So normally, I wait until I can handle the coins in question before I pass judgement, but the Washington Quarter just released and, to be honest, this year has such howlers that if I wait, I will have to put up with everyone else beating me to the punch. So without further huggamugga, the class of 2007
ZARDOZ! Across the Big Sky Country comes the huge floating cow skull, which picks up wild young cowboys like Sean Connery and spirits them away to Billings, a land of immortals who long to die (because they are trapped in, you know, Billings). Actually, I find this to be a wonderfully goofy but perfectly acceptable coin, since it dominated by the dead cow skull. What more can you say? ZARCOWZ!
Rating = B
Ah, Fishzilla. During the run-up to this, I admit I preferred the orca, but, given the others surrounding this coin, the Washington State Quarter shows a reserve and a dignity that is missing elsewhere (ZARDOZ!). A state of nature with a recognizable mountain and a subtext that says "why yes, the fish ARE that big out here". Most importantly, the use of white space in the lower right quadrant actually gives it a nice feel, a pocket in the metal which fits the thumb. Not my first choice, but a really nice coin.
Rating = A
And then things go downhill. Wow. So this is where all the people who designed the bad quarters back east ended up. A bird, a saying (in Latin), and the shape of the state. The shape of the state is always a bad sign, particularly since it seems to be wedged in here, as if the falcon was the size of the old Soviet Union and had dragged the state off to feed its provinces. And why a peregrine? Yes, it was endangered, but you find them in Chicago these days. All in all, something that was lashed together the night before the deadline, with the thinking "They'll never accept this - they'll come back and give us more time".
Rating = D
Move over, Ohio. One side, Texas, there is a new KING of Bad Coins. Yep, this is it, possibly the worst coin design in the collection (though there are still five more to go). Sweet googling moogilly, I was making fun of Idaho's giant raptor, and Wyoming came up with:
This belongs behind the rear tires of jacked up four by four that has never hauled anything larger than a plasma TV and slows down when it hits speed bumps. The idea of putting it on the coin is just ludicrous.
What, Yosemite Sam saying "Back Off" wasn't available?
Rating = E
Sweet lord, I cannot talk about this with a straight face. I mean, did no one in this state seem to pay attention to the, um, phallic nature of the golden spike? That, plus the busy clutter at the bottom of the coin makes it look even more pornographic. This was a case where white space would have worked - just do the engines. Instead, you have something you might see at a smoker in college where someone accidentally mixed in a gay porn reel.
I mean, how is it that supposedly sinful Nevada gets away with one of the prettiest coins, while Utah, of all the states, creates one that needs to be delivered in brown paper bags?
Rating = D (Despite all that, still not as bad as Wyoming. In fact, if Wyoming had only done the Silver Cheesecake Mudflap Girl, it would have been an improvement).
That's it for this year - see you in 2008.
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