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Community Voice Responses (08/06/13)

From the July 12 Numismatic News E-Newsletter: Should Liberty designs be put on dimes, quarters and half dollars? Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
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2014 U.S. Coin Digest

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From the July 12 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:

Should Liberty designs be put on dimes, quarters and half dollars?

Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

Liberty no longer belongs on U.S. coinage as she no longer represents freedom for the masses.
Our youth over 18 and not full-time students or over 26 are no longer free to decline health insurance, even though they probably don’t need it.
Americans are no longer free to practice Christianity in public, although we have to bend over backwards to accommodate all other faiths.
In some states we are severely limited on our “right to bear arms.” Government restricts our access to domestic oil and gas, while encouraging us to drive hybrids or electric vehicles, even though the EPA restrictions make it cost prohibitive to produce the batteries in the U.S. (It’s OK to buy them from countries with no respect for the environment or human rights, though.) Higher education and health care become more and more out of reach for most Americans, and the more government involvement there is the more expensive they get.
Both Republicans and Democrats are to blame. The low interest rate, “easy money” policies only shore up the stock markets, benefiting those wealthy enough to maintain a portfolio. The funneling of money into social programs benefits the very poor. When does the middle class get its break?
Maybe if they put Lady Liberty in shackles, she would be appropriate for our coinage.
David R. Anderson
Address withheld

I think absolutely that Liberty should be the theme on all coinage of this country. Primarily because that is what this country has always been about.
Griff Carnes
Kerrville, Texas

As a citizen author of the Liberty Coinage Act (as well as a member of the CCAC at Treasury and the Mint), I want to say thanks for your expanding the public’s awareness of the idea and opportunity.
We have been fortunate to have Representative Barr of Kentucky quickly recognize the value to America in the idea and formalize its sponsorship in the legislative process as all such ideas have to flow before they can be discussed, recognized and approved as law before any Treasury and Mint action takes place. We (myself and the other core supporters) are optimistic! Let Liberty shine a bit more every day on our coinage!
It will be interesting to see the comments you get back from the readership, and we (I!) will read them carefully as you choose to publish them to best understand the “will of the people”!
Erik Jansen
Mercer Island, Wash.

In my opinion the United States should not use the same design on multiple denominations of coins, nor should it use a prior design.
The use of the same design was done in the 1800s with the seated Liberty design and it was confusing, especially in the case of the 20-cent piece and the quarter dollar in 1875-1876. The same was true with the Barber dime, quarter and half dollar.
Some recent “coins” having the same designs are really not coins at all but bullion pieces never intended for circulation.
In the early 1900s President Theodore Roosevelt was concerned with downright boring designs, and he solicited artistic infusion into the coin design process. As a result we had different designs for circulating coins, even though at the time the precious metal coins circulated. Those same designs are the ones being used or considered for use today.
Congress deciding to use the exact same design on the face of our gold and silver bullion coins, and not changing them each year as is the case of China, does not say much for American ingenuity.
It also doesn’t say much for the originality of artists in designing our coinage if you have to resort to the 1916 design that is already in use on the silver American Eagle and which was replaced on the half dollar in 1948.
The platinum eagle and the Sacagawea dollar show that beautiful designs are possible. The same with some commemorative coins.
The American dream was realized in part with immigrant artists designing some of our prior coins (Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Victor D. Brenner, to name two).
In conclusion, give artists the opportunity to design our coinage and have a different design for each denomination. After all once a design is adopted it has to stay for 25 years under current law.
William H. Brownstein
Rumson, N.J.

Yes, yes, yes!
There must be an open design competition for a fresh concept of how liberty is to represented. Designs must be coin-size appropriate.
Let’s not copy the established Lady Libertys. Many were very beautiful but they had their run and more importantly collectors define eras in U.S. history with these coins.
Horst Seeley
Palm Coast, Fla.

I feel that Liberty should be represented on all U.S. coins, regardless of denomination.
James J. O’Connell III
Westminster, Calif.

In response to your question, “should Liberty designs be put on dimes, quarters and half dollars?” I would like to think that the U.S. Mint would never consider doing that! Therefore I say no.
Larry W. Young
Tyrone, Ga.

I say no. It is a little disheartening there isn’t any creativity exhibited to put on national coinage. This is very apparent with the COTY awards when see some semblance of national pride exhibited in the design and presentation of coinage.
Are we as people that cynical that symbolism of a new century is passe? The artwork tells the story of a nation and how it has evolved or devolved, depending on your perspective.
James Adams
Pasadena , Md.

Yes! Get all of the dead Presidents except for George Washington. Give us back Lady liberty on ALL of our coins not just commemoratives. Put the dead and whatever on those this way if you want buy them.
Douglas Ivey
McAlester, Okla.

I do not want to see Liberty designs on our current currency unless they start a complete new series.
To put Liberty on our current coins in a haphazard manner, one here and another somewhere else is the most ridiculous idea the Mint has come up with yet. What I would like to see is a new series with emblems of what this country is all about, our ideals and what this country really stands for as stated by the founders of this great country.
The modern junk the Mint is producing now is a disgrace to our founding fathers and the country in general. Let’s get some real artists and create coins that tell the world what we are about and that we can be proud of. Quit trying to appease a few and make some coins we can all be proud of.
John Tinney
Volcano, Calif.

I think we should retire all dead Presidents off of our coinage and go with a Liberty design.
Tom Quinn
Texarkana, Texas

I would welcome Liberty on a limited basis. Many of us younger collectors ( I’m 51 ) have only seen these coins in heavily worn conditions. I would love to be able to collect some shiny new “classics.”
I have my Lincolns, Jeffersons, Roosevelts, Washingtons, Franklins and Kennedys, but I’m getting burned out on national parks quarters. I’ve never heard of most of these places and I have to pay a premium to get them. Give us something worth a premium, and we’ll knock the doors down to get ’em.
Bill Rodgers
Bedford, Texas

The Walking Liberty design is probably one of the best ever created and is absolutely beautiful on the half dollar as well as the current Silver Eagle. However, it is too intricate a design to be placed on smaller coins, even the quarter. For the latter, and the dime, I suggest that reverting to one of the better (but simple) Liberty Heads could and would be a most appropriate and timely change.
J. Finch
Bluffton, S.C.

Based on the recent headlines, I would say Liberty on a coin is a quaint, old fashioned notion that has fallen out favor.
Considering this email now resides in a Teradata storage unit in Bluffdale, Utah, I would think the image of Big Brother would be more appropriate.
As George Orwell said “Happiness can exist only in acceptance.”
Mike Budzynski
Cincinnati, Ohio

Most definitely. Frankly I am tired of all the dead presidents and I do admire the older “Liberty” designs. Frank Gasparro’s late 1970s’ dollar design with Liberty and a Cap would be nice. We can leave the presidents on our paper money.
Robert G. Schaffrath
Glen Head, N.Y.

Absolutely! The coinage and currency of the United States is so bland compared to the rest of the world. The classic designs of Liberty should be brought back and placed prominently. A new grouping of coin collectors would more than likely emerge with the classic designs.
1916 was a great year in numismatics.Bring ‘em back for their centennial anniversary as circulating coins and see what the public feels about them. Worse case scenario, it was a one-time circulating commemorative.
John Caswell
Address withheld

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