Author Topic: US Coin design  (Read 1457 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Re: US Coin design
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2019, 09:06:07 PM »
Nothing personal, Bruce. I just wanted to show how "ugly" and "beautiful" are determined by culture and therefore relative to the observer.

Ugly is of course in the eye of the beholder, and I'm beholding ugly, Peter.

Exactly!

As for the clunky/clumsy/weight argument, that doesn't explain why the US is sticking to its much more cumbersome cents.

Peter
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 09:19:37 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline gpimper

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Re: US Coin design
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2019, 11:26:11 PM »
Peter, as I said, the penny is as obsolete as the Jalopy.  Even the Nickle could go away and they would save millions.  I think cash and coins are pretty much done...it's all electronic anymore.  I know, I'm a pessimist :-) 
The Chief...aka Greg

Offline GCVO

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Re: US Coin design
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2019, 09:41:36 AM »
The failure of the dollar coin is mostly due to people's aversion to carrying loose change around.

There is an aversion to that, but I don't think that was the main problem, which I think was that the coins were more cumbersome and expensive for retailers, through whom nearly all $1 denominations (either type) enter circulation. Even if the public had wanted the coins, retailers didn't want every load of $1s from the bank to get 8x heavier, and neither did their armored car service if they were large enough to use one.

Offline brandm24

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Re: US Coin design
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2019, 10:19:41 AM »
There is an aversion to that, but I don't think that was the main problem, which I think was that the coins were more cumbersome and expensive for retailers, through whom nearly all $1 denominations (either type) enter circulation. Even if the public had wanted the coins, retailers didn't want every load of $1s from the bank to get 8x heavier, and neither did their armored car service if they were large enough to use one.
Oh, I agree with you, GCVO. There are a few reasons, but the consumer readily came to mind when I thought about it. Retailers have no love for them either.

Bruce
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Offline brandm24

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Re: US Coin design
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2019, 10:34:52 AM »
Nothing personal, Bruce. I just wanted to show how "ugly" and "beautiful" are determined by culture and therefore relative to the observer.

Exactly!

As for the clunky/clumsy/weight argument, that doesn't explain why the US is sticking to its much more cumbersome cents.

Peter
I agree on both counts, Peter. Culture does influence our perceptions, but the final determination of what's ugly or beautiful lies within us. I don't see beauty in certain things that society tries to tell me are beautiful. Art, literature, media, and other cultural influences do shape us, or try to, but I've often gone against "conventional wisdom".

Agreed on the cent; should have been gone years ago.

Bruce
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Offline brandm24

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Re: US Coin design
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2019, 10:39:36 AM »
Peter, as I said, the penny is as obsolete as the Jalopy.  Even the Nickle could go away and they would save millions.  I think cash and coins are pretty much done...it's all electronic anymore.  I know, I'm a pessimist :-)
I think you might be right about the future of cash and coins, Greg, but don't forget the "paperless society" we were told was just around the corner. Wow, were they wrong about that.  ;D

Bruce
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Offline chrisild

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Re: US Coin design
« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2019, 01:52:58 PM »
As for the clunky/clumsy/weight argument, that doesn't explain why the US is sticking to its much more cumbersome cents.

A mix of inertia and the feeling to get "cheated" if one does not get exact change back. Why do, here in the EU, several euro area member states still continue using and even making those cumbersome 1 and 2 ct coins? ::)

What I find funny about the "American use" of coins: As far as I can tell, hardly anybody carries them (except, maybe, quarters) in order to make payments. So cash that you carry with the intention of spending is almost always "paper". Coins just end up in your pocket and (pen)ultimately in some jar ...

Christian

Offline brandm24

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Re: US Coin design
« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2019, 02:12:00 PM »
A mix of inertia and the feeling to get "cheated" if one does not get exact change back. Why do, here in the EU, several euro area member states still continue using and even making those cumbersome 1 and 2 ct coins? ::)

What I find funny about the "American use" of coins: As far as I can tell, hardly anybody carries them (except, maybe, quarters) in order to make payments. So cash that you carry with the intention of spending is almost always "paper". Coins just end up in your pocket and (pen)ultimately in some jar ...

Christian
You're right, Christian, nobody carries coins to "spend" here, only to get rid of by any means. Everybody in my family has a "piggy bank" of some sort to put their loose change in. When we get enough, we're off to the bank or Coinstar machine to cash them in.  That comes at a premium though...10% or so I think.

We used to have a bank that would let you cash in your change for free. Dump the coffee can full in and after it's done grinding away for awhile it issues a ticket. Redeem it at the teller's window or deposit it in your account. Well, they still have it, but charge for it now. I guess that's their way of improving "customer service". And here I always thought the concept of customer service was supposed to benefit the customer. Silly me!  ;D

Bruce
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Offline brandm24

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Re: US Coin design
« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2020, 09:50:11 PM »
On to Saint Gaudens. He was older than Bartholdi and Perry, but his $20 piece was designed 1905-1907, which is after the statue of liberty was unveiled. He also studied in Paris. Bartholdi was not yet well known and an army officer serving away from Paris towards the end of the period Saint Gaudens was in Paris. They may or may not have met. Perry came to Paris years after Saint Gaudens had left.



The liberty figure on his $20 piece (Libby S) looks quite different from Bartholdi's liberty (Libby B) and it is, but they are more alike than you'd think at first sight. Libby S takes energetic strides, but if Libby B would have done that she'd have toppled over long ago. Then, there is that torch. Where did Libby S get that torch? Why, from Libby B, of course. Saint Gaudens got rid of the sun crown, but what's that behind Libby S? Yup. The sun. What's really new is the branch she is holding. I can't make out the fruits, if any so I m not sure if it is laurel (victory) or olive (peace). Neither is a natural for Libertas.

It looks like Saint Gaudens was influenced by the statue of liberty, rather than by Bartholdi, but still, Saint Gaudens, Bartholdi and Perry are a remarkable trio.

See this thread for even more French and US Liberties.

Peter
I just stumbled on this thread and was rereading it. Very interesting especially about the work of St. Gaudens.

I checked the symbolism and found that the torch represents enlightenment. The "foliage" is the olive branch of peace.

Bruce
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Offline Prosit

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Re: US Coin design
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2020, 01:06:06 AM »
 James Earle Fraser was a student of his.

Dale

I just stumbled on this thread and was rereading it. Very interesting especially about the work of St. Gaudens.

I checked the symbolism and found that the torch represents enlightenment. The "foliage" is the olive branch of peace.

Bruce

Offline Figleaf

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Re: US Coin design
« Reply #40 on: August 03, 2020, 10:08:18 AM »
Good hint, Prosit. A man of many influences, he. Studied in Paris, like the trio above, but seems to have made friends, rather than found a French mentor. Still, his sculpture End of the trail is very Napoleonic in style, without the heroics (compare St. George on UK gold). He did pick up the neo-classical influence in Paris (his seated figures shown in the link above), but with less of a tendency to "improve" on it and more place for idealised realism as on the buffalo/Indian head nickel and the statue of Patton at West Point. I also see art nouveau influences, most strongly on Aspiration and Literature in Washington, DC.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline brandm24

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Re: US Coin design
« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2020, 11:07:09 AM »
If sculpture could speak, and it can in many ways, "End of the Trail" is the final word on the tragedy that befell the Native Americans in this country.

Bruce
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