Jump to content

Article: What have they done to our coins?

Guest Stujoe

Recommended Posts

Guest Stujoe

<p align="center">What have they done to our coins?

by Stujoe</p><p> The other day, something occurred to me during an online discussion about coinage redesign. Here in the US, all of our current designs have been around a long time...too long, in my opinion. However, one thing I did realize is that, even though the designs may seem the same, they have undergone drastic changes over the years. In this article, I will compare the way they looked in the past with how they look today. I will cover them from what I believe is the least offensive changes to the most horrific.</p><p> First up is the Roosevelt dime. When you compare the coin from 1949 to the one from 2002, you should notice some differences. The changes are subtle, a little more overall flatness of design and a little more detail engraved into the hair to make up for this lower relief. Although it may not be totally apparent in the pictures, Roosevelt's head has also been shrunk slightly. Some of the facial features have been modified also. Overall, though, the design looks mostly the same If only the other designs had been so lucky.</p>roosie.jpg<p> Next up we have the Kennedy Half. Here we begin to see some differences that are much more apparent. The hair detail is now over emphasized in order to make up for the overall lowering of relief. Facial features are again changed. You should also notice other subtle differences to the design that lead to a less realistic, and more cartoonish look, in my opinion.</p>kenn.jpg<p> Now, we have the Jefferson Nickel. We are getting into full blown "Spaghetti Hair" look at this point. Before, the hair had a more subtle, sculptured look to it. Now? Well, you can see for yourself. The lowering of relief is more apparent on this design than on the two previous ones. Subtle creases in the face are gone. All subtlety of design is now gone and the design is a mere shadow of its former self.</p>jeffs.jpg<p> The transformation to "Spaghetti Hair" is totally complete in the Washington quarter. No longer does George has the dignified look as in a well done sculpture. He is now looks like a two dimensional, carton figure with a bad perm. The flatness of the design is also very apparent as with the Jefferson Nickel.</p>washy.jpg<p> As bad as Washington has it, poor old Abe has it the worst, in my opinion. His hair has changed drastically and his beard, which was always subtle, looks more like a bad skin rash now. While looking at these two images, it is hard to believe that they are the same design or the same person, for that matter. I wonder what Victor Brenner, or Teddy Roosevelt for that matter, would think of this coin now.</p>lincoln.jpg<p> So, as can be seen, while, on the face of it, we still have the same designs, they have certainly changed over the years. Much of the change is do to cost savings and the sheer quantity of coins that need to be minted today. Die life is a big issue and single squeeze hubbing and lower relief coins are the answer. In order to make the coins still remotely resemble their former selves, the remaining detail has had to be exaggerated. This, in my opinion, has led to a loss of subtlety of design and our coins no longer look like the sculptured works of art that they once did. It is also my opinion that the need for this has been overdone in our current designs.</p><p> New designs to our coinage, when they happen, need not be this poorly rendered. Bringing in true artists with their own visions can overcome this trend towards ugly money. Giving them a fresh palette and the ability to be creative would do wonders, in my opinion. Consideration to things such as die life and overall cost to produce must be considered but there has to be some leeway given in order to bring our coin designs back to a condition that brings respect to our country.</p><p> The current coins that we find in our change everyday are a poorly made stopgap; something done out of necessity because we were unwilling to change the current designs when the minting technology changed. Now that coinage reform is being actively talked about, I know we can do better and our country deserves better.</p><p> This leads me to another thought. Often I hear people long for a return to the designs from the Golden Age of US coin design. They want the Mercury Dime or the Buffalo nickel to make a comeback. My thoughts are that those designs are better left in the past. The Buffalo Dollar was a reasonable approximation of a classic design because the mint did not have to worry about producing them in the billions. However, can you imagine what a low relief, spaghetti haired, made for circulation buffalo nickel would look like today? I don't want to even imagine. It is better to start fresh.</p><p>If you would like our current coin designs changed, please consider visiting these links:</p><p>Time For a Change in Our Change:

http://www.jdsworld.net/change/coinage_change.html</p><p>Online Petition One:<a class="postlink" href="http://www.petitiononline.com/1890law/petition.html" target="_blank">

http://www.petitiononline.com/1890law/peti.../p><p>Online Petition Two:<a class="postlink" href="http://www.petitiononline.com/redesign/petition.html" target="_blank">


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...