I missed this piece when it came out. With all the internet fussing about how ignorant the press (and others) are about Catholicism, and with me going on my usual meme: it’s not just religion, but science, history, geography, classical music, and poor ol’ embattled Catholicism just needs to take a number, I didn’t catch this bit on the former Alaska governor going on about coins:
(S)he began her remarks with a puzzling commentary on the design of newly minted dollar coins.Noting that there had been a lot of “change” of late, Palin recalled a recent conversation with a friend about how the phrase “In God We Trust” had been moved to the edge of the new coins.
“Who calls a shot like that?” she demanded. “Who makes a decision like that?”
She added: “It’s a disturbing trend.”
Well, the presidential dollar series was approved by a Republican Congress and signed off on by President Bush in 2005. Subsequent legislation returned the motto to the face of the coin this year, as you can see on the left here.
Edge lettering is really not a trend in American coinage. It was more frequent in the early 1800’s. Half dollars had it until 1836. Silver dollars for the first ten years of their production. The celebrated St Gaudens $20 gold piece (1907-1933) also. With circulating silver pieces, the edge inscriptions would wear off quickly. Modern coin alloys are far more resistant to wear.
Even so, looking to the edge for dates and mint marks is a bother. It’s one reason why I don’t like the presidential coins. I ask for them at the bank, and I spend them.
As for the new location, I don’t think it works, but at least they didn’t put a comma in between “God” and “we.”