Daniel Carr's Proposed Dollar
Designs and Prototypes

Daniel Carr, founder and owner of Designs Computed, LLC of Loveland, Colorado, is a prolific coin designer. Two of his Statehood Quarter designs (New York and Rhode Island) have actually been used. Due to the Mint's policy to put the engraver's initials on the coin instead of the designer's initials, Mr. Carr's initials do not appear on the coins even though he was paid for his designs. You can see these and all of his coinage designs on his website Daniel Carr - Designs Computed / Coins - Medals - Tokens / Moonlight Mint.

Mr. Carr's earliest coin design concepts were for the golden dollar. In 1987, Congress was considering whether or not to issue a new US circulating $1 coin. Various proposals were considered. Mr. Carr's vision was to have a US coin design representative of the United States in the upcoming 21st century. What better design to represent the US in the 21st century than to commemorate our leadership and success in space exploration. Mr. Carr submitted sketches to members of Congress and the US Mint. He received various letters in reply, but legislation allowing a dollar coin to be produced did not pass at that time.


Obverse: Sketch of Apollo
Astronaut on the Moon


Reverse: Sketch of an Eagle
exploring the Solar System



Obverse: Apollo Astronaut
on the moon with US Flag

In 1998 Mr. Carr began experimenting with some computer software he was writing for surface modeling. At the same time, debate over a new dollar coin was heating up. He used his software to create this virtual sculpture. He submitted it to several dozen members of Congress, the US Mint, and various numismatic publications. Shortly after creating the first model, he revised it to produce the version shown here. Since the mint was looking for a "distinctive edge" to use on the new golden dollar, Mr. Carr also designed an edge with 50 incused stars, one for each state of the Union.


Reverse: Eagle and Sun
with fifty rays


Edge: Fifty incuse stars


Shortly after Mr. Carr began his campaign to get an Astronaut on the new dollar, the announcement was made that the new coin must feature a woman. The Dollar Coin Design Advisory Committee (DCDAC) had been formed, and they announced that they would accept applications from the general public to give a presentation at their meeting in Philadelphia on June 8, 1998. The purpose of the meeting was to decide what woman to portray on the coin. Still desirous of an aviation/space theme for the coin, Mr. Carr chose Bessie Coleman as his subject. She was an African-American woman and an early aviation pioneer. Renowned for her stunt flying, she achieved her pilot's license before Amelia Erhart did. Mr. Carr applied for, and was granted an opportunity to make a presentation at the DCDAC's meeting. He hastily produced this design using his software and presented it to the committee. At one point, his proposal was tied for second place in the committee's voting, but eventually Sacagawea was the winning choice. An AP photograph of this design appeared in numerous newspapers across the country.


Obverse: Bessie Coleman in flight gear.
A space shuttle soars above the horizon
with 13 stars in the distance. This
design symbolizes the amazing progress
in aviation during the 20th century.


Bessie Coleman in
1921, at age 29.

 


Obverse: Sacagawea shows the way west.
A sun with 13 rays rises above the canoes
on the river. Fifty stars around the rim.

After the Dollar Coin Design Advisory Committee made their recommendation of Sacagawea to the Secretary of the Treasury Robert E. Rubin, Mr.Carr began work on a Sacagawea design of his own in hopes that he would be invited to participate in a design competition. When it appeared that he would not be invited, he sought a way to submit his designs anyway. He enlisted the help of Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell and the Mint graciously allowed him to participate. (READ ACCEPTANCE LETTER HERE) Although he was not paid $1000 per design like the other invited artists were, Mr. Carr was just thrilled at the chance to participate. There were 120 designs (obverse and reverse combined) submitted by invited artists. Mr. Carr and one other non-invited artist, Gary A. Cooper, submitted 3 more designs, bringing the total to 123.


Ornate Reverse:
Eagle exploring the solar system.
Earth, moon, and Sun with 50 rays.
100 stars around the rim.


After reviews of the 123 designs were conducted, the Mint contacted Mr. Carr indicating that there was "some interest" in his reverse design with some changes. He agreed to make those changes and submit a new version. This new version was one of seven reverse finalists and a line-drawing version of it (see below) was shown on the Mint's web site for public comment. Eventually, the list was narrowed to four reverses and this one was out of the running.


Revised U. S. Mint Reverse:
Stars, Earth and Moon removed.
"1 DOLLAR" changed to "ONE DOLLAR".
This design was one of the seven reverse finalists.


 


Line drawing of Mr. Carr's reverse
design as it appeared on the
U. S. Mint's website.

"The "U. S. Mint version with "PEACE" is the exact design that was one of seven official finalists for the reverse of the Sacagawea dollar. Artists that were invited to submit designs in the invitational design contest for the Sacagawea dollar were instructed that the word "PEACE" could be included in the design at the artist's discretion. Ultimately, the Mint chose not to include "PEACE"."

Daniel Carr
12/18/05

 

 


STRUCK PROTOTYPES

In the Fall of 2005, after many years of planning and perfecting the technique to be used, Daniel Carr began striking prototypes of some of his designs. Although the coins were minted in late 2005 and early 2006, they were originally sculpted in 1998. The exception being the "USA/Oval 1" Bessie Coleman reverse, which is a recent creation having been created in the Fall 2005. It was however constructed by taking the original Astronaut reverse and modifying it. Read more about the creation of the "USA/Oval 1" reverse below.

Below are images of the prototype designs that are being struck, along with a brief description, mintage, and specifications of each piece. These designs were sculpted in 3-D by Daniel Carr. The dies were made using a direct mechanical transfer from the 3-D models.

More information on all of these pieces is available at his website Daniel Carr - Designs Computed / Coins - Medals - Tokens / Moonlight Mint.


ASTRONAUT DOLLAR DESIGN

- One Obverse / One Reverse -



PROOF-LIKE BRASS


SATIN FINISH BRASS


PROOF-LIKE SILVER


SATIN FINISH SILVER


This Apollo Astronaut prototype designed by Daniel Carr was struck in the Fall of 2005. It was considered by the US Mint and Congress as a possible design.

The obverse shows an Apollo Astronaut on the moon with a United States flag. At the time this coin was designed in 1998, nobody knew when the US Mint's small "golden" dollars would be issued, so the design was given a "2001" date, in honor of the movie "2001 A Space Odyssey". The 13 stars in the background symbolize the future colonization of space. The large "D" represents a "Denver" mint mark. A small "DC" (designer's initials) are visible to the left of the bottom of the flag pole.

The reverse design became one of seven US Mint finalists for the reverse of the Sacagawea dollar coin. It features an Eagle soaring across the sun with 50 rays (symbolizing the 50 US states).

To comply with US regulations, the reverse of the coin is marked "One Roller" rather than "One Dollar".

SPECIAL NOTE: There are nine silver Astronaut "Rollers" that were struck on ounce silver planchets in error. Here is how this occured in Daniel Carr's own words: "When I received the 100 silver Astronaut dollars, I started looking at the coins and wondered why the strike was a little bit weak in the center, but the brass strikes were strong in the center. So I took one of the silver coins and weighed it. It was troy ounce, right on the money. I seemed to remember that the planchets were supposed to be thicker. I looked at the printed quote for the planchets. They were supposed to be ounce (thicker), not ounce! I contacted the planchet supplier and they were almost falling over themselves apologizing for the error. They have already struck the 100 ounce replacements and mailed them to me. I will be returning 91 of the "defective" ounce coins to them (they will be melted). This is a genuine error and not a contrived "error". When I made the signed labels for the silver coins, I put "" ounce on the labels because I didn't realize (remember) at the time that they were supposed to be ounce. The ounce coins will have a corrected label."

SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE ASTRONAUT DOLLAR PROTOTYPES

TYPE

MINTAGE

EDGE

WEIGHT

DIAMETER

THICKNESS

Proof-Like Brass
Thin Planchet

900

Plain

8.1 grams

27mm

Slightly
< 2mm

Proof-Like Brass
Thick Planchet

50

Plain

12.5 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Satin Finish Brass
Thick Planchet

100

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Proof-Like
oz. Silver
Thick Planchet

100

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Satin Finish
oz. Silver
Thick Planchet

25

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Proof-Like
oz Silver
Thin Planchet

9

Plain

  7.75 grams

27mm

Slightly
< 2mm


BESSIE COLEMAN DESIGN

- One Obverse / Three Reverses -


GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This concept was designed and presented in person to the Dollar Coin Design Advisory Committee (DCDAC) in 1998. At one point in the DCDAC deliberations, the Bessie Coleman proposal was in second place behind Sacagawea as the committee's choice. A photograph of this Bessie Coleman proposal was taken by an Associated Press (AP) photographer, and that picture was distributed to newspapers across the country. Many newspapers that ran stories about the DCAC meeting also printed that photograph as the only visual record of the meeting. At the time this design was first presented in 1998, a woman had just been assigned Commander of a Space Shuttle Mission for the first time ever. The early aviation of Bessie Coleman, combined with the modern space shuttle, show the progress in aviation contributed by women.

The obverse shows Bessie Coleman, an early African-American aviation pioneer. The 13 stars above the horizon symbolize the future colonization of space. The large "D" represents a "Denver" mint mark. A small "DC" (designer's initials) are visible at the lower right. At the time this design was created, no one knew for sure when the "golden" dollar would be struck. Mr. Carr predicted that it would be struck in 2001 so that's the date he used.

The reverse design was later revised and became one of seven finalists for the reverse of the Sacagawea dollar coin. It features an Eagle soaring across the sun with 50 rays (symbolizing the 50 United States). By the time the DCDAC convened, the initiative to use the word "PEACE" was well underway. Therefore, prototypes were struck using the U. S. Mint revised reverse both with and with out the word "PEACE".

To comply with U. S. regulations, the terms "$1" and "ONE DOLLAR" were removed on the struck prototypes and replaced with other terms.

In the Fall of 2008, Justin R. DiNardo of New York created a special, limited edition holder for three
of the Bessie Coleman prototypes. Each holder has a numbered insert with detailed information about
the prototypes. In addition, each insert is hand signed by Daniel Carr. For more information,
CLICK HERE.


"USA/Oval 1" Reverse


PROOF-LIKE BRASS


SATIN FINISH BRASS


PROOF-LIKE SILVER


SATIN FINISH SILVER


SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE BESSIE COLEMAN
"Oval 1" DOLLAR PROTOTYPES

TYPE

MINTAGE

EDGE

WEIGHT

DIAMETER

THICKNESS

Proof-Like Brass

650

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5 mm

Satin Finish Brass

100

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Proof-Like Silver
troy oz. Silver

100

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Satin Finish Silver
troy oz. Silver

25

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm


Daniel Carr's comments on the "USA/Oval 1" reverse:

"The Bessie Coleman obverse design is older than my Sacagawea obverse design. All four of my Sacagawea reverse designs evolved from the earlier Astronaut reverse, with the "ornate" design being created and proposed before the "US Mint" reverse. The "US Mint" reverse came to be because the Mint asked me to prepare a design similar to the "ornate" reverse, but without the stars, Earth, and Moon, and with "ONE" instead of "1".

At the time I designed and proposed the Bessie Coleman design, I did not have a reverse for it. The Astronaut reverse had "Liberty" on it, and the Bessie Coleman obverse also has "Liberty". It didn't make sense to pair those two together, since there would not be any "United States of America" on either side.

CLICK FOR LARGER PHOTO
CLICK FOR LARGER PHOTO
DESIGN AS IT WOULD HAVE
APPEARED WITH "$1"
INSTEAD OF "Oval 1"

So the "USA/Oval 1" reverse is a recent creation so that the Bessie Coleman coin would have something appropriate on the back. You may be wondering why I didn't skip the "USA/Oval 1" reverse and just use the "US Mint" or "ornate" Sacagawea reverses with Bessie Coleman. The reason is that the Bessie Coleman design, as sculpted back in 1998, has flat fields while all the Sacagawea designs (obverse and reverses) have dished fields. I'm not sure how well it will work to have a "flat" obverse paired with a "dished" reverse, but I am going to mint some Bessie Coleman dollars that way."


OBVERSE AND REVERSE DIES USED TO STRIKE THE
BESSIE COLEMAN "OVAL 1" PROTOTYPE DOLLARS
NOTE: THIS OBVERSE DIE IS NOT COMPLETE.
THE FINISHED DIE WILL HAVE THE GOGGLE LENS POLISHED.


"PEACE" on reverse
Denomination "NON DOLLAR" used in place of "ONE DOLLAR"


PROOF-LIKE BRASS


SATIN FINISH BRASS


PROOF-LIKE SILVER


SATIN FINISH SILVER


"PEACE" removed from reverse
Denomination "NON DOLLAR" used in place of "ONE DOLLAR"


PROOF-LIKE BRASS


SATIN FINISH BRASS


PROOF-LIKE SILVER


SATIN FINISH SILVER


SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE BESSIE COLEMAN
"NON DOLLAR" PROTOTYPES

TYPE

MINTAGE

EDGE

WEIGHT

DIAMETER

THICKNESS

Proof-Like Brass
"PEACE REVERSE"

450

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5 mm

Satin Finish Brass
"PEACE REVERSE"

100

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Proof-Like Brass
Without "PEACE"

450

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Proof-Like Brass
Without "PEACE"

100

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Proof-Like Silver
"PEACE REVERSE"
troy oz. Silver

50

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Satin Finish Silver
"PEACE REVERSE"
troy oz. Silver

25

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Proof-Like Silver
Without "PEACE"
troy oz. Silver

50

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Satin Finish Silver
Without "PEACE"
troy oz. Silver

25

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm


SACAGAWEA DESIGN

- One Obverse / Four Reverses -


GENERAL DESCRIPTION: In 1999 the US Mint held a limited invitational design competition for the new Sacagawea "Golden" dollar coin. Although not initially invited, this concept designed by Daniel Carr was one of only two designs accepted from outside artists in the competition.

The obverse shows Sacagawea while on the Corps of Discovery (Lewis & Clark) expedition. At the time this coin was designed in 1998, nobody knew when the US Mint's small "golden" dollars would first be issued, so the design was given a "2003" date in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Lewis & Clark expedition. The large "D" represents a "Denver" mint mark. A small "DC" (designer's initials) are visible at the lower right.

The reverse design was later revised and became one of seven finalists for the reverse of the Sacagawea dollar coin. It features an Eagle exploring the solar system while soaring across the sun with 50 rays (symbolizing the 50 United States). Artists that were invited to submit designs in the invitational design contest for the golden dollar were instructed that the word "PEACE" could be included in the design at the artist's discretion. Ultimately, the Mint chose not to include the word "PEACE". The prototypes without the word "PEACE" show what the design really would have looked like if it had been chosen by the U. S. Mint for the actual coin.

To comply with U. S. regulations, the terms "1 Dollar" and "ONE DOLLAR" were removed on the struck prototypes and replaced with other terms.


Original ornate reverse with "PEACE"
Denomination of "1 000000" used in place of "1 DOLLAR"


PROOF-LIKE BRASS


SATIN FINISH BRASS


PROOF-LIKE SILVER


SATIN FINISH SILVER


Original ornate reverse with "PEACE" removed
Denomination "1 000000" used in place of "1 DOLLAR"


PROOF-LIKE BRASS


SATIN FINISH BRASS


PROOF-LIKE SILVER


SATIN FINISH SILVER


SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE SACAGAWEA
"1 000000" PROTOTYPES

TYPE

MINTAGE

EDGE

WEIGHT

DIAMETER

THICKNESS

Proof-Like Brass
"PEACE" Reverse

450

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5 mm

Satin Finish Brass
"PEACE" Reverse

100

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Proof-Like Silver
"PEACE" Reverse
troy oz. Silver

50

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Satin Finish Silver
"PEACE" Reverse
troy oz. Silver

25

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Proof-Like Brass
without "PEACE"

450

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Satin Finish Brass
without "PEACE"

100

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Proof-Like Silver
without "PEACE"
troy oz. Silver

50

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Satin Finish Silver
without "PEACE"
troy oz. Silver

25

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm


Revised U.S. Mint reverse with "PEACE"
Denomination "NON DOLLAR" used in place of "ONE DOLLAR"


PROOF-LIKE BRASS


SATIN FINISH BRASS


PROOF-LIKE SILVER


SATIN FINISH SILVER


Revised U. S. Mint reverse with "PEACE" removed
Denomination "NON DOLLAR" used in place of "ONE DOLLAR"


PROOF-LIKE BRASS


SATIN FINISH BRASS


PROOF-LIKE SILVER


SATIN FINISH SILVER


SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE SACAGAWEA
"NON DOLLAR" PROTOTYPES

TYPE

MINTAGE

EDGE

WEIGHT

DIAMETER

THICKNESS

Proof-Like Brass
"PEACE" Reverse

450

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5 mm

Satin Finish Brass
"PEACE" Reverse

100

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Proof-Like Silver
"PEACE" Reverse
troy oz. Silver

50

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Satin Finish Silver
"PEACE" Reverse
troy oz. Silver

25

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Proof-Like Brass
without "PEACE"

450

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Satin Finish Brass
without "PEACE"

100

Plain

12.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Proof-Like Silver
without "PEACE"
troy oz. Silver

50

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm

Satin Finish Silver
without "PEACE"
troy oz. Silver

25

Plain
Marked ".999
Fine Silver"

15.6 grams

27mm

2.5mm


A WORD ABOUT INSERTS

 


INSERT TYPE INCLUDED WITH
"REGULAR PRODUCTION"
PROTOTYPES

Here are two types of 2x2 inserts included with Daniel Carr's struck prototypes.

The type on the left is for the regular production prototypes.

The type on the right is for specially produced prototypes such as low mintage and silver pieces. This type is hand signed by Daniel Carr.


INSERT TYPE INCLUDED WITH
"SPECIAL PRODUCTION"
PROTOTYPES


Daniel Carr's 3-D Model Prototypes

 


NINE INCH BLACK ACRYLIC 3-D POSITIVE MODELS


These 9" black acrylic 3-D models were created as a positive (raised design elements like the coin). They were made for evaluation and testing purposes only. Note: Only two obverse and one reverse black acrylic positives exist.



8.25 INCH BLACK ACRYLIC 3-D NEGATIVE MODELS


For production purposes, an 8.25" black acrylic negative (incuse/backwards design elements like a die) is made. This is called a 3-D mold. The 3-D mold can be mounted on a reduction lathe to make a die. A retaining ring can also be put around the 3-D mold and wax poured into it. After the wax has cooled it can be cast in bronze using the "lost wax" technique (coat the wax with plaster, melt/burn out the wax, and pour molten bronze into the cavity).

Mr. Carr has made large bronze models of some of his designs using the "lost wax" technique from the same 3-D molds that were used to make the 27mm dies that were used to strike his golden dollar design prototypes.



8 INCH CAST BRONZE MODEL PROOF OF APOLLO
ASTRONAUT PROTOTYPE DOLLAR


REVERSE SIDE SHOWING HAND ENGRAVED
SIGNATURE OF DANIEL CARR
AND ISSUE NUMBER


Three bronze proofs were made for Mr. Carr's Astronaut Dollar obverse design. They will be numbered "1/3", "2/3", and "3/3". Number "1/3" will be different than the other two as follows:

Model #1 has a hand-engraved signature and the issue number "1/3". (See photo above). It will be 8.25 inches in diameter and 5/8" thick. It will have a plain edge, weigh about 10 pounds, and will be finished with an orange-brown patina. (Model #1 sold on eBay January 10, 2006 for $375.00)

Model #'s 2 and 3 are 8.25 inches in diameter but are only 3/8" thick and weigh around 5 pounds. They have a signature/logo stamped on the back and do not have any patina applied.



8.3 INCH CAST BRONZE MODEL PROOF OF
A PROTOTYPE DOLLAR EAGLE REVERSE


REVERSE SIDE OF THE EAGLE BRONZE
MODEL PROOF WITH DANIEL CARR'S LOGO


8.3 inch diameter bronze casting of a proposed US small dollar coin design. Initally designed to go with the Apollo Astronaut obverse, this design was later revised and became one of seven US Mint finalists for the reverse of the Sacagawea dollar. This particular casting is of the original Apollo Astronaut version, with "Liberty" on the reverse rather than on the obverse. Only one bronze casting of this type was issued, and it is signed and marked "1/1" (one of one) on the back. The weight is approximately 5 pounds. It has radial buffing to simulate the mint luster found on a die-struck coin. (This model sold on eBay February 28, 2006 for $565.89)


CLOSE-UP OF DANIEL CARR'S LOGO ON THE
REVERSE SIDE OF THE EAGLE BRONZE MODEL
PROOF


Here are some more bronze castings made and issued by Daniel Carr. Each casting measures 8-3/8 inches in diameter and approximately 1/4 inch thick. A Sacagawea dollar is shown for size comparison. They each weight about 5 pounds. A maximum of only three of each were issued. They each have Daniel Carr's logo (See above) on the back and are numbered "1/3", "2/3" or "3/3". The castings were made from the same models that were used in making 27mm dies for striking actual prototype coins.

Many thanks are given to Daniel Carr for the photos and much of the text used on this page.

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