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Coin designers choose how initials appear

Is there any requirement affecting the designer
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? Is there any requirement affecting the designer?s initials on a coin ? such as whether they are incuse or in relief?
There is no regulation, but over the years designers have certainly had their problems in even getting their initials on their work. Whether they are incuse or relief is a matter of the artist?s personal preference, and both can be found on U.S. coins. On the Lincoln cent, Brenner?s ?VDB? initials are now incuse, but Felix Schlag?s initials on the Jefferson nickel are in relief. The Fraser ?F? is incuse on the Buffalo nickel, and McNeil?s ?M? is incuse on the Standing Liberty quarter. Weinmann?s ?AAW? is in relief, as are Gilroy Robert?s, John Sinnock?s and Frank Gasparro?s initials.


? Why wasn?t the $ sign used on our coins?
No reason other than tradition. When it appeared for the first time on the Presidential dollar in 2007 some said it looked like a casino token.

? Didn?t Ben Franklin once propose a pretty radical idea for the first U.S. coinage designs?
Franklin was active in attempts to get the English firm of Bridges and Waller to strike our first coins. In a letter to the company he urged that the new coins should be graced with a variety of different slogans such as, ?A penny saved is a penny got,? ?Early to bed, early to rise ...? and others of a similar nature. These suggestions made the point that a single slogan would quickly become boring.

? When was the Commission of Fine Arts formed?
It was created by an Act of Congress and signed by President William Howard Taft on May 17, 1910. The original purpose was to ?Advise on the location of statues, fountains and monuments in the public squares, streets and parks in the District of Columbia.? The scope was broadened in the same year by an Executive Order and again in 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson. President Harding added coins, medals and insignia in 1921. Congress added more duties for the seven members in 1930.

? Was the artist?s real name Victor D. Brenner?
Brenner?s original name was Victoras Barnauskas. He was born of Jewish parents in Lithuania. He changed his name when he emigrated to the U.S. in 1890.

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