The 2015 high relief gold coin: a critique

 The US mint is about to release a new high relief $100 gold coin.

The obverse depicts a new-fangled liberty who looks like an amateur anorexic model struggling to hold a pose.  While I may worry that the B and E in liberty will catch fire from her torch, the bigger problem is Liberty’s left arm.  Why is it so big?  Based on Liberty’s angle, her left arm should be farther away than the right.  But it appears larger.  Why?  It also doesn’t appear that the upper arm would match up with the shoulder – instead it hangs too low.  The headpiece looks like it is made of artichoke.

Moving on to the coin itself.  We have another one ounce gold coin that is competing with two others – the Saint Gaudens American Eagle and the American Buffalo.  Do we need another?  The denomination of the new coin will be $100 – double that of the other one ounce gold coins?  Why?  Dr. Planchet cannot answer this.

What is the purpose of this coin?  It doesn’t really commemorate anything.  Will it be part of a series?  If so, the nature of the series is unclear.  Will this fit into any type of collection – or is it just an orphan oddity to be placed into a dresser drawer?

Production is limited to 50,000 coins.  Perhaps that is more than our society needs.

Student pays parking ticket with "pennies." Is this legal?

A University of North Carolina Student has paid a $110 parking fine with 11,000 Lincoln Cents (The media refers to these as "pennies -- but that's another issue).

While coinage was designed to be convenient, on occasion, one can deliberately pay using inconvenient denominations as a form of protest.

Frequently college campuses are built with an inadequate amount of parking.  My grandfather, John Houck Planchet served on the student government at University of Pennsylvania in the 1930's.  He told me the biggest campus problem was where to park the cars.  Rather than providing adequate parking for everyone (which, granted, could be an expensive proposition), campuses and local governments resort to giving fines.

Recipients of fines are not so fond of them.

A University of North Carolina administrator took over three hours to count the coins.

The next question:  Is this a legal form of payment?  The small cent (then an Indian head cent) was introduced in 1864.  According to the law of 1864, the cent (along with the two cent piece) was legal for use for transactions up to ten times their face value.  But his transaction is for 11,000 times the face value of the cent.  This is a clear violation of the Law of 1864.

Cents and nickels are minor coins which have limits to their use.  Dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars, traditionally struck in silver, are major coins, valid for any amount.

A legal way to protest parking tickets is to pay them in dimes.