I’m not sure why it was thought to be okay to reshape Abe Lincoln’s penny portrait into a skull, but I’ll at least give the engraver credit for the work that went into it. Otherwise it’s a little bizarre and very morbid. The work that had to go into this seems pretty extensive and might have taken a lot of time and patience to simply dig out what wasn’t needed and then chisel every little bit into the countenance so that it would come out as desired. It seems like the whole process of the turning Abe’s face into a skull was more taking away and then filling in certain lines than anything else. In a way it’s like watching what decomposition would look like in varying stages as the person’s skin deteriorated and then left behind nothing but bone.
Admit it, you wonder what prompted this to, more than just the fact that someone obviously wanted to do it. Why in the world would anyone think to make a skull out of the likeness of a president’s head on a coin? It could have just been something that someone thought up while looking at a penny or it could have been something an engraver wondered about and eventually took action on. There’s not real reason to it, but the result is very impressive all the same if somehow a little eerie. The amount of detail is amazing and the level of work put in on it is something to give some pause. But overall it’s just kind of a strange effect.
Looking at this some people would probably call it disrespectful while others would admit that it’s pretty cool. I think the only term of real disrespect would be if someone tried to mint this coin and put it into mass production. As a showpiece it’s nothing to be really bothered by honestly. I doubt the engraver would do much more than show it off to let people admire their skill and capability. In fact this could even drum up more business for someone if they were of the mind to show it off to others who might need the kind of services they can provide. I know that when it comes to using craftsmen and their skills I want the people that are the most passionate about what they do, and from the artwork and care taken with this one coin it’s easy to see that this person knows what they’re doing and enjoys the work. Engraving might not be the most lucrative of crafts at times but when it’s needed you might still want the best you can get.
I do tend to wonder if they chose the penny because it might be easier to engrave than a silver coin. Of course a lot of silver coins aren’t pure silver these days but I do wonder if it’s still easier to engrave a penny than any other coin. Or maybe it’s just the coin that got picked. In any case this is simply amazing.