The New 2010 Penny

6 08 2010

This morning my co-worker showed me that there apparently is a new image on the back (or tails side) to the U.S. one cent coin:

I still don’t know how I feel about it. As my co-worker and I had agreed, it seems a little too bold, simple, and kind of boring, which is also the same problem I have with the new Caps logo (but that rant is for a different post). According to the print-out of the new penny’s website that my co-worker gave to me, “this marks the seventh reverse design used for the Lincoln Cent since its introduction in 1909.” You mean to tell me there were seven different designs for the back, while the front has remained the same this whole time? Muy interesante.

The new design as it turns out, was chosen out of 18 design proposals which can be viewed here. Many of the proposals used the Capitol Building. I thought this was not the best choice because such a big and stately building wouldn’t feel right on the small and not very worthy coin. Other designs featured the eagle, a bird that symbolizes the USA, yet many of the artists’ representations of the bird, looked odd. Some designs featured the American flag, which I thought was a pretty basic idea, but maybe not creative enough.

Possibly my favorite of the proposed designs, featured a bundle of bound wheat stalks, which reminded me of the older, Wheat Penny design. Apparently I was not the only one to take a liking to this design, as the Commission of Fine Arts chose this as their initial design recommendation. However, apparently (according to this very interesting article) “bound wheat stalks had also been used as a symbol of socialism and communism on coins from other countries.”

Center, the proposed 2010 penny design. On either side are German coins.

Anyways, I guess since this shield design is in, it’s gonna take a little getting used to. I guess in retrospective, the Lincoln Memorial was a bit repetitive with having the president on both sides of the coin. I just don’t know if I’m much of a fan of this new, simplistic design. But then again, it wasn’t up to me to chose the new design, now was it?  Anyways, I guess this is the U.S. Mint’s response to that petition to get rid of the of the penny altogether. If the answer was to redesign the back, then as a fan of the penny, I think that’s a pretty reasonable settlement.

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