Coin Community Family of Web Sites
Like us on Facebook! Subscribe to our Youtube Channel! Check out our Twitter! Check out our Pinterest!
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?


Welcome Guest! Need help? Got a question? Inherit some coins?
Our coin forum is completely free! Register Now!

US Commemorative Coin Series: Quick Bits #24 - When Errors Aren't Errors

 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.
Author Previous TopicReplies: 4 / Views: 151Next Topic  
Pillar of the Community
Learn More...
United States
5896 Posts
 Posted 06/11/2021  1:45 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I was reading a report recently and came across the following regarding the 1959 Lincoln Cent:

Many people snapped up the new pennies as "collector's items," particularly following a news story pointing out the small "o" used in "THE UNITED STATES oF AMERICA" as an error at the Mint. This impression was quickly corrected by artist [Frank] Gasparro who said that the small "o" was not done in error but rather had been done deliberately to give design appeal to the lettering on the penny. Citing precedents for the lowercase letter, such as the Franklin half dollar, the Liberty Walking half dollar, the Peace dollar, and several commemoratives, he said, "I did it to break up the pattern."

1959 Lincoln Cent, Memorial Reverse

(Image Credit: Image courtesy of PCGS CoinFacts, http://www.PCGS.com.)

Of course, this got me thinking about to which US commemorative coins Gasparro was referring. I had noticed the same design feature on the 1925 Lexington-Concord half dollar, but couldn't immediately recall which others had the same design trait. So, it was off to my library for a bit of quick image review!

One thing that became apparent when reviewing the lettering on early US commemorative coins is the fact that the lettering was created by hand and so slight variations in letter height exist (I've briefly discussed this previously: Typeface Used On Norse Medal.). So, to be included on my list, the coin in question had to display an obvious, intentional difference in font size for the "O" vs. the "F" in "OF" to qualify. In short, I wanted to identify coins that seemed as if the artist was "sort of" presenting the "OF" in lowercase vs. the uppercase lettering used for the other words.

Here's what I came up with:

1925 California Statehood 75th Anniversary

The "O" is smaller and vertically centered vs. the "F" in "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" on the coin's reverse.


(Image Credit: Image courtesy of PCGS CoinFacts, http://www.PCGS.com.)


1925 Lexington-Concord Sesquicentennial

The "O" is smaller and slightly above the baseline for the lettering in "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" on the coin's obverse.


(Image Credit: Image courtesy of PCGS CoinFacts, http://www.PCGS.com.)


1928 Hawaiian (European) Discovery Sesquicentennial

The "O" is definitely smaller than its surrounding letters in "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" on the coin's obverse. Also, due to the font style used, the arms of the "F" in "OF" are connected/closed off causing the letter to look more like a "P" than an "F" - the observer "sees" the letter as an "F" due to its context.


(Image Credit: Image courtesy of PCGS CoinFacts, http://www.PCGS.com.)


1936 (38) Battle of Gettysburg

The "O" on the Gettysburg is slightly smaller than its surrounding letters in "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" on the coin's obverse. Though slight, the difference is enough for me to think that it was intentional.


(Image Credit: Image courtesy of PCGS CoinFacts, http://www.PCGS.com.)


1936 Long Island Tercentenary

The "O" on the Long Island coin is definitely smaller then the surrounding lettering in "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" - the legend is the coin's reverse.


(Image Credit: Image courtesy of PCGS CoinFacts, http://www.PCGS.com.)


After reviewing the designs of all of the classic-era commemorative coins, I feel safe in saying that the Lincoln Memorial cent has a more pronounced disparity between the "O" and "F" vs. what is seen on the commemorative coins I identified.


Note: I realize that this type of dive into the design trivia of early US commemorative coins is not for everyone, but I think it helps enhance a collector's appreciation of the artist's design approach for these pieces. I hope that the post has found a few interested eyes!


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Moderator
Learn More...
United States
100811 Posts
 Posted 06/11/2021  2:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting! This is apparently something I had never noticed before, or have forgotten if I did. Likely my own way of realizing it was the correct way to do it.
Bedrock of the Community
Learn More...
United States
58221 Posts
 Posted 06/11/2021  2:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's something you notice right away on the Memorial cents, but I'd not paid attention to it on other coins. Thanks!
Moderator
Learn More...
United States
19555 Posts
 Posted 06/11/2021  8:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I'd not paid attention to it on other coins.


Exactly what I was thinking @frog. As someone who has looked at numismatic letterforms previously, this was a pretty cool thread @commems. Thx for posting.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

Pillar of the Community
Learn More...
United States
7114 Posts
 Posted 06/12/2021  07:42 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great thread commems, I enjoyed your dive into the details of this commemorative design feature.
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.finewoodcrafter.com
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
  Previous TopicReplies: 4 / Views: 151Next Topic  
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.





Disclaimer: While a tremendous amount of effort goes into ensuring the accuracy of the information contained in this site, Coin Community assumes no liability for errors. Copyright 2005 - 2021 Coin Community Family- all rights reserved worldwide. Use of any images or content on this website without prior written permission of Coin Community or the original lender is strictly prohibited.
Contact Us  |  Advertise Here  |  Privacy Policy / Terms of Use

Coin Community Forum © 2005 - 2021 Coin Community Forums
It took 0.42 seconds to rattle this change. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05