Generally, coins always had a somewhat higher value than that of the material they were made of, as is logical, because otherwise it would have been more profitable to melt them to obtain their material value (David Graeber, Debt: The First 5000 Years, 2011). By contrast, a clear sign of the decline of the system we are experiencing is the fact that our money, not only isn't worth its weight in the material it is made, but doesn't even correspond to its face value, due to the permanent creation of fictional money. If, in times of prosperity, it was the face of the king who gave fiat value to the currency, contributing to the confidence in its use, today the widespread corruption of the institutions and the legalized robbery to the productive economy by the financial one, produces the opposite effect. Today the institutional faces on our coins are precisely who take value away from our wealth.
Image after George Washington 1$ coin [pd].