A couple found a stash of coins
In cans half lost to rust
Gold coins, so old some even lack
The phrase “In God We Trust”
There’s one coin, termed “miraculous”,
That doesn’t say “In God We Trust”
Like others just as old
That year the motto first appeared—
This coin slipped in before;
Because this coin is godless, it
Is worth a great deal more!
The godless may be rarer
(By a lot, we’re often told)
But we, without “In God We Trust”
Are truly good as gold.
An 1866 $20 coin printed without the “In God We Trust” motto — the 1866-S No Motto Double Eagle — is the highest quality of its kind, said David Hall, cofounder of Professional Coin Grading Services in Irvine, who recently authenticated the coins.
When the motto was added to the coin in 1866, some coins were still minted in San Francisco without the phrase, he said.
The lack of that motto, and the fact that the finders did not try to clean the coin, mean that this uncirculated bit of metal will likely go for a million dollars at auction. Trying to clean it would have ruined it, and the missing motto means it is quite a bit rarer than other 1866 $20 gold coins.
I’d belabor the obvious and say “there’s a metaphor here”, but Robert Burns already did. In this case, it’s not trust in a god that imbues worth; worth can be found in the godly and ungodly alike, as can lack of worth. Or as Burns put it, “the rank is but the guinea’s stamp–the man’s the gold, for a’ that.”