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e-letters: March 1, 2022

From the Feb. 4 Numismatic News E-Newsletter

What is your opinion of the new designs that have appeared on U.S. Mint coins in recent years?

I love the new eagle on the reverse of the American gold Eagles!

Steve Cheaney
Address withheld

Horrid. We are getting away from classical Greek sculpting and utilizing runner-up obverse designs of the past. Choices should never be based on gender and sympathy.

Ronald Wenger
South Bend, Ind.

Some are pretty good while others, like the new nickel, are horrendous. The rims should protect the actual surface of the obverse and reverse, but they do not now.

William Johnston
San Antonio, Texas

Do not like the reverse of the new American silver Eagle. I saw the previews of the various designs submitted, and this one just doesn’t cut it.

Rodney Pelles
Toccoa, Ga.

In my opinion, speaking to U.S. commemorative dollars and half dollars, of which I have collected in the past, most of their designs would not pass muster in a 3rd grade art class. Not to say that our precious 3rd graders are not great artists in their own right.

Many designs over the years feature crudely designed “stick figures” representing people. Some designs have design work that does not even speak to the topic of commemoration. Take the recent U.S. National Parks commemorative dollar with Mexican folklore dancers! Why?

When I compare the art and sculpture of our U.S. commemorative coins to most of those produced by the British Royal Mint or the Royal Dutch Mint, I am ashamed. The Brits have a beautiful regular design of their bullion, Britannia, while their annual Britannia designs are often outstanding – we are stuck with mediocre design work for our own American Eagles, even copying the old walking Liberty half dollar design (which was beautiful in its day). Why can’t we design beautiful coins now, instead of borrowing from the past?

Apparently our system for selecting and approving new coin designs is a failure.

When I look at the rare days of our nation when circulating coins were a source of pride (the Buffalo nickel, Mercury dime, Standing Liberty quarter, Walking Liberty half dollar), and I see the quality of coins we now spend, I wonder how we could sink so low.

And don’t get me started on the often poor design work of our “forever” quarters and golden dollar series.

Thank you for the poll. I once sent a letter to the Mint Director of the day outlining my specific complaints. I got a snide reply saying that I should remember that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Well, I guess that phrase still holds true.

Mike Peacock
Oklahoma

I find much of the newer coins to be dull and unexciting!

Frank Calmes
Address withheld

I do not like all of the emphasis being placed on minorities. I prefer U.S. coins depicting historical buildings, iconic scenery or non-human images.

John McMann
Warrenton, Va.

Love the reverse design of the American Eagle gold coin.

Hate the reverse of the American Eagle silver coin.

Generally boring designs. No innovations, no inspiration – just $$$.

Check out the Canadian Mint products.

Armand Y. Debesirian
Chatsowrth (Los Angeles), Calif.