerodynamic helmets that do not have the shape and ventilation contours seen on the helmets of the coin's cyclists.

- Mountain bikes have thicker tires and a different style of handlebar (among other differences) to make them more suitable for the rough and uneven terrain experienced in mountain bike racing. The bicycles on the coin, however, feature thin tires and shorter, curved hand bars - as used for Road Cycling races. These differences are easily discernible from the front-facing view used by Mercanti.

- The long, flat and level surface - road? track lane? - that extends into the distance behind the cyclists is another clue that (IMO) leans heavily toward the scene being a depiction of a Road Cycling race vs. Track Cycling race.

To the left of the cyclists is seen the Olympics logo with "USA" surmounting the rings. Mercanti's "JM" initials are seen at about the 7:30 clock position at the rim.

In case you were wondering, the Men's Individual Road Race at the Atlanta Olympics was contested by 183 cyclists from 57 countries. Many of those who began the 221.85 kilometer race (137.85 miles) dropped out before completing it; just 116 cyclists finished the race. The Gold Medal was won by Pascal Richard of Switzerland; the US finished fourth (Frankie Andreu) and 12th (Lance Armstrong) - both off the medals podium.

The coin's reverse (used on all four of the 1995 silver dollars) features clasped hands/wrists (not a traditional handshake). As discussed in the previous post, the design is meant to symbolize the fraternity of the Olympics and its team spirit. William Krawczewicz was the designer of the reverse, with T. James Ferrell modeling the design for the coin dies.

1995 Atlanta Olympics Cycling Silver Dollar

(Image Credit: Image courtesy of PCGS CoinFacts, http://www.PCGS.com.



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 Posted 07/21/2021  10:04 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
An excellent write-up that also brings back some great memories of my cycling days. I really do need to get back into that.
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