Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Our currency our money is a work of art. Don Everheart is the lead sculptor for the United States Mint in Philadelphia. People talk all the time about making money but this guy actually makes the money. His designs are on the state quarters and on medals presented to world leaders. It is probably the most unique job in the country since there are only seven jobs like it in the country and they all work in the same building. He has created designs in the thousands.

Most coin designers use computers but not Everheart. He prefers a lump of clay. After he has sculpted his design with a toothpick   sized tool on the tiny piece of clay, his design goes before two Federal committees.  He doesn’t have to abide by what they say but he does take into consideration what they say. He does have a lot of artistic freedom in his designs. The committee likes to see new and refreshing angles and textures.  They want to see something that is indicative of the present. In 1782 our founding fathers knew that their new found democracy couldn’t be truly independent without its own currency.

So, the Mint was born. It was the first Federal building erected under the Constitution. He Mint has improved much since then.  One machine now uses lasers to trace Everheart’s sculptures.  It notes every nook and cranny so it can shrink the image down to scale.  Then they make a stamp using anywhere between 40 and 60 tons of force that stamps blank pieces of metal into the ornate coins we know now. The United States Mint turns out $2.7 million dollars in coins every day.  Thousands of them could be Don Everheart’s designs.  Although no one really knows him, he does put his tiny initials on all his designs usually in the lower right corner. Making money is a cool way to make money.

The first penny that was produced was in 1796 and is known as the flowing hair penny and was twice as large as today's penny. People thought her hair was to wild and unkempt. The wild Liberty woman was being sent back to the stylist throughout the years for a more tame hairstyle. By 1857 she has a headband and her hair is shifted high on her head and the penny srunk to its current size. Lincoln didn't show his face on our penny till 1909. It was the 100th Anniversary of his birth and Teddy Roosevelt thought it would be good to honor his hero. Yes a woman was dumped for a man.

Soon it has been voted on that Jefferson will be dumped off the ten dollar bill for a promenant woman. I wish more people would care about him. He deserves to still be present on our currency. He was a lone man who came to America from the Carribean and who fought for more finance and business in America. I say bring back the $500 bill since everything costs so much money these days. Women would love to see other women on the face of their favorite bill. A $500 note. 


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