Sunday, March 04, 2007
New Dollar Coins
click on picture to enlarge
Trying to ride on the coattails of the State Quarters Program, the Congress has authorized the Presidential Dollar Program. This new program will commemorate four dead Presidents a year (you can't be alive and have your face on these coins), and there will be a gold $5 commemorative for the First Spouses in parallel with the circulating dollar coins.
What is to happen to the Sacagawea dollar? The law states that 1/3 of the dollar coins produced must be Sacagawea dollars, so 2/3 will be Presidential Dollars. Four presidents will be honored each year, meaning each president will grace about 1/6 of the dollars made in a given year.
There are 3 "sides" to these coins: the obverse, showing the president and the dates of his administration; the reverse, showing a flattering view of the Statue of Liberty as well as the $1 designation; and the edge, on which is inscribed "In God We Trust" (take that, Michael Newdow!), "E Pluribus Unum", and the date and mintmark.
The coins appear much more gold-colored in reality than they do in the scan at the top of this post.
I genuinely like the reverse. For most of our nation's history, representations of Liberty, and not of dead presidents, graced our nation's coins, and one would be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful, or a more symbolic, representation than the Statue of Liberty. This side of the coin is well done.
The obverses are hideous. They truly look like what you'd receive in a cereal box, or from a gas station promotion in the 60's or 70's (collect the whole set!). There is a complete and total lack of creativity that borders on amateurish. I'm disappointed.
I had high hopes for the edge lettering, but alas, was disappointed there, too. I had thought that the lettering around the edge would be raised, but instead it was inscribed. Honestly, the machine at Petco did a better job of inscribing my dog's ID tags than the Denver Mint did inscribing the coins I picked up at the bank last week.
My grandfather's 95th birthday was last Friday; really, how lucky am I, at my age, to still have a functioning and coherent grandfather around? Well, he certainly doesn't need anything, so I figured I'd just give him one of the new Washington dollars. After all, grandpa's old enough that he might have known George!