Wednesday, March 24, 2010

God Is Dead. The US Mint Killed Him. (Briefly. Three Years Ago.)

I got one of those chain emails today ranting about the tea-bagger issue du jour. The particular affront to the sensibilities of the people involved in this chain is the alleged lack of "In God We Trust" on the new dollar coins.

This is hilarious on so many levels I don't know where to start. I just envision a certain rabidly-obsessed segment of society so deranged, so unstable and insecure, that the first thing they do when handed change from a purchase is to start scrutinizing each coin to be sure we haven't lost our collective faith.

And lo and behold, it finally happened. A coin fails to substantiate our core belief system. So the lunatic segment goes on a rampage, not only refusing to accept the coins, but insisting that we shut down all circulation of the "force them out of circulation." Because if we don't, well, the alternative is just unthinkable.

I don't know about the rest of you, but unless you frequent the post office and pay in cash, how often have you ever gotten a dollar coin handed to you as change from a purchase, even during the decades when they DID have "In God We Trust" on them?

Talk about a campaign having the opposite effect. I now feel compelled to got fetch me a boatload of those things and spend them everywhere. Yeah, my pants may be down around my knees from the weight of $20 or $30, but I can get my message out there.

You want to make a sale? You'll take my fucking Godless dollars or I'll go elsewhere. Accepting a faithless dollar isn't going to turn you into an atheist, or kill off your God, any more than getting your hair styled by a homosexual is going to have you clamoring for a same-sex relationship.

Just relax. It's just a fucking dollar. God should be offended to even be associated with it. But if you are one of the people who had the misfortune of taking one of these in change, and you feel dirty, or that your belief system might be jeopardized by the mere possession of it, send them to me. All of them. I'll pay you back with one Goddollar plus your shipping expenses.

Oh, wait. What's this? Is that a motto I see with my own God-given eyes?


According to the U.S. Mint, an unknown number of new one-dollar George Washington coins (at least 50,000 of them, by one estimate) were erroneously struck without the motto "In God We Trust" and found their way into the batch of 300 million issued on February 15, 2007.

A rumor began circulating soon afterward to the effect that the religious slogan, which has been a standard inscription on U.S. coins since 1938 and the national motto since 1956, was intentionally omitted from the entire run of one-dollar coins.

Bummer. But you know what happens when the US Mint makes a mistake like this and a few get into circulation? They become Numismatic collectibles, and if only 50,000 were released into circulation out of 300 million, the value as a collectible would be significantly more than a dollar. Pity the poor fools who swapped them out for a dollar bill, assuming even that part of the email chain wasn't a complete and total fabrication.

Current eBay rate for a smooth rim (i.e. Godless) dollar: $16.49.

But for all you folks who got your panties in a knot over the prospect of God going missing, you might want to keep your eyes peeled for an even bigger rarity: a coin which was run through the edging machine twice.

Washington Dollar edge lettering appears twice, in two very clear sets of letters, side by side, as in "GGOODD WWEE TTRRUUSSTT." The coin was obviously run through the edge lettering machine twice, and the second run had such perfect placement that the first impression isn't even touched. No coins sold as of yet; appears extremely rare.

Double your pleasure and your trust!

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