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The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 6, February 6, 2022, Article 17

DON EVERHART'S CAREER IN COINS, PART 2

With permission, we're republishing excerpts of former U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart series published by CoinWeek beginning in April 2018. -Editor

In addition to coins and medals I sculpted toys, giftware, figurines, plates, life-size figurative monuments, Disney figures, flatware for Tiffany's and many more different projects.

  everhart Dance of the Dolphins
Dance of the Dolphins (1982) for the Society of Medallists – Don Everhart

In 1982 I designed and sculpted Dance of the Dolphins for the Society of Medallists. This was a medal program where two medals a year were given to subscribers. I've always had a deep interest in the ocean and the animals that inhabit it. I executed my design, and a few months later entered it in a reliefs and medals show in New York City held by the National Sculpture Society. Much to my surprise it won first prize and gave me a lot of confidence in my design and sculpture abilities.

  Everhart Tyrannosaurus Rex
Tyrannosaurus Rex (1993) Don Everhart

In 1993 I sculpted Tyrannosaurus Rex, again for the Society of Medallists. This medal was so popular that I was commissioned to sculpt five more dinosaur medals to create a set. Each medal showed the living dinosaur in its natural habitat with contemporary wildlife on the obverse. The reverse contained the fossil remains of the animal in the process of being freed from stone by the hand of a paleontologist.

Unfortunately, this unique series was discontinued in 1995. But I feel very honored to be in the company of the other sculptors that contributed to it.

In or about 1991 I was delivering a sculpt to the Franklin Mint and was chatting with Charles Vickers, who was still on staff at the time (I later worked with Charles at the United States Mint. In fact, we were both hired on the same day!). He told me about another medal series that was of great interest to me. It was a medal series by Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina. Brookgreen Gardens is a classical sculpture garden and wildlife preserve near Murrells Inlet. One medal a year is given to members of the gardens. The theme had to be either the flora and fauna of South Carolina or the history of the state.

  everhart Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina Crab
Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina Crab (1991) Don Everhart

I have always been fascinated by dinosaurs, reptiles and all things creepy crawly, and decided that I'd design a die-cut medal of a hermit crab that lives near the beach at the gardens. It was a freestanding medal that was both cast and struck according to the Medallic Art Company, which produced it. I actually sculpted it in two separate halves that would line up and orient to each other when put together. It was the first freestanding medal in the Brookgreen series and had a very whimsical quality to it. The obverse shows the animal from the front, inhabiting its shell, with claws emerging from the bottom left and right; the reverse shows the swirl design of the shell with the lettering, Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina. In this instance I was inspired by the psychedelic lettering on concert posters from the 1960s. After all, I am a child of the '60s.

In 1996 I was contacted by Bob Hoff, the owner of Medallic Art Company–which, at the time, was the premier mint in the production of medals in the country. I had done a lot of calendar medals for Bob, an assignment I enjoyed because medals offer more freedom in design than coins. Medals have higher relief to work with and one doesn't have to design with proof coin parameters design in mind.

everhart Clinton Inaugural medal obverse He asked me to design an inaugural medal for the second Clinton Administration. I was very hesitant at first. I told him that the project was a lot of work to be done on speculation. The artist would only get paid if the design was chosen by the president or the Inaugural Committee. I would have to design an obverse with both Bill Clinton and Al Gore, and pair it with a fitting presidential reverse. I fought Bob for a while, not wanting to invest the time and effort.

But he got me with this: I think you can win it.

To read the complete original article, see:
Don Everhart: My Career in Coins, Part 1 – The Franklin Mint (https://coinweek.com/modern-coins/don-everhart-my-career-in-coins-part-1-the-franklin-mint/)

You can see more of Don's sculpture and design work on his website:
http://doneverhartsculpture.com/?utm_source=coinweek

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
Don Everhart's Career in Coins, Part 1 (https://www.coinbooks.org/v25/esylum_v25n05a17.html)

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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