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Orem sculptor designs WWI commemorative coin

By Ashley Stilson
via the Deseret News web site

SALT LAKE CITY — The most common mistake beginners make, contest officials told LeRoy Transfield, is adding too much detail.

LeRoy TransfieldLeRoy TransfieldSo the Orem sculptor meticulously planned every detail of his 8-inch plaster masterpiece: a soldier with a crooked nose clutching a rifle, poppies blooming amid twisted barbed wire, and the words "In God We Trust" square to the soldier's face.

After several weeks of work, Transfield's finishing artwork was chosen as the winning design for the 2018 World War I American Veterans Centennial silver dollar.

Coin only"It was really hard to come up with a design," he said, "but in the end, I came up with something I was really happy with.

"When I sent it off, I didn’t know if it was going to do well or not, but at least it was something I could put my name on."

Although he's never sculpted a coin before, Transfield said U.S. Mint officials unanimously voted for his design among 20 other finalists. The final retail product is only 1 ½ inches wide, featuring Transfield's artwork on both sides of the coin.

The commemorative silver dollar will be released in January, marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The U.S. Mint plans to strike 400,000 silver coins with Transfield's design.

More than 116,500 U.S. soldiers died in combat during WWI. Another 200,000 were wounded, according to the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission website.

Transfield had two uncles who served in WWI as members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force Native Contingent, he said.

Read the entire article on the Deseret News web site here.

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