3x2 Vermont 2022 line art by Justin Kunz (image/US Mint)

Snowboarder Graces $1 Coin: Why Vermont Minted the ‘Melon Grab’

Vermont’s limited-series $1 coin features a female snowboarder performing a ‘melon grab’ jump, braids blowing against a wintry mountain backdrop.

This week, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury approved the four state-inspired designs that will emboss its $1 coins in 2022.

And while Kentucky’s bluegrass banjo, Rhode Island’s sailboat, and Tennesee’s rural valley — this year’s other minted coins — all seemingly fit the bill, Vermont’s snowboarder edges on energetic and playful. Those are aesthetic qualities that, well, don’t usually apply to something as ho-hum as a coin.

Vermont’s 2 Cents on Innovation

According to the creative team behind the coin, “The aim of the design is to capture a sense of the energy and exuberance of snowboarding through movement implied by diagonal lines and curved shapes.”

Justin Kunz of the Artistic Infusion Program designed the coin’s image, and medallic artist Craig Campbell carved up the embossment of the female snowboarder performing a “melon grab.”

And that’s sort of the point of this limited-run collection.

For a little backstory, in 2018, the Mint introduced its American Innovation $1 Coin Program, a multiyear series meant to honor “innovation and innovators” unique to the 50 states and District of Columbia.

Mint officials describe the selection process in a recent press release: “The Mint works with the Governor’s offices of each state, along with subject matter experts, to determine design concepts emblematic of innovation significant and meaningful to their jurisdiction and/or its role in the nation.”

Vermont Governor Phil Scott weighed in on the Green Mountain State’s honorary coin:

I am proud to have snowboarding representing Vermont in the Innovation $1 program. In many ways, Vermont is the birthplace of modern snowboarding, and this coin represents Vermont’s contributions to the sport, from physical innovations in boards and bindings to the creativity and athleticism showcased by Vermonters — and others who train in the Green Mountains — in competition on the world stage.

Check the Mint’s product schedule for American Innovation $1 Coin release and sales information. Once circulation-ready, the Mint will begin taking orders at catalog.usmint.gov.

Niehues works in his home studio in Parker, Colorado; (courtesy of J. Niehues via Verde PR)
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Jilli Cluff
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Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing. In 2020, Jilli left her corporate position to pursue an outdoor-oriented life. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear network. She is based out of Austin, Texas, where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.