Coins as Art Objects

As you probably already know, I collect and create Lincoln Cent Complete Sets with All Keys, but what do I do with the coins that don't fit the category of "coin of worth"??? You probably also already know that it's illegal to alter or mutilate U.S. currency to improve its value. However, if something dreadful happened to the coin on the way to you from the mint, it's all right to market the coin if you don't additionally alter it -- you wouldn't want to, anyway, too cost-ineffecient. The real secret to making money from money is to ignore the fact that it's either money or has perceived value.

Forget for a moment that it's currency, and just look at it, at what it actually looks like, what it emanates...what it is. The coins I have selected for my "Pocket Change" series are to be considered "found-art" objects of daily use. I have signed and dated each one that I list on eBay and Amazon and other outlet sites. Check it out, if you've the inclination to see coins treated as art objects with a mind of their own and a heart to love.

In my coin searches over the past several decades, I have wondered how to present coins that I typically find, but their value and interest is, well, different from the general run of coin collectors and dealers.

I find strange coins, or ordinary coins that have had strange encounters in their life in the World of Circulation. I see the results in my binocular viewers, an isolation-magnification or "iso-mag" within a strictured field. What that means in plain English is that I isolate and magnify something that I see in or on the penny, sometimes disregarding the Presidential portrait, sometimes not.

"Rainbow" -- My rainbow coins are Lincoln pennies that have developed radiances of rainbow-like qualities. Some rainbows are spectacular, some are less so. The more spectacular, the rarer they are and the more they cost.

Staring into the depths of the coin, I see shapes -- strange shapes, peculiar shapes...perhaps ghostly faces, or hundreds of toucans, or a Freudian Rorschach Ink-Blot with fantastic forms in a vaporous landscape, or a genie in a bottle, or a ghastly ghost, or a blazing hot galaxy blasting out of a local star nursery.

My imagination and visionary questing combined with the suggestive forms within the naturally aged and patinated coin will produce flights of fantasy and altered states of reality, and can even lead to a religious experience akin to floating on an air mattress in a heated pool.

"Image of Jesus Found on Lincoln Penny" -- It's not entirely impossible that a Jesus or Mary or Karl Malden face will turn up on one or another of my coin searches. If it does, you'll be among The First To Know...whatever that means.

Buying a coin is not finding a coin. Magic Find means search! All my Pocket Change coins are self-found personally by me in my nightly Numismatic Safaris. I search only standard bank boxes of 2500 in-circulation U.S. cents. My challenge is to come up with interesting artistic specimens, and I hope you like the result! If I merely bought the coins, I'd only ever see the "perfect" GEM BU grades; none of these bizarre bursts of color and radiation would reach my coin bench.

Mangled Marvels -- These are pennies that somehow got -- well, mangled -- in the course of performing their rounds of service to the tradesmen of the world. In short, something just short of a train ran over them, and I study the result, mount the road-kill coin in a paper "flip" and sell it on eBay as "found art".

Jungian Copper Dream Catchers -- Jung invented dreams, we all know this to be true; well, at last, my dreams can be your dreams. What a great stocking-stuffer -- and it's good for Christmas, too!

My Found-Art Coins can be mounted in a variety of art displays, wall mountings and acrylic bases. Check back frequently for ideas on how to use them in decorating and psychic protection for home or office. BTW, my signature -- even initials and date -- are worth something on a WoA (Work of Art) as you can see by checking the articles on my JazzArt on hei-jazzart.

I have art in the White House collection, collection of King Hussein of Jordan, US National Gallery and I happily report that the Dalai Lama has the matching piece to the one owned by Queen Noor, who also wears one of my 24 karat granulation necklaces. I love coins and have always collected them since the time of Nero, and here I am to tell the tale. I still have some Nero coins somewhere. So why not also have some works of art in your home, office or vehicle? And if they're cheap like dirt and they're also fun, you'll certainly want to collect them all.

Only catch is, every Found Art Coin is unique, one of a kind. Most coins are not. What makes the coin unique is what happened to it during its passage, combined with what I see in the coin as an artist. Every coin has a story to tell. Some traces are visible on the face or reverse of the coin, but most often, the coin's psychic story is the most interesting of all, and that's what I read in the coin and that's what I put in the title, to instruct you where and how to look for the artistic mystery.

What I want to try to do now, in this time-frame, is to get people to see a coin as a piece of sculpture that is affected by time, resulting in patination and other strangenessness, and to look beyond the obvious roundness, flatness, portrait, value and spending power of the coin and to really observe it, which of course "particlizes" it, meaning it goes through an instant energy transformation from Einsteinian to Quantum.

What does an artist see in a coin? Depend on the artist, of course. Me, I just wing it, fly by the seat of my shamanic pants, take a running leap at it and type the results into my keyboard for your edification.

What are my qualifications as an artist?

Fair question, and it deserves a serious answer: to my eternal chagrin, I'm an internationally recognized listed American artist with bonafide public registry sales of individual paintings at over $100,000 and my smaller paintings go on eBay for a whalloping amount -- I'm told I'm one of the top ten best-selling artists on eBay, which is a pleasant bit of info. It's plain to see that I don't need your ten or twenty bucks.

I don't do it for the money; I do it for the chase.

So, heck-darn, I better come up with some pretty compelling artistic interpretations of what is essentially acid-rain damage done to coppper-plated zinc coins -- which classifies them technically as "brass" coins -- microscopically thin copper coating on zinc disk equals junk metal, a promissory note to pay something to someone on demand, unless there's no money to cover it.

Here's how I work with Art Coins ... First, I recognize that the coin has something of interest. After this "First Flash", I will typically place it in a receiving area at the left of my examination area, until later when I name the coin according to what I see in it. At this second examination, I also mount the coin in a paper "frame" called a "flip", in coinology terminology.

The framed piece is then held under a light and considered. What I mean is, considered by the artist-mind.

Sure, it's still a coin. But it's also something more. The artist has given it a name, a way to point to what is unusual about that sculptural form -- for it is, in fact, 3 dimensional, actually 4-D if you count time, something a coin generally has plenty of. I have some coins on vaults of time that are many thousands of years old. I name it as a way of pointing the way to understanding the artistic content of the Object of Daily Use, ie; the Abe Lincoln penny.

Remember as you view these Art Coins of Daily Use that they are not merely coins, but glimpses into history and now, with the advent of Prosperity Path, an Artist's Pocket Change becomes transformed into Signed and Dated Works of Found Art!!!

The title is intended to indicate where the viewer should look and what to look for.

Would you like to market EJ Gold Found Art Coins? I'm willing to supply art dealers with my artcoins at very low prices -- they only cost me a penny. Actually, point of fact, with the cost of search and the paper "flip", the cost of listing and the cost of billing and shipping, I lose pretty much no matter how I play it, but it's only in-game money. Never touch the stuff. Actual hard-cost per finished Pocket Change Art Coin is 23 cents, so don't expect big discounts from the Loss Leaders.

I will have on display and offered for sale some very stunning and unusual "accidents of nature" -- with my knowledge of coins and experience handling millions of coins I recognize a unique Art Effect when I see it. I can search two 2500 penny bank boxes a night and never miss a hot coin, so believe me when I say that I've seen all the weirdnesses that can happen to a copper coin and I know enough to know I haven't seen it all!!!

These art objects are my donation to the Institute, but they require your participation to complete the cycle. 100% goes directly to IDHHB, Inc. -- it's my way of helping to launch the Prosperity Path Project !!!

"Unshared Wealth is Wasted Wealth."

Gosh, when I read that back to myself, it sounds terribly communist, but I don't mean it that way -- what I mean is, doesn't it feel incredible to give a leg up to someone who's temporarily down and out? And doesn't it feel good to do good?

You can find out how to use my Found Art coins to help others to rise up from the ashes.