The Amero Internet Explosion
Wow, things do travel so fast on the Internet! Suddenly the United States is secretly maneuvering into a North American Union with Canada and Mexico and issuing joint coinage. Bloggers like Hal Turner are warning us of this secret conspiracy, news venues are tapping into the story, coin operated laundry operators are up in arms and I'm getting emails from curious collectors as to when the new NAU and Amero coins are to be released. Poof, Urban Myth is born.
Loads of fun, I must admit, but all conjecture, theory, misrepresentation, confusion and supreme conclusion jumping. Which is often how Urban Legend's come about, as Barbara Mikkelson explains so well and so often in her Snopes.com Rumor Has It website. A few truths, a few creative coins, some fertile minds, that's all it takes to get things rolling. To clear things up and learn about some new fantasy issues, have a go at this posting. For more information about the rumors and truths behind all this fuss, check out all the color-coded links throughout this posting.
For our part of the story, lets go back to the Spring of 2007, when my friend and co-editor of Unusual World Coins (UWC), George Cuhaj struck up a friendship with medallist and fellowAmerican Medallic Sculpture Association (AMSA) member Daniel Carr. Daniel had produced a series of parody state quarters some time before, which George and I thought were quite humorous. George began compiling the data and listing these issues in our NumisMaster website in anticipation of our upcoming 5th edition of UWC. At this time Daniel shared with George and I some prototypes of fantasy coins he was beginning to market. Some displayed the Moon landings, some featured Sacagawea and others hosted Pocahontas. George kept in touch with Daniel and we made plans to get all of his fantasy issues listed in NumisMaster, which has been done.
Daniel and George finally had a chance to meet in person at the American Numismatic AssociationsSummer Seminar in June 2007 out in Colorado Springs at the ANA museum. George was teaching a class in foreign coins this year and Daniel was attending the seminar. Both George and Daniel ended up taking a course in engraving at the seminar. They hit it off nicely at the seminar and Daniel shared his plans for another new issue under the title of Union of North America, denominated in Ameros. When George showed me the prototype images for these coins I was thrilled, as they were the nicest looking items Daniel had yet designed in my opinion. Real classic looking elements, which had the makings of a wonderful fantasy coinage issue. I told George to get them listed in NumisMaster right away so that they would be out there when the coins were actually struck and released and in the database in time for inclusion in UWC. They're currently listed and you can see them now at www.numismaster.com, our subscription website, or wait to get the listings in book form when the 5th edition of UWC is released later this year.
During the summer Daniel had a stroke of luck in obtaining a surplus coin press from a third party who had purchased it from the U.S. Mint in Denver. The press was pretty gooed-up and took some real cleaning, but in so doing Daniel also recovered a few blank planchets, doubled strikes and clipped plancheterror coins from the grime. Daniel also privately designed and minted a centennial commemorative medal for the Denver Mint These tangential associations, plus the fact that Daniel is a Denver native are the only semblance of connection the Union of North America coins have to the U.S. Mint in Denver. The "D" mintmark on the coins is Daniel's company mark.
Daniel's company, Designs Computed, has a nice website, where you can purchase any of his issues. His company name derives from the fact that he uses computer graphic designing on all his fantasy issues. Some features of his coins, such as the eyes and lips on full-face figures, are just a little bit lifeless because of this. Other elements, such as the seated liberty of the North American Union types, are quite stunning and have exception eye appeal.
We hope Daniel keeps designing and issuing fantasy coinage, as his judgment and timing could not be better. Whenever a fantasy coinage issue causes this much commotion and generates such a great deal of attention with a wider media audience, the whole hobby is sure to benefit! Maybe the next trend will be a media pick-up of his new Presidential dollar series.