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Thoughts from the road on a Saturday


jtryka
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So I went to the local coin show today, and on the way back I took a different route from normal since I had to stop up in Michigan to pick up some apple sausage for the Father's Day barbeque tomorrow. As I was driving home on US 12, I looked out into a field and there was a herd of buffalo! Maybe they were bison, I really don't know the difference.

 

So, this got me thinking that the Buffalo (technically Indian Head/Bison) nickel design is perhaps the most overused mediocre coin design in American history. Sure, on the nickel from 1913-38 it was fine, though remarkably non-durable (after all, what other design can you think of that is dateless in Fine). But in recent years, this design has been dredged up so much it's nauseating! Sure the Buffalo silver dollar was a nice coin (still not sure what we were commemorating with that one), but now the Bison strikes again on the one-ounce .999 fine gold bullion coin, I say enough already! There's still a billion nickels floating around out there with this design, do we really need another rendition? Are there really no more new ideas in coin design in America? Should we close the patent office too?

 

I know you buffalo nickel fans will take offense to this, but I imagine you might be just as exasperated if George Morgan's Liberty was being redone every 5 years in different metals. The only good thing I can say about all this is that the most recent designs will never circulate, so at least we won't have to deal with dateless 1-ounce gold bullion coins being sold on eBay!

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Really the bison/buffalo design has been played out to its fullest. Time to retire the design and get original. I'm all for bringing back old works of art but what they are doing is basically (excuse my French) whoring it out.

 

Won't be long before we find it on our paper money either. I like the design but this is too much. The more I see it the more I begin to hate it. I'd feel the same about the Morgan too.

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I'm a buffalo fan, but I chose to ignore Jeff's advice and I read his post anyway. :ninja:

I love the buffalo nickel and I liked the buffalo dollar coin/currency set enough to buy it after market.

I do have to say that I think the gold coin is overkill. It's not a huge overkill, like an entire set of first lady gold coins, but they could have come up with a better choice.

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Guest Stujoe

I am on of the biggest buffalo nickel fans around. I like the original buffalo nickel because the design is still rather unique and American.

 

But, I have no need for it in any other style...silver, gold, platinum, titanium, kevlar or whatever gimmick they come up with next...other than the original.

 

As far as mediocre, there are very few US coin designs that rise above that level as far as the actual design, IMHO...and that goes all the way back to 1792. :ninja:

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Agree and disagree. The reuse of the design is beyond overkill, but I do like the original nickel design, but do agree it doesn't wear well.

 

For it's time in 1913 it had to be a exciting change from looking at Barbers and Lady Liberty on every coin.

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My feelings are similar to Dan's. I think it was an interesting design on its own and as such I do like it in that aspect.

 

However I find that it does not really fit in with the rest of the designs circulating at that time (Liberty, Lincoln and Indian??? :ninja: ) and thus think it is out of place. (The same can be said for the cent.) The reissued commem and everything else is only just so much money grabbing and ironically by resurrecting such designs only serves to highlight the poor quality of designs of the current circulating coins IMO.

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Guest Stujoe
However I find that it does not really fit in with the rest of the designs circulating at that time (Liberty, Lincoln and Indian??? :ninja: )

 

Or any other time since almost every US circulating design has been a Lady Liberty (usually a head) or a dead president head. That is probably one reason why the design is one of the most loved in the US (by non-collectors as well) and why the mint has been able to exploit it as it has. It does not really 'fit' with any other US designs. :lol:

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I like the Buffalo nickel design, BU and worn. I am not particularly pleased with the modern versions. They lack the texture and relief of the original design. Give me 50 years and my perspective might change.

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I think the real trouble with most countries with immigrants is to identify what they are. For example, the biggest of all countries are Australia, Canada and US.

 

Sure thing, in the early days of such countries, most immigrats are from Europe and you can trace from designs back from Europe. In fact, the early mint masters are from Europe. But with an influx of various immigrations from all over the world, how can a mint satisfy an overall depiction of the nation???

 

Indeed if I gave you the same task, you would break down as this is a not an easy task. It is a lot easier to look at the historical context and commemorate such events.

 

My honest opinions are that because of such immigrats issue, you cannot just simply mint coins that will please some communities. Australia and Canada often gets away with minting some ridicious number of commemorative coins these recent years but of course, that is without contriversal.

 

In the case of Australia, the Aborgines finally got their voices in 1988 when an Aborgine man was finally depicted in a $2 coin. But this a ridicious exception as the Australian coins from 1cent to 1 dollar coin are mainly animals. Are the Aborgines the same level as animals? Perhaps that is one of the most contriversal designs ever made here. It most certainly "somewhat" satisifies the Aborgine community, but when foreigners look at the coinage, it just seem pretty awkward.

 

The same applies to most Commonwealth countries as they are starting to voice opinions of why Queen Elizabeth II are still depicted on their coinages (no offense to the Queen, who just had her birthday). The real thing is, supposely if you are to remove their images, who are you going to put next? I believe this is a serious question that people never gave much thought to.

 

Ok, here is MY last question to you. You are in charge of making a new design. But a major criteria is that you must mint coins that satisifies all, if not MOST communities of various races. What kind of design can you make from this criteria alone?

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However I find that it does not really fit in with the rest of the designs circulating at that time (Liberty, Lincoln and Indian???  )

 

Sheesh, do all of you completely ignore the gold coins that circulated prior to 1933??? Take a look at Pratt's half and quarter eagles, they seem to fit pretty darn well with that nickel. Not to mention the fact that during the first two decades of the 20th century we underwent a transformation of design where each denomination stood on its own, rather than the same design on all coins dime through half dollar as had been the standard since 1792.

 

Ok, here is MY last question to you. You are in charge of making a new design. But a major criteria is that you must mint coins that satisifies all, if not MOST communities of various races. What kind of design can you make from this criteria alone?

 

Ok, I'll take a shot. How about these:

 

$1 = an image of liberty holding a conocopia overflowing with produce to signify the prosperity of our nation. Reverse an eagle standing.

 

$1/2 = an image of the face of liberty looking out towards a rising sun signifying the opportunity of our nation. Reverse an eagle about to take flight.

 

Quarter = An image of Justice holding scales signifying equal justice under the law. Reverse a heraldic eagle and shield, as protector of the oppressed.

 

Dime = A single torch with rays, signifying the light of liberty illuminating our path, reverse has the denomination in a laurel wreath.

 

Nickel = A shield surrounded by arrows signifying all those who have sacrificed in defense of our nation. Reverse has denomination in laurel wreath.

 

Cent = the upper torso of a deer facing forward symbolizing the natural beauty and resources of our nation. Reverse has denomination in laurel wreath.

 

Any complaints on these?

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$1 = an image of liberty holding a conocopia overflowing with produce to signify the prosperity of our nation.  Reverse an eagle standing.

 

$1/2 = an image of the face of liberty looking out towards a rising sun signifying the opportunity of our nation.  Reverse an eagle about to take flight.

 

Quarter = An image of Justice holding scales signifying equal justice under the law.  Reverse a heraldic eagle and shield, as protector of the oppressed.

 

Dime = A single torch with rays, signifying the light of liberty illuminating our path, reverse has the denomination in a laurel wreath.

 

Nickel = A shield surrounded by arrows signifying all those who have sacrificed in defense of our nation.  Reverse has denomination in laurel wreath.

 

Cent = the upper torso of a deer facing forward symbolizing the natural beauty and resources of our nation.  Reverse has denomination in laurel wreath.

 

Any complaints on these?

 

 

 

Now that's something I really like - very creative!!! :lol: Yes, I had a good laugh with it :ninja: but in a sense, very meaningful. Now go and take some kind of copyright patent before the mint sees this :cry:

 

 

 

 

 

(although I had to wonder about the Statue of Liberty bit)

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$1 = an image of liberty holding a conocopia overflowing with produce to signify the prosperity of our nation.  Reverse an eagle standing.

 

$1/2 = an image of the face of liberty looking out towards a rising sun signifying the opportunity of our nation.  Reverse an eagle about to take flight.

 

Quarter = An image of Justice holding scales signifying equal justice under the law.  Reverse a heraldic eagle and shield, as protector of the oppressed.

 

Dime = A single torch with rays, signifying the light of liberty illuminating our path, reverse has the denomination in a laurel wreath.

 

Cent = the upper torso of a deer facing forward symbolizing the natural beauty and resources of our nation.  Reverse has denomination in laurel wreath.

 

Any complaints on these?

 

Here are complaints I could see arising...

Feminists, forgetting the horrors of the SBA dollar, would complain about the depictions of liberty and justice and call for a representation of a real woman.

Radical evangelicals would say the torch represents the light of Lucifer.

And finally, elk enthusiasts would complain about the deer!!!

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Sheesh, do all of you completely ignore the gold coins that circulated prior to 1933???

 

As a man of modest means, I incorrectly jumped to the assumption of what coins would probably have actually circulated in my pockets. :ninja:

 

 

Take a look at Pratt's half and quarter eagles, they seem to fit pretty darn well with that nickel.

 

You are correct. They do fit better with those 2 coins, but not so much the rest IMO.

 

 

Not to mention the fact that during the first two decades of the 20th century we underwent a transformation of design where each denomination stood on its own, rather than the same design on all coins dime through half dollar as had been the standard since 1792.

 

I totally agree. My point about the coins "fitting together" was no so much a point in the direction of, for example, the Barber series where many of the coins are the same but more for a unified theme whether it be Liberty, Presidents, or just plain numbers.

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water (cue Jaws music), I got this week's Coin World in the mail and BAM! Right on the cover the proposed designs of the SF Mint commems with Longacre's Coronet Liberty on the obverse of the half eagle and George Morgan's Liberty on the silver dollar! :ninja:

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The liberty from the Morgan dollar or one of his concept designs of liberty?

 

You better not say the Morgan dollar liberty, I'm warning ya!!! :ninja:

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The liberty from the Morgan dollar or one of his concept designs of liberty?

 

You better not say the Morgan dollar liberty, I'm warning ya!!! :ninja:

 

Don't warn me, warn the CFA and CCAC!

 

The obverse is in fact identical to the Morgan dollar, except that "In God We Trust" is placed below her chin, and the date is 1906-2006. Of course let's not even mention the fact that the SF mint hadn't minted any Morgans for two years when the earthquake hit in 1906.

 

Then there is the Longacre design. Why they chose his double eagle design (plus E Pluribus Unum and In God We Trust in the fields) over the Gobrecht design that actually was on the half eagle we will never know. It doesn't look that bad on the cover of CW since it is double eagle sized. Who know what it will look like when shrunk down 75% to fit on a half eagle! :lol:

 

It could have been worse, they could have used Fraser's Indian head again!

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