November 21, 2006

Maybe this should be in the Peeved Tuesday post below.

And to make it worse, it's old news, too. ANYway, I see that the US Mint is now going to start a new program of Presidential $1 coins.

You know, I have collected the 50 State quarters now for the past few years, and the Lewis and Clark nickles, but frankly, I'm getting tired of whatever bunch of silly dressmakers and interior decorators who are running the Mint who keep coming up with all this commemorative crap designs for the money supply. Is there any reason why we can't just have a nice, dignified, substantial, dollar coin that doesn't look like some sort of prize giveaway from an amusement park? And that doesn't change every three months?

AND ANOTHER THING--this sudden fashion for using full-face images on the obverse side of the coin. THIS DOES NOT WORK! Sure, in a monochromatic, two-dimensional representation, it looks just like an engraving on a note--but coins are THREE-DIMENSIONAL. What looks good head-on looks absolutely stupid in any other viewing orientation. The Sacagawea and the Swishy Jefferson nickle both suffer when seen on edge--they both look like some kinds of smooshed extraterrestrial aliens. Furthermore, coins are REFLECTIVE--the wrong light makes all that detailed relief go right away. There is a reason that coinage generally makes use of profile relief (or full-front relief with no sideways glances, such as a St. Gaudens $20 gold piece)--it LOOKS BETTER. Sure, you can do other views, but none of them work as well as a simple profile.

AND FINALLY, whatever they're using for these "golden" dollar coins (here it is--manganese brass) oxidizes badly--they look like some kind of play money after a few months of use. In fact, they look bad if you just leave them sitting on a desk.

Okay, Mint people--in the future please make coins with artwork that recognizes the limits and advantages of your medium, design something that suggests the stability and permanence of the currency, sculpt something for the portrait that captures the dignity of the person depicted, and use a metal that has some heft and quality, and quit these incessant programs designed to make our money like stamps. Is that so danged hard?


Posted by Terry Oglesby at November 21, 2006 10:57 AM