If you didn't already know, 2020 will be the last year of the reverse design of the American Silver Eagle and American Gold Eagle. Both are memorable designs and have been in use since the coins' inception in 1986. Legendary designer, John Mercanti became one of the most popular coin designers/engravers due to his work being featured on the back of all silver eagles for 30+ years.
Last month, the Perth Mint released a 2 oz gold coin that features Australia's wedged-tail eagle. The coin depicts a mother eagle tending to her child as the father scans the surrounding area for threats and prey. This is the 3rd design in 3 years that the legendary John Mercanti has designed.The specifications of this high-relief gold coin are 36.60 mm, 62.213 g (2 oz) .9999 fine with a mintage of only 250. As with Mercanti’s two previous designs of 2016 and 2017, further versions of this new rendition are to be expected in gold and silver throughout the year.
What is the significance of a signed label? Throughout history, many have sought after autographs from artists, musicians, athletes, and many more. There are signed photographs, novels, hats, CDs, baseballs, comic books, papers, and other various objects. Collecting autographs has been an enjoyable pastime for years. An autograph captures a moment in time on an object that a person can hold and preserve. One can hold a piece of history in his or her hand. In the numismatic world, John Mercanti signed coin labels; these coins are highly desirable because Mercanti is a legend of his craft.
John Mercanti is nothing less than a superstar in the coin world. Mercanti was born April 27, 1943, in Philadelphia and that is where his legend begins. Mercanti studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia College of Art and Fleisher Art Memorial School, where he gained experience in both sculpting and engraving. Shortly after graduating, Mercanti began his six-year service with the Pennsylvania National Guard. From there, Mercanti advanced into his career at the United States Mint.
John Mercanti is a designer and sculptor who designed the reverse side of the coin. He served as the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint for 37 years until he retired in 2010. The well-known and famous engraver had designed hundreds of coins and medals during his time as Chief Engraver. His designs include the Congress Bicentennial Gold Coin (1989) – obverse side, Pennsylvania State Quarter (1999) – reverse side, Iowa State Quarter (2004) – reverse side, and many others. He left a lasting impact on the way coins are engraved in the modern day; he was one the first to use computer and art software to design coins.