Darla B. writes: While my daughter was playing via some readjust, my husband also noticed that President Lincoln is the just President facing to the best of all the coins (quarter, dime, nickle (sic), penny). Is tbelow any kind of background or distinct interpretation behind this?


This is a question of heraldry, nopoint even more. In Europe, write-up middle ages, as soon as a brand-new monarch was mounted, his head or bust challenged the oppowebsite direction of the coming before monarch. I guess it made it more noticeable that a new monarch was ruling, specifically once tbelow were family members resemblances. Alternate the encountering direction on coins was a sure means of getting world to notification the adjust. That sturdy English legacy was broken in the 20th century. King George V, Edward VIII (abdicated), and also George VI all challenged to the left. When Queen Elizabeth II was coronated the tradition was resumed. Her bust faces to the best.

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Though the United States isn’t a “royalist” nation, we did bring some European traditions to U.S. coinage. From the extremely beginnings of UNITED STATE coinage in 1793, the alternating head design loosely dominated, even though the portraits on coins were of an allegorical Liberty rather of an actual perkid. Mint workers here were exceptionally much mindful of the coinage methods in other nations. Until the 20th century, the pattern of reversing busts once coinage deindicators adjusted was about adhered to. For instance, the Draped Bust type dimes of 1796-1797 display a bust of Liberty dealing with right. When the design was reinserted by the Capped Bust kind in 1809 the new bust challenged left.

The Lincoln cent was the first USA continuous concern coin to display a president. It reinserted the “Indian” cent, an allegorical figure of Liberty, dealing with left. To follow the “tradition”, Lincoln’s head deals with best. The reversal of the bust position holds true on the other beforehand 20th century coins. The Winged Liberty dime, bust facing left, reinserted the Barber dime, Liberty encountering right. The heritage breaks here as the Roosevelt dime deals with left likewise.

The Barber quarter, bust dealing with ideal, was reinserted with the Standing Liberty architecture yet as soon as Washington is placed on the quarter in 1932 the bust encounters left. After the Barber style was discarded in 1916, tright here were no busts on fifty percent dollars until the Franklin half in 1948 and also that bust challenged appropriate. When J.F. Kennedy’s bust reput Franklin’s in 1964, it followed the tradition and also his bust faces left.

There may be heraldic interpretation why coin designers decide to “break” via legacy. The direction of encounters, arrangement of shields, usage of allegorical numbers and architectural tools all have actually definition and are a brief hand also way to communicate an idea or sentiment on a coin or medal.


There is no legislation that needs this, just heritage. Keep in mind that the legacy was broken via the Mbody organ Dollar (facing left) and also the follower, the Peace Dollar (additionally facing left) and that successor the Eisenhower dollar (left) and then brought back on the SBA dollar (right).

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To learn more about symbolism on coins and medals start via the examine of Heraldry. You deserve to obtain even more indevelopment from your Public Library, or the Numismatic Links Page on this website. A excellent inexpensive book on the subject is the reprint of the Stanley Paul & Co. book first publimelted in 1915. The 1994 edition is obtainable in paperago by the name of Concise Encyclopedia of Heraldry by Guy Cadogan Rothery, published by Senate, London.