Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Insipid Penny

I'm not into coins and therefore was surprised when I glanced at the reverse side of a penny I received in change a few days ago. It seems that after nearly 50 years of having the Lincoln Memorial, the Treasury decided it was time for a redesign. (In 2009 a set of reverses were minted to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, but I somehow never noticed any of those coins.)

Here are the reverses of the main penny designs of the past century:

"Wheat" design: 1909-1958

Lincoln Memorial design: 1959-2008

Redesign for 2010 and future pennies

The U.S. Mint's statement is here, and the Wikipedia entry here.

I don't know about you, but I think the new design is about as insipid and ugly as any experienced committee of camel designers could ever have come up with. It's probably the worst coin design I've ever seen (and as reference, I've got baggies full of old European coins eagerly awaiting to be used again should the Euro meet its demise).

Bring back "wheat" -- at least its design is honest and fills the space nicely.

[Cross-posted at 2 Blowhards.]


Lynn said...

I actually sort of like the new design. I'm not sure why. I don't like it better than the others but it's okay.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if money was ever designed to be "liked"... Ever since Roosevelt and Keynes the fear of "hoarding" has plagued the FED!
Certainly the latest design conveys a different message than the memorial. It's strikingly old-fashioned.

There's much chance they won't last anyways with inflation coming.

AP said...

Wow, that is ugly. It looks like a cheap amusement token.