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It all started with the ancient Greeks who thought that a young healthy nude body was the ultimate work of art. Ever since then the nude has been used to symbolize art. Coin collectors have seen many coin types featuring nudes. Several Italian coins for example feature the back sides of male nudes which I guess are intended to symbolize strength. The United States Standing Liberty quarter also comes to mind but in this case it represents an innocent and pure Miss Liberty defending herself from a sudden threat without having had time to make herself presentable which to me gives the appearance of dedication and self sacrifice. On early banknotes topless women were thought to be an anti-counterfeiting feature. I guess they thought all counterfeiters were dirty old men who would not be able to concentrate while copying a bared breast. Table Medals tend to have much more artistic license resulting in many more nude or topless women frolicking about. Portable or wearable medals seem to show much more restraint when it comes to exposed skin. One of the few exceptions would be the Lippe-Detmold Order for the Arts and Sciences illustrated below. Owning and being able to exhibit this award medal makes me glad that I live the Western world where such art work isn’t considered sinful and pornographic by religious fanatics who would require it‘s destruction.

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