There are many designs on coins, but I’m not focusing on the history of the coins, but of the sayings on the coins. I’m going to use a penny as an example.
On the obverse of the Penny, you can see the motto In God We Trust. This saying was first introduced in 1864 and made mandatory on all coins in 1956, replacing the saying E pluribus Unum. Also on the front, you can see the word Liberty. Most of the quarters, half dollars, and dollars featured Liberty on the front of the coin, replacing the monarchs that were being put on currency around the world at the time. Also, you can see the date of the coin’s mintage on the obverse.
On the reverse of the Penny, you can see the words United States of America on the coin. America was named after Amerigo Vespucci, who reportedly was the first European since Leif Eriksson to land his ship on America. You may then see E Pluribus Unum on the shield of the penny. It was the unofficial motto of the United States from 1782 to 1956. Also, you will see the words One Cent, implying which coin you are specifically looking at. Finally, if you have a good eye, you may then see the designer of the Penny’s initials hiding under the shield.
All of this on the smallest unit of American currency! Something so small can contain so much information. That’s not only true for the penny, but for me, too. However, I’m not that small!