For decades, U.S. presidents have issue a presidential "challenge coin" as personal mementos of their time in office.
The Washington Post reported Friday that President Donald Trump's coin is a departure from previous coins, which were typically stately items. Trump's features a massive eagle with his signature and instead of the normal slogan "E pluribus unum" the coin says "Make America Great Again," Trump's campaign slogan.
Furthermore, as a White House aide said, it's "very gold."
Trump's name appears three times on the coin and it is thicker than previous presidential coins.
"The aide said the president, whose real estate properties are known for their gilded displays of wealth and status, was personally involved in redesigning the coin," the Post reported. "Trump, who also had a hand in creating his famous red campaign hat, 'wanted to weigh in on it,' the aide said. 'It’s beautifully made.'”
Design professionals have dubbed Trump's over-the-top, 1980s-influenced style "dictator chic" because it mirrors the personal style of potentates like Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi and the Philippines’ Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos.
“’If I’ve only got one life,’ most dictators seem to think,” said journalist Peter York, “’let me live it surrounded by gold.’ When you have all of your country’s resources at your disposal, why not? Gold furniture, gold wall decorations, columns with gold capitals, gold taps. Bright gold, fake gold, shiny alloys for functional metalwork. Viktor Yanukovych, the recently deposed pro-Russian leader of Ukraine, lived in a positive blizzard of gold, which was revealed to a waiting world when he was ousted in the country’s 2014 revolution.”
With regards to who funded the production of Trump's presidential coins, the Post said that it was given conflicting reports.
"The White House offered conflicting accounts of which funds were used to purchase the coins, with one aide saying they were paid for by the White House and a second aide later saying that the Republican National Committee is covering the expense. An RNC spokeswoman confirmed Friday afternoon that the party is paying for the coins," wrote David Nakamura and Lisa Rein.