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Design a New Coin


jlueke
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Lets say the US finally decides to get rid of $1 and $2 paper money bills and will launch a new $1 coin that will now see a lot of use. You've been selected to specify the design (though not execute it unless you have the skills). How would you design a 21st coin featuring liberty and the mandated mottos?

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I'd go to a smaller coin than the current one, just because I'd expect to be introducing larger denominations, and would want them to be, well, larger. I like the idea of making it a gold color, but I don't like the way the current plating tarnishes (and rubs off, exposing copper). I'd make it thicker with a smooth edge. The nickel seems like the perfect size for this coin, which is unfortunate because the nickel itself would create a conflict (now if we simultaneously get to introduce a clad half dime...). So I'd have to go with something larger. Another possibility would be to go with a polygon (hexagon or octagon) but that would probably make the vending machine companies scream bloody murder.

 

Artistically (which I suspect is where you wanted to go with this), I'd go with some sort of image of the Statue of Liberty at this point. Putting real people on a coin turns into a political wrangle, but the public won't understand an "abstract" female goddess of liberty any more; it has been too long. The Statue of Liberty is instantly recognizable. as signifying Liberty, though.

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Hi Steve,

 

Yes I was thinking more of the artistic aspect although color is definitely a consideration. Do some designs look better in certain colors? I wonder that when i try and decide whether I need an art medal in copper and silver. Usually the copper patina looks better to me. The Statue of Liberty is a good choice and I do like what she represents. Maybe a modern rendition of her more of a close up with the rays pointing outward would be a good obverse. I am a sucker for allegory though. Then there's always the question of the eagle, what is it doing, holding, and is there any background scenery.

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Just one thing -- I refuse to include 'In God We Trust' simply because I consider it a violation of the First Amendment. Have some junior engraver put it on the edge.

 

Other than that, I went for simplicity, and no dead presidents. The text could be bigger. I left a lot of field to let the frosted elements pop out. Done in The GIMP, with images cobbled from the Internet and processed therein. I might even entertain the idea of moving the date and mintmark to the reverse and just leaving the obverse with the flag image, and 'LIBERTY' legend. Simple and (hopefully) dignified.

 

 

dollarcoin.th.png dollarcoinreverse.th.png

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Hi Ikaros,

 

The Supreme Court didn't find it unconstitutional and here we are :)

 

I do like the flag as a single, simple, statement though it's still a bit direct for me in terms of message. I don't know if it would pass legal muster as a representation of liberty, that might still have to be a human figure.

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Hi Ikaros,

 

The Supreme Court didn't find it unconstitutional and here we are :)

 

I do like the flag as a single, simple, statement though it's still a bit direct for me in terms of message. I don't know if it would pass legal muster as a representation of liberty, that might still have to be a human figure.

Yes, well, the Supreme Court has erred before, too. ;)

 

Couple reasons I went with the flag: first and foremost, I can't draw for squat and didn't want to just copy one of the earlier Liberty designs -- although I'd be perfectly happy to see the seated Lib return.

 

Second is that it's an immediately recognizable national symbol -- no one's going to ask "who's that lady on the coin?"

 

And third, I bet it'd look great in the two-level frost the Canadian mint used on the 'Birds of Prey' halves several years ago.

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Thanks. It's probably the best symbol with the least baggage -- it's non-partisan, and that's healthy. And it's not 'owned' by any particular state like landmarks and presidents are (just try to convince a Virginian that Washington is more an American than a Virginian, for example... and good luck with that). The eagle is good that way, too. And I've always been a big fan of Daniel Carr's astronaut dollar -- I'd love to find one on eBay some time that I have money to spend.

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