I loved collecting coins as a kid. They weren't just fodder for geeks (but it takes one to know one, let me tell you.) Old coins are history, nostalgia, art, and treasure. College and living expenses forced me to part ways with most of my pieces, but it also gave me skills to resurrect the past (Sort of.)
In the 19th century, most American coins featured a woman on the front, depicted as Lady Liberty (our secular goddess) and an eagle, shield, or laurel wreath on the back. They also came in funny amounts like half cents, half dimes, trimes, half eagles and double eagles. We were also required by the Constitution to use gold and silver as legal tender, keeping wealth in the hands of the people, and the value of money tied to the natural world. In other words, Gold + Silver = Unf*ckwithable Economy.
In addition to the ol' Federal Reserve Switcharoo
, the 20th century saw several well-liked American presidents turn 100 (Lincoln in 1909), 200 (Washington in 1932), die in office (Roosevelt in 1945) or get quantumly untangled (Kennedy in 1963.) What were planned to be one- one two-year tributes (like Bicentennial Quarters) became permanent. Gold (1932), silver (1964), and even copper (1982) were deemed too valuable compared to the dollar, and were replaced with cheaper substitutes. What you could have once bought with a penny saved
(and therefore earned) now costs a dollar (on your credit card, with interest, because your slackin' ass didn't want to be a Doctor of Law.)
Anyway, this is how I imagine America's valiant return to All of the Pretty with None of the Ugly. I'll Keep dreaming.
Coin Pattern Concept by me, John Robert BaccileCoin Template from GraphicRiver
($4 and totally worth it!)
Beyoncé portrait adapted from photograph by Tony Duran, ©2007.
Phoenix image adapted from artwork by unknown artist.