Back on the topic of the coin's new reverse design, Gar Travis forwarded this article with the comment "Obviously not written by a numismatist."
The author contrasted it to the Royal Mint's new designs. While I agree that the British design is much more interesting, I don't have a beef with the chosen shield design; yes it's simple, but I think it works well.
I do have one question - is this the first time the initials of TWO creators are included on THE SAME SIDE of a U.S. coin? Signing the new Shield Reverse are
United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Associate Designer Lyndall Bass (LB) and United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna (JFM).
Last week, the mint unveiled 2010's penny--Lincoln on the front, as usual, and a simple shield on the back. Gone is the Lincoln Memorial, maybe the most emotionally and socially charged building in the country. Gone is the wonderful level of detail (remember when you first discovered the tiny Lincoln statue in between the columns?).
Compare it to 27-year-old Matthew Dent's redesign of Britain's coins--the best use of a shield on currency I've seen. Dent's redesign is contemporary but still complex; the coins work alone and as a set. Ours is simplistic and fake-looking. The penny is valueless enough as it is, and a one-dimensional design like this only makes matters worse.
To read the complete article, see:
New Penny Designs Make No Cents
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