Wayne Pearson submitted this proposal for a new coin design incorporating a caduceus. Thanks. Interesting idea.
The hippocampus main functions in the brain involve human learning and memory. In addition to the name coming from the Greek words hippo and kampo, meaning horse, and monster, its' shape resembles a seahorse. The caduceus can represent commerce or medicine. On the Heritage Auctions site, Dave Bowers is quoted writing that Columbia's caduceus from the 1915 Panama Pacific two and a half dollar gold coin represents "the medical triumph over yellow fever in Panama during the canal construction."
Additional reading on the same site suggests it may very well represent the immeasurable impact the Panama Canal would have on international exchange. Instead of recognizing the Rod of Asclepius for a medical symbol, many seem to associate the caduceus with medicine instead. Older coins like this 1925 French two Francs show the caduceus representing commerce as referenced above.
Now that the history lesson is over, I've always liked the 1915 Panama Pacific two and a half dollar gold coin and have always thought it would make a nice coin design. Since our coins began using designs of liberty, in these days of trying times, it would be nice to see the hippocampus design used with Lady Liberty holding a caduceus.
To read the complete lot description, see:
1915-S 50C Five-Piece Panama-Pacific Set and Original Box
Wayne Homren, Editor
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