Daniel Carr: "In Debt We Bust"

Started by chrisild, September 03, 2009, 02:38:53 PM

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Coin designer Daniel Carr has his own way of dealing with the economic crisis. After state quarters (two of his designs turned into coins) and "amero" medals, he has now revived an old tradition - the Hard Times tokens. This is his new nickel:

(Click here http://www.dc-coin.com/ProductImages/ht_jeff_2009.jpg to see a larger image.)

Here is what Carr writes about the pieces: "All of these tokens are over-struck on US Mint Jefferson Nickels (standard copper-nickel composition). As such, they will show evidence of the underlying design since it is never obliterated completely. All strikes of this token have a thin vertical die crack across face. Some have an obverse rim die break at 6:00."

Most of his medals he can now make himself, thanks to a Gräbener press he bought a while ago. Check out the "press photos" here:



Nice initiative, I would like one of them.



In a basically American forum where I hang around too, Daniel Carr is sometimes heavily attacked - not for such satirical pieces though. ;) Among the products he makes and sells are actual US coins with some fantasy date. http://www.dc-coin.com/fantasyover-struckusacoins.aspx For example, you can buy a "Morgan Dollar" dated 1964 from him - of course the actual Morgan dollar coins were not minted with that date. Other cases are not that obvious however, see the link above.

Now if anybody makes a copy of a coin and sells that in the US, the piece should say "Copy" according to the law (Hobby Protection Act?) - but Carr says that this requirement does not apply to his overstrikes. I am not a lawyer or HPA expert, and I think that a signature, such as "DC" instead a mintmark maybe, would be helpful while not ruining the design. :) Then again, there has been no lawsuit or anything like that in all that time, so I guess they are fine.



If I were a judge (fortunately, I am not), I would tend to be very lenient on propaganda and humor, lenient on art and severe on people trying to make a fast buck.

Reading the web page linked to, it is clear that Carr realises the problems of his "products": people may on-sell it as genuine or spend it (the latter is unlikely, in view of the prices asked). There is no propaganda element involved, so there is no "freedom of speech" argument and since Carr admits that they are copies, they cannot be art. I would reject the overstrike argument. Overstrike is a distinction that rests on what the coin is struck on. That distinction is not made in the Hobby Protection Act (1973). I would conclude that Carr's copies (not his satyrical pieces) are covered by the labelling requirement.

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


here is a picture of daniel carr