The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 10, March 7, 2021, Article 13


Lancaster Online has a great interview with Christina Hess, designer of the Woman's Suffrage dollar coin. -Editor

Women's Suffrage dollar obverse Women's Suffrage dollar reverse

Some artists struggle to figure out ways to make money from their art. Not Christina Hess, a Philadelphia-based artist and chair of the illustration department at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. Hess literally used her art to make money.

The year 2020 marked the centennial anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment — the law that granted women the right to vote. The United States Mint celebrated the anniversary with the release of a silver dollar commemorative coin. Hess' illustrations are featured on the coin.

Hess, who grew up in Lititz and is a graduate of Warwick High School, says she's voted in every presidential election since she reached legal voting age. But, she says learned a lot about the suffragette movement while creating the illustrations for the coin.

"It really hit home because it was one of those things that you take it for granted," says Hess during a phone interview that took place one day after the presidential inauguration, when Kamala Harris became the first woman was sworn in as vice president.

Hess Women's Suffrage dollar exhibit2 The heads side of Hess' coin features three women from three different eras. The reverse shows the year 2020 sliding into a ballot box decorated in an art deco style. The coin itself, as well as framed printed designs, are on display now as part of the PCA&D biannual faculty art exhibit, which runs through May. Due to COVID-19, the PCA&D gallery is still not open to the public, but works from the exhibit can be found online at

Hess connected with the U.S. Mint through its Artist Infusion Program, which contracts artists to create and work on designs for coins and medals.

Hess responded to the Mint's call for submissions for the program after it was posted on LinkedIn in 2019. More than 350 artists applied, and Hess was one of 27 artists selected for the program. The artists submit illustration concepts for quarters, silver dollars and Medals of Honor.

The women's suffrage commemorative silver dollar coin is considered a collector's item, but former President Donald Trump also approved it as legal tender. The coin, which is valued at $1 as legal tender and retails at $69-$75 as a collector's item, is currently sold out.

Hess has worked on several designs, but this is the first coin she's worked on that was minted. After the illustrations are approved, they go to the sculptors, who make a physical model of the design, followed by a digital 3D model.

"The sculptors do an absolutely amazing job with that process," Hess says. "They just work magic."

"When I started looking at the women's suffrage movement, I was looking at the years. I had no idea how many decades it spanned," Hess says. "One of the things I wanted to incorporate was, not only age and ethnicity, but I also wanted to incorporate the different periods of time."

Hess' solution was to look at the fashions from the mid-1800s to the earlier 1900s, specifically the hat, like boaters (popular in the late 19th century) and cloches (often seen in early 20th-century fashions).

"The way I thought about doing that was the actual hats that they're wearing," Hess says. "I did a lot of research on women's marches and what exactly they were wearing, and what they were carrying and what the buttons looked like."

The models for Hess' women all came from antique public domain photos she found online. One of the images came from an unlikely place.

"The lady in the upper right was actually from a mug shot," Hess says. "I don't know what her crime was, but she had such a great face. I was like, this is it! This is a face from history from that time period, and she's got such great features that I thought would be prominent on a coin."

To read the complete article, see:
PCA&D educator Christina Hess designed the U.S. Mint's women's suffrage coin (

Hess Women's Suffrage dollar exhibit

For images of the exhibit, see:
2021 Faculty Biennial (

Back in 2000 the Naples Bank Note Company (NBNC) intended to offer the European Central Bank the opportunity to have a US company print the Euro. In order to get samples to submit to the ECB, Naples Bank Note designed this One Million Euro Commemorative, complete with over 20 security features, including some never used before and only original to NBNC. These are the last sheets remaining. For collectors only.

Banknotables E-Sylum ad 2021-02-14 Million Euro Sheet

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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