The 2007 Little Rock Central High School 50th Anniversary Desegregation Silver Dollar, designed by University of Wisconsin Oshkosh professor Richard Masters, was voted as the Best Contemporary Event Coin in the 2009 Coin of the Year (COTY) Awards.
Masters, who designed the obverse — or “heads” — side of the coin, has worked with the U.S. Mint since 2004 as a member of their Artistic Infusion Program. He has designed several other coins, including the newly minted “log cabin” penny and the Nebraska quarter.
“Coins and, more specifically, coin designs have an inherent national interest because nearly all Americans use them for certain kinds of daily commerce,” Masters said.
Since 1984, the COTY Awards recognize the work of mints from all over the world. An international panel composed of approximately 30 professional numismatists and experts judged the coin submissions.
U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver Charles Vickers, who sculpted Masters’ design, and sculptor-engraver Don Everhart, who designed and sculpted the reverse of the Little Rock Silver Dollar, all share in this recognition.