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The E-Sylum:  Volume 3, Number 14, April 2, 2000, Article 5

CONTRARIAN THEORY 

   A visitor to my personal web site wrote: "I have been looking 
   for an answer as to why all of the U.S. coins have the bust 
   direction on the coins head facing one direction while President 
   Lincoln faces the opposite direction.  I have been scouring the 
   internet looking for this but I cannot find anything.  Do you 
   know the answer or at least where I can go to find out?" 
   Here was my response: 

   "Interesting question, but not one which has a definitive answer. 
   There is no law which says which direction the busts should 
   face.  Each design was conceived individually at the time of first 
   issue - there is no master plan.  The orientation of the bust is up 
   to the designers.   It is a matter of happenstance that the busts 
   are facing the way they are. 

   The Lincoln cent was introduced in 1909, and it was the first 
   U.S. coin to depict a President.   Next came the Washington 
   Quarter in 1932, then the Jefferson nickel in 1938, then the 
   Roosevelt Dime in 1946.  The Franklin Half Dollar came along 
   in 1948 and was later replaced by the Kennedy half in 1964. 
   Only Lincoln and Franklin face right; all the others face left. 
   Several older U.S. coin designs depict a bust of Miss Liberty. 
   In most she faces left, but there are some right-facing designs. 

   An art student might argue that a left-facing bust is generally 
   more pleasing to the eye, and this might explain why most of 
   our coin designers have chosen that orientation." 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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