Well worn Copper's Blog

13 Dec 2021

Best & Worst U.S. Coin Designs of 2021

| Well worn Copper

At the end of every year I look back on everything the U.S. Mint produced and consider the best and worst designs. Here are my choices for 2021: The 2021 Law Enforcement half dollar reverse was hands down the most disappointing design the Mint released this year. I understand the engravers must abide whatever the bill's language states should be depicted on a coin, but this is a good example that lawmaker's should stay out of the coin designing business. The fingerprint resembles a tombstone while the oversized eye is outright creepy. The legends and wording are crowded and un-balanced. This is probably the worst looking commemorative issued since the 1991 Korea issue. The downside of collecting commemoratives is that sometimes you've got to hold your nose when buying a coin to complete your set. And this is one of them. On the plus side, the new Silver Eagle reverse is refreshing. The eagle is nicely done, and the wording is off center but works. The new Washington quarter reverse was also well done. It is fluid and gives the coin a sense of drama and movement. I look forward to seeing Laura Fraser's obverse design grace the coinage for 2022. I like how they are keeping Washington on the quarter but changing the design. If they keep this up more collectors will be collecting quarters than commemoratives. I would have included the 2021 Morgan and Peace dollars, but as welcomed as they were, they were mainly recycled. For my wish list of 2022, I'd like to see something done with the Roosevelt dime. Either refresh the design, or replace Roosevelt altogether. Nothing has happened to this design since 1946 and it's gotten stale. That said, I wish everyone a happy new year, and good collecting.


User 87437

Level 1

The cent design and quarter design are also very old, but those designs I think are much better.


Level 4

Nice! I agree, that law design is Horrid!

I agree with you that the new quarter looks great, and that the Roosevelt dime needs a new design. I like the obverse, but a new reverse would be nice.


Level 5

I agree with you on both.


Level 5

I, too, am looking forward to Laura Gardin Fraser's Washington design to grace the obverse of the 2022 quarters!

I. R. Bama

Level 5

That will be something worth beholding!


Level 6

Nice review of the designs


Level 6

Nice blog! That eye is really creepy! Washington kinda looks like he's holding a coke bottle... haha ; )

True! never noticed that before!


Level 5

Didn't pay much attention to the mint products. Last thing I bought was the Mayflower commemorative. To bad the after market for commemoratives isn't hot. Be nice to see a bigger collector base, that makes things more collectible.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

It makes me think more of a private eye than law enforcement. Maybe they should have had a cop writing a ticket to a driver. When I saw the Washington quarter, he looks like he's leading a calvary charge instead of crossing a river. I'd give the coin design a solid B. The reissue of the Morgan and Peace dollars were disappointing to me as they aren't identical in composition and weight, but that's just my own peculiar self, lol!


Level 4

Nice story. I agree with CoinHunter, which also seems to be the main agreement, that the law enforcement coin is bad. Why not put a detective on ?


Level 7

The mint has a very bad track record with modern day commens. Thanks for the blog


Level 6

Creepy coin to be sure. Love the SAE as well as the Gold Eagle. Not a fan of that Washington. Thanks.

AC coin$

Level 6

What is flaw in design , could be advantage for collector's market . The other way nusmatics would not exist .


Level 5

Great blog! I agree with you on the law enforcement design, it looks outright terrible!

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