05-18-12 E Pluribus

I am getting ready to teach a short seminar in macro photography and so I thought I should try to photograph a few objects with my macro lens. This photo is a detail from the obverse side of a coin my aunt Betty owned. It is about the size of a silver dollar, though I don’t think that this coin was minted by the US government.

I’m not into numbers but in a moment of boredom (or curiosity) I started to count things on the US dollar bill several years ago and found that the number 13 seems to prevail. That’s true of this coin, too, which uses many of the same symbols that are on the dollar. There are thirteen stars above the eagle. There are thirteen stripes on the shield in front of him/her. There are thirteen feathers above the e pluribus unum banner. And there are thirteen letters in e pluribus unum.

Why 13? Well my pot smoking friends from the 70s would say that “m” is the 13th letter in the alphabet and that “m” really stands for marijuana. Thus, this silver coin (and the dollar bill) are subversive and subtle promotions of the use of pot. But you’d have to be high to think that. More likely, 13 is the number of original US colonies.

All of this from a macro photo of a silver coin. . . .

Canon 5DII 1/125s f/5.6 ISO250 100mm 2.8L

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