Watch This Talented Carver Turn a Lincoln Penny Into a Morbid Masterpiece

Michelangelo’s David is undoubtedly a masterpiece, but would the artist have been as adept with a chisel were he working on a tiny copper penny instead of a giant slab of marble? Using a magnifying scope, artist Shaun Hughes managed to skillfully turn Lincoln’s head into a remarkably detailed skull.

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Hughes has an entire YouTube channel dedicated to his carving prowess, where he turns coins of various sizes and denominations into something far more valuable to art aficionados. When is the treasury going to give this guy a job designing our currency?

[YouTube via The Awesomer]

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DISCUSSION

Before anyone asks, it is not illegal to deface US coinage in this matter. Defacing coins is only illegal with intent to defraud. If the artist takes a penny and carves Lincoln into a skull, that’s OK. If the artist does this and tries to declare it a genuine mint error, that’s not.

It’s the same reasoning that keeps the penny squishing machines at zoos legal.