Coin Lobby is a blog advocating returning the image of Liberty to US coinage. The blogger, identified as Hayden Rose of Matthews, NC in Numismatic News (edition dated 1/3/06), provides a generic letter for the reader to send to their member of congress and provides links to help you find your representative.
With all due respect to Mr. Rose, I disagree. With regard to his proposal, I wrote the following on his blog:
Prior to President Theodore Roosevelt becoming fed up with the blandness of US Coinage, coin images were dominated with images of Liberty. Liberty was standing or sitting; we saw a full bust or with a “silly head;” she wore headdresses and laurel leaves. At one time, the same image of Liberty dominated silver coinage complements of a stubborn mint engraver.
But T.R. change this. Athough he inspired the striking images of August Saint-Gaudens, Roosevelt was instrumental in honoring Abraham Lincoln on US Coinage. And without T.R. would we have James Earle Fraser’s Indian Head or Buffalo Nickel? Roosevelt ushered in a change for US coinage that has been good for everyone, even numismatics.
But for some, this is not good. Even though the 50 State Quarters and the Westward Journey Nickels have inspired new artists and collectors, Some want to return to the past. I am not one of those people!
The 50 State Quarter program ends in 2008 (unless there is an extension for the District of Columbia and other territories) and the Westward Journey Series will end in 2006 with the issue of the long-term design for the nickel. Both have been popular programs, including the big sales of the 2005 Bison Nickel design. It is a great time to be a collector!
I am looking forward to see how the quarter will be redesigned in 2009 or 2010. I am also excited about the presidential dollars and the bicentenital of Lincoln’s birth circulating commemoratives in 2009. That will be interesting!
Over all, I am more positive about the future of numismatics with these new coins and, quite frankly, see the full-time return of using the image of Liberty on US coinage to be regressive and not progressive.