Mark Twain, who said that history doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes, might smile knowingly today if he could catch up with current events.
Collectors who know their numismatic history will also smile.
I thought of this yesterday when I saw an online story about the attorney general of Virginia who gave pins to his office staff bearing an adulterated image of the state seal with the emphasis on the ‘adult’ part.
The Roman goddess of virtue on the seal has a bare breast much as the Standing Liberty quarter design of 1916 has a bare breast.
It was designed by George Wythe and adopted by Virginia in 1776.
For the staff pins, as with the quarter design of 1917, the goddess now has her own virtue protected by the addition of chain mail at the instigation of the state attorney general.
Thus the story line of 1916-1917 extends itself to 2010.
It was only three years ago that we had the hullabaloo over “In God We Trust” being placed on the edge of the 2007 Washington dollar. This echoed the arguments of 1907-1908 over the absence of the motto on the redesigned early 20th century $10 and $20 gold pieces. Subsequently in 2009 the motto was relocated to the obverse on Presidential dollars just as the motto was placed on the two new gold coins in 1908.
This is getting weird.
What long-told numismatic story will be the next template for an event here in the 21st century?
I can hardly wait to find out.