Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Breast Cancer Awareness Design Competition?
- The authorizing law for the 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Program requires a competition to be held to select a winning coin design emblematic of the fight against breast cancer.
- The law calls for a single winner to design both the obverse and the reverse of the coin.
- The law allows artists to submit designs and/or physical models, but requires the expert jury to give preference to submissions accompanied by physical models.
- The competition will be operated in two phases, described below.
Why are these coins being minted?
- Congress authorized and the President signed into law the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 114-148) “in recognition of the fight against breast cancer.”
- The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is the designated recipient organization, which is authorized to receive the surcharges ($35 per pink gold coin, $10 per silver coin, and $5 per clad coin) for the purpose of furthering breast cancer research.
- In addition to the other requirements, The United States Mint must recover all numismatic and program costs allocated to the program before releasing surcharge funds to the recipient organization.
Who in Congress sponsored the law?
- The Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act was introduced by Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York.
Who is paying for this program?
- As with all commemorative coin programs, which by law must be self-sustaining, the United States Mint will operate the 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Program, including the design competition, at no cost to taxpayers.
Who may participate in the coin design competition?
- The competition is open to United States citizens and permanent residents who are 18 years of age and older.
- No submissions will be accepted from United States Mint or Treasury Department employees, members of the judging panel, or immediate family members of these individuals.
Is this like the Baseball Competition?
- Like the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act, the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act requires a public competition for the design of the coin.
- Unlike the National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act, the legislation for this program requires artists to submit coin designs for both the obverse and reverse of the coin. Artists are to submit designs and/or physical models, but requires the expert jury to give preference to submissions accompanied by physical models. Considering the amount of work required from the artists, the Mint has structured this competition in two phases, with financial consideration provided to the artists participating in Phase Two.
What are the phases of the competition?
- The 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Competition will proceed in two phases.
- In Phase One, artists will submit three to five samples of their artwork along with general contact information using an entry form at usmint.gov. These portfolios will be evaluated by the expert jury. From this pool of applicants, the expert jury will choose no more than twenty artists to participate in Phase Two.
- In Phase Two, artists will be required to submit a design for both the obverse and reverse of the coin. This design may be submitted as a digital design and/or a physical model. These designs will be evaluated by the same expert jury from Phase One and it will select the winner of the competition.
- The law requires that the winning design (obverse and reverse) be created by a single artist.
- Each artist invited to participate in Phase Two of this competition will be paid $1,000 for his or her submissions.
What types of work samples should go into the portfolio?
- Artists should submit works that display their suitability for this competition. Work samples will be evaluated using the following criteria:
- Demonstration of ability to convey complex concepts with symbolism
- Masterful application of ingenuity in interpreting the subject matter and conveying its theme
- Demonstration that the artist is adaptable to different subject matters and themes
- Demonstration of ability to render figures, portraits, animals or landscapes with the use of perspective and scale
Why is this competition broken into two phases?
- The authorizing legislation for this competition requires artists to submit designs for both the obverse and reverse of the coin in digital form and/or physical form. This is not an insignificant amount of work. By utilizing a two-phase program, the Mint allows artists to demonstrate their interest in the competition without expending significant time and effort. During Phase One, artists will submit three to five work samples. From this pool of artists, the expert jury can select up to twenty artists it believes will be the most successful in the competition. In Phase Two, these artists will create a design and/or physical model for the coin. Because of the demands placed on the artists, the Mint will be paying a fee of $1,000 for the designs and providing plaster basins if requested.
Where can the public find more information about the competition?
Who will be judging the competition?
- Entries from both Phase One and Phase Two will be evaluated by an expert jury composed of three members of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and three members of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). The jury will be chaired by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management & Budget, Department of the Treasury.
- Subject matter experts will be available to advise the expert jury during the judging process.
- The expert jury may recommend edits to the winning design, which will be incorporated by the winning artist and/or the United States Mint Sculptor-Engravers.
- The final design of the coin will be selected by the Secretary of the Treasury based on the winning design selected by the expert jury.
What are the specific guidelines for Phase One of the competition?
- Artists must upload three to five work samples to usmint.gov.
- These may be digital designs or photographs of prior work.
- No physical artwork will be accepted in Phase One, but photographs of physical art work are acceptable.
- Artists must certify that they are United States citizens or permanent residents and are 18 years of age or older.
Are plasters required for Phase Two?
- No, plasters or any other physical model is not required for the Phase Two entry. Entries may consist of electronic designs, physical designs or both. However, public law stipulates that preference will be given to designs that consist of or are accompanied by physical designs.
If selected for Phase Two, am I allowed to partner with another person(s) to create and submit a plaster model?
- No. Both the design and the physical model submission must be the finalist’s own original work.
What are the specific guidelines for the designs submitted in Phase Two of the competition?
- Artists invited to participate in Phase Two must submit a two-dimensional digital design for both the obverse and reverse of the coin and/or a three-dimensional physical model of both the obverse and reverse design.
- The designs must be emblematic of the fight against breast cancer.
- The obverse design must contain the inscriptions “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” and “2018.”
- The reverse design must contain the inscriptions “United States of America,” “E Pluribus Unum,” and one of the following:
- “Five Dollars” (or) “$5”
- “One Dollar” (or) “$1”
- “Half Dollar”
- The United States Mint will provide each artist with a set of base plasters upon request. The artist may choose to build up a sculpture in his or her chosen durable medium or may make his or her own cast of the base with similar dimensions.
- The finished model must be made of entirely durable material suitable for shipping
- Designs may not include the name or depiction of any living person, even with permission.
- Designs may not include names, emblems, logos, trademarks, or other intellectual property associated with any specific commercial or private organization.
- Designs must be the artist’s own original artwork and not include the artist’s name, initials, logo, mark, or other identifier anywhere on the design.
How do I enter the competition?
How long will the competition run?
- The United States Mint will begin accepting submissions for Phase One of the competition on August 1, 2016. The competition will remain open through October 17, 2016, though the Mint reserves the right to end the acceptance of submissions early if 1,000 entries are received.
- Artists selected to participate in Phase Two will be notified on or about November 14, 2016. All submissions must be received by the United States Mint by January 31, 2017.
What will winners receive?
- The winner of the design competition will receive $10,000.
- The winner’s initials will appear on the minted coins.
- The winner may be invited to attend a ceremony where the winning design will be unveiled and the winning design will be showcased on www.usmint.gov.
When and where will the unveiling occur?
- A final decision on the date and place of the unveiling has not yet been made.
Where do I find the rules for the competition?
How much will the coins cost?
- The price has not yet been set for the 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coins.
Who decides what commemorative coins are minted?
- Congress authorizes commemorative coins that celebrate and honor American people, places, events, and institutions. Although these coins are legal tender, they are not minted for general circulation. Each commemorative coin is produced by the United States Mint in limited quantity and is available only for a limited time.
- As well as commemorating important aspects of American history and culture, commemorative coins help raise money for important causes identified in the authorizing legislation.
- Since the modern commemorative coin program began in 1982, the United States Mint has raised more than $506,000,000 in surcharges to help build new museums, maintain national monuments like the Vietnam War Memorial, preserve historical sites like George Washington’s home, support various Olympic programs, support programs such as the Boy and Girl Scouts and many more.
- Part of the price of commemorative coins is a surcharge that is authorized by law for organizations and projects that benefit the community.
- The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is the organization designated to receive surcharges on the 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Program.