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Kiwi sculptor wins US Mint competition to design American World War I centennial coin

By Vaimoana Tapaleao
via the NZ Herald web site

LeRoy Transfield 400LeRoy TransfieldA New Zealand man living in the US has come up with the winning design to appear on a special coin commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

LeRoy Transfield's designs for both the obverse and reverse were picked out of 20 finalists from all over the US.

The profile of a stoic-looking soldier gripping a rifle, with the words "Liberty'', "In God We Trust'' and the dates 1918-2018 can be seen on one side.

On the reverse, several poppies are caught in barbed wire, with the words "United States of America'', "One Dollar'' and "E Pluribus Unum'' (Out of Many, One) complete it.

Transfield, a full-time sculptor and artist based in Utah but born and bred in Lower Hutt, said it was exciting to win the US Mint-run competition and for his designs to be chosen for a WWI centennial silver dollar.

The 52-year-old decided to put an entry in after coming across the competition while surfing the internet one day.

"I wanted to do poppies but it was really hard because it's kind of a boring flower and I didn't know if it'd work in a coin.

"So when I added the barbed wire, it really made it a lot more interesting. But even though the poppies originally are not really recognised in the United States ... but now it's becoming universal as a symbol for remembrance. And a lot of people wear it over here on Memorial Day.

"There's a lot symbolism in it. Having multiple poppies kind of represent that there was a lot of people who died in the war."

Transfield himself has personal links to the Great War also.

Read the whole article on the NZ Herald web site here:

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