The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 4, January 25, 2015, Article 8

SUSAN GAMBLE, 1957-2015

U.S. Mint artist Susan Gamble has died. Here's an excerpt from an article in the -Editor

Susan Gamble Susan G. Gamble, who created the artwork displayed on numerous U.S. coins, died Jan. 14 after an accident. She was 57.

As a master designer for the United States Mint, Gamble’s artwork is stamped on the reverse side of pennies, nickles, gold and silver dollars and commemorative coins, among others.

Raised in Virginia, Gamble became interested in art in junior high school. Her mother died when she was 16, leaving her and her twin sister to take over many of the household duties.

After graduating early from high school — as class valedictorian — Gamble went on to attend Virginia Commonwealth University, earning a degree in fine arts in 1978.

“It’s hard to make a living at painting,” her husband Michael Gamble said. “After we got married, right after she graduated, she started branching out into graphic design.”

Purchasing a Macintosh computer in the mid- 1980s, Gamble taught herself the desktop publishing program PageMaker, improving her skills as she and her husband, an Air Force officer, moved frequently throughout the U.S.

“She just expanded her portfolio over the years … began doing layout and design for various small magazines,” her husband said. “As it became easier to do things by computer, she was able to maintain clients.”

From Albuquerque, New Mexico to Northern California, Gamble worked from home and raised the couple’s two children. She especially enjoyed living in the Washington, D.C. area where she worked as a graphic artist for the National League of Cities, and her proximity to the area’s many museums.

It was while living in Oklahoma in 2004 that Gamble was chosen from among 306 artists for the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, submitting designs for commemorative nickels.

She received the program’s “Excellence in Design” award in 2008.

Gamble also won the international Coin of the Year Award for Historical Significance for the United States of America for her 2007 Jamestown silver dollar design, one of her husband’s favorites.

Another high point of her career, one that had a personal connection, was designing the Air Force Combat Action Medal, which was introduced in 2007. It was an assignment she considered a “gift of love.”

The couple decided to live in South Texas after her husband’s retirement, even though they had planned on returning to Virginia.

Gamble had fallen in love with San Antonio during their two assignments in the city.

To read the complete article, see:
Gamble designed coin artwork for the U.S. Mint (

CoinWeek had a nice article about Susan Gamble, too. -Editor

Susan Gamble Coins Former Chief Engraver John Mercanti recalled Gamble’s work, telling CoinWeek, “I remember working with her, when she started with us. It took a while for her designs to click, but I told her to stick with it… that one day her designs would be selected. Once it clicked for her, she soared.”

Mercanti, one of the most prolific coin designers in United States history, thinks fondly of many of Gamble’s designs–both used and unused–but it’s the reverse of the 2007 Jamestown 400th Anniversary silver dollar that stands out. It later won the International Coin of the Year Award for Historical Significance for the United States.

“That was my favorite design of hers,” Mercanti said.

Condolences from friends and former colleagues poured into a guest book hosted by

Fellow designer Richard Masters wrote, “I always admired both her degree of professionalism and her enduring dedication to her art.”

Designer Joel Iskowitz, who shared a number of coin sides with Gamble (including the 2009 commemorative dollar honoring Louis Braille) added, “Susan was an exceptional artist and a very fine person. Her designs were some of the best and cleanest of our group and she herself was a ray of sunshine.”

Of Gamble’s lengthy portfolio of selected designs, it was the 2008 Bald Eagle gold $5 obverse that Iskowitz liked most, giving it the highest praise.

“I always told her that I thought her Bald Eagle gold coin design was among the most beautiful in American coinage,” Iskowitz said.

To read the complete article, see:
In Memoriam: Susan Gamble, 1957-2015 (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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