By Bill Tuttle
In reply to “Vachon’s” Viewpoint/commentary in the Nov. 7 issue of Numismatic News, I can answer (or make a suggestion) to his question: “... so why not $10, $5 and $2 coins?” Why not, indeed! But instead of a $2 coin, why not bring back the old quarter eagle ($2.50), half eagle ($5) and eagle ($10) coins like when we were first minting our own coins in the 1790s. Of course we’d have to call the silver Eagle by another name, as it would be conflicting with the new eagle.
The quarter eagle would be equivalent to 10 quarters (10 x $0.25). It could be like the Canadian $2 “Toonie” or European 2-euro, which are bimetallic coins. The outer ring is cupronickel and the core is an alloy mix like that of the current golden dollar. To avoid confusion between the U.S. quarter eagle and its foreign counterparts, the U.S. coin should be slightly larger (by 0.5 mm) than the others. The obverse subject could be depicting famous African Americans, while the reverse depicts a quarter profile of an eagle.
The $5 coin would be the reverse of the quarter eagle. The outer ring would be the golden dollar alloy with a cupronickel core. Add another 0.5 mm to the size of the coin as well, so there’s no confusion between the quarter eagle and the half eagle. Famous Native Americans could possibly grace the obverse while the reverse depicts a profile of an eagle.
A modern depiction of Lady Liberty should grace the $10 eagle coin. Perhaps it could be low grade silver if silver is not too expensive. If the cost of silver is high, then cupronickel clad like the dime-half dollar. The coin should be 13-sided to honor the original 13 states (DE-RI), edge lettered on each side. Since the coin is called an eagle, the reverse should depict an eagle.
As many other readers and letter-writers have suggested, the entire currency should be redesigned and perhaps a change of materials for both coins and currency (paper money to polymer). Many nations of the world have switched from paper to polymer notes and have had a drastic drop in counterfeit notes circulating.
We are no longer in the 19th or 20th centuries but in the 21st century. Get America modern and its money more modern.
This “Viewpoint” was written by Bill Tuttle of Cleveland, Ohio.
To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send email to email@example.com.
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