Elizabeth Jones (engraver)


Elizabeth Jones (born May 31, 1935)[1] was the eleventh Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, holding this position from 1981 until her resignation in 1991. After her resignation, the post of Chief Engraver was left vacant for 15 years until John Mercanti was appointed to the post.

Born in Montclair, New Jersey, Jones was a 1953 graduate of the Montclair Kimberley Academy (formerly the Kimberley School until 1974) and received their 1985 Distinguished Alumni Award. She graduated from Vassar College in 1957.[2]


$1 Silver Coin 1983 P commemorating the Los Angeles Olympics 1984. Medallists were Elizabeth Jones and John M. Mercanti

Jones was just 46 when President Ronald Reagan appointed her as Chief Engraver, making her the first woman to hold this post. Although relatively young by chief engraver standards, by this time she had already built an impressive reputation as one of the leading medallists in the world. Her talent and distinctive style, which she describes as "mildly abstract," had earned her a lengthy series of commissions from such prestigious clients as The Franklin Mint, Medallic Art Company and the Judaic Heritage Society. When Frank Gasparro retired in 1981 after 16 years as chief engraver, friends in the art world and in Washington, D.C., urged her to apply. She did, and soon had a new job.[3]

Jones was the designer of the 1983 Los Angeles Olympic one dollar coin, obverse. Her design incorporated the traditional discus thrower of conjoined outlines in three layers as if in stroboscopic motion.[4]

In an article, “Her mark is on the coinage”, by Judy Klemesrud, The New York Times, June 26, 1983: ”She said she became interested in the rather obscure field of medallion making after meeting Renato Signorini,[5] an Italian sculptor now deceased, who designed the official medal for the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. "He's the one who's responsible for my becoming a medalist," she said. "I had never even thought of medals until I was 25 years old."[6]


  1. ^ "Nomination of Elizabeth Jones to be Engraver of the United States Mint at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | the American Presidency Project".
  2. ^ Elizabeth Jones US Chief Coin Designer and Engraver, USA Coin Book. Accessed December 3, 2017. "Elizabeth Jones was born on May 31, 1935 in Montclair, New Jersey. During her childhood, she developed a talent and interest in the arts, which would eventually become her career. In 1953, at the age of 18, Elizabeth graduated from the Montclair Kimberley Academy (also known as Kimberley School before 1974)."
  3. ^ Benvenuto, Mark (July 2020). "Elizabeth Jones: A Master Chief Engraver". Coins Magazine. Vol. 67, no. 7. p. 12.
  4. ^ "Battle Rages for L.A. Olympic Games Commemorative Coins", Coin World, August 9, 2010, Vol 51, Issue 2626, page 18.
  5. ^ it:Renato Signorini
  6. ^ Klemesrud, Judy (26 June 1983). "Her Mark is on the Coinage". The New York Times.

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Preceded by Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint
Succeeded by