US Coins

Quarter Eagles – Capped Head Left Quarter Eagle, Large Diameter, 1821-1827

Quarter Eagles – Capped Head Left Quarter Eagle, Large Diameter, 1821-1827

Description: After the 1808 quarter eagle issue there was a 12-year hiatus in the production of the denomination. An uncertain world political scene combined with rising gold prices caused gold coins to vanish from circulation. Because of a fixed 15-to-1 silver-to-gold ratio in this country, speculators and brokers could exchange one ounce of U.S. gold […]

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Quarter Eagles – Capped Head Left Quarter Eagle, Reduced Diameter 1829-1834

Quarter Eagles – Capped Head Left Quarter Eagle, Reduced Diameter 1829-1834

Description: Though quarter eagles were an authorized gold coin denomination, few were produced by the Mint in the late 1820s and early 1830s. Mintage levels remained fairly constant for the Capped Head, Reduced Diameter type produced from 1829 through 1834, but the highest number of coins produced never exceeded 4,600 pieces in any of the […]

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Quarter Eagles – Classic Head Quarter Eagle, 1834-1839

Quarter Eagles – Classic Head Quarter Eagle, 1834-1839

Description: Gold quarter eagles had been produced since 1796, though mintage for any one year never exceeded 7,000 coins. Few gold coins of any denomination circulated, and those that did traded at more than face value because of the gold content; gold coins were preferred over paper money. Half eagles went mostly to export trade […]

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Quarter Eagles – Liberty Head Quarter Eagle, 1840-1907

Quarter Eagles – Liberty Head Quarter Eagle, 1840-1907

Pictured is the famous 1848 CAL NGC MS-68 Star sold at the 2008 January Orlando FUN sale by Heritage Auction Galleries. Lot 3091 $345,000 Description: Christian Gobrecht’s depiction of Liberty followed the Classic Head of William Kneass, a culmination of efforts to both standardize the design and find an acceptable representation that could be used […]

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Quarter Eagles – Indian Head Quarter Eagle, 1908-1929

Quarter Eagles – Indian Head Quarter Eagle, 1908-1929

Description: The early part of the 20th century was a time of great creativity in the design of U.S. coinage. August Saint-Gaudens’ double eagle was introduced in 1907, along with his Indian Head eagle. Victor D. Brenner’s Lincoln cent, commemorating in 1909 the centennial of the President’s birth, broke new ground- it was the first […]

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Three Dollar Gold – 1854-1889

Three Dollar Gold – 1854-1889

Description:The origin of this issue is shrouded in controversy. It is generally believed that the Three Dollar gold piece was adopted as a direct result of the postal rate dropping from five cents to three cents in 1851. A three dollar gold issue allowed purchasers to buy large quantities of the new stamps without having […]

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Half Eagles – $5.00 Gold Capped Bust Small Eagle 1795-1798

Half Eagles – $5.00 Gold Capped Bust Small Eagle 1795-1798

Description: This design type was coined between 1795 and 1798, with an estimated mintage of 17,555 pieces for all issues. The 2008 Guide Book lists 8,707 half eagles minted in 1795. According to information contained in Bullion Journal A of mint records, 1795 half eagle mintage occurred between July 31 and September 16 of that […]

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Half Eagles – Capped Bust Half Eagle, Large Eagle 1795-1807

Half Eagles – Capped Bust Half Eagle, Large Eagle 1795-1807

Description: This type is also labeled Draped Bust or Turban Head to distinguish it from the later Capped Bust type introduced in 1807 (the Guide Book calls this type Capped Bust to Right, and the later type Capped Bust to Left). The eagle on Robert Scot’s earlier Capped Bust Small Eagle design of 1795 was […]

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Half Eagles – Capped Draped Bust Half Eagles, 1807-1812

Half Eagles – Capped Draped Bust Half Eagles, 1807-1812

Description: The Capped Bust, Heraldic Eagle type of 1795-1807 was replaced in 1807 due to the addition of John Reich as Assistant Engraver at the Mint. His new design was significantly different than the old Robert Scot coinage with a large capped bust facing to the left wearing a large, loose-fitting cap; the reverse replaced […]

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Half Eagles – Capped Head Half Eagle, 1813-1834

Half Eagles – Capped Head Half Eagle, 1813-1834

Description: The half eagle was the only U.S. gold coin produced in 1813. Quarter eagles were last made in 1808, not to be minted again until 1821, and eagles had not been struck since 1804, with no further production until 1838. Gold dollars and double eagles would not be seen until 1849-1850, nearly a generation […]

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Half Eagles – Classic Head Half Eagle, 1834-1838

Half Eagles – Classic Head Half Eagle, 1834-1838

Description: The Classic Head half eagle, along with its Classic Head quarter eagle sibling, were produced in response to a problem that reached a serious and unsustainable level in the early 1830s: circulating gold coins didn’t actually circulate. Wars in Europe were putting continuous upward pressure on the world price of gold, but the price […]

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Half Eagles – Liberty Head Half Eagle, No Motto, 1839-1866

Half Eagles – Liberty Head Half Eagle, No Motto, 1839-1866

Description: In the late 1830s Mint Director Robert M. Patterson had Engraver Christian Gobrecht modify William Kneass’ classic Liberty portrait on the half eagle. The same image was used on the eagle in 1838, and a year later, on the quarter eagle; the same basic design was also used on the cent and the half […]

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Half Eagles – Liberty Head Half Eagle, With Motto, 1866-1908

Half Eagles – Liberty Head Half Eagle, With Motto, 1866-1908

Description: First minted in 1839, the Liberty Head half eagle, sometimes called the Coronet Head because of the coronet worn by Liberty, is considered a continuation of the influence of Neoclassicism style first seen on the half eagle in 1834. The Christian Gobrecht modification of William Kneass’ Liberty portrait was to last almost 70 years […]

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Half Eagles – Indian Head Half Eagle 1908-1929

Half Eagles – Indian Head Half Eagle 1908-1929

Description: The early part of the 20th century was a time of great creativity in the design of U.S. coinage. August Saint-Gaudens’ double eagle was introduced in 1907, along with his Indian Head eagle. Victor D. Brenner’s Lincoln cent, commemorating in 1909 the centennial of the President’s birth, broke new ground- it was the first […]

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Eagles- Capped Bust Eagle, Small Eagle, 1795-1797

Eagles- Capped Bust Eagle, Small Eagle, 1795-1797

Description: The ten-dollar gold piece was the highest denomination coin authorized by the Mint Act of 1792, one of three gold coins approved by Congress in that document. America’s new coinage system was based on the decimal system, a scheme promoted both by Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. The anchor of the system was the […]

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Eagles – Capped Bust Eagle, Heraldic Eagle, 1797-1804

Eagles – Capped Bust Eagle, Heraldic Eagle, 1797-1804

Description: The highest denomination coin authorized by the Mint Act of 1792 was the ten-dollar gold piece, one of three gold coins approved by Congress for the young nation. A ten dollar denomination fit with the decimal system promoted both by Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, and was intended to be the main coin for […]

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Eagles – Liberty Head No Motto Eagle, 1838-1866

Eagles – Liberty Head No Motto Eagle, 1838-1866

Description: Gold eagle production was halted in 1804 by President Thomas Jefferson because the fixed 15 to 1 silver to gold ratio in the U.S. made it profitable to send the coins to Europe for bullion value; which meant few gold coins circulated in this country. It wasn’t until Congressional Acts reduced the weight and […]

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Eagles – Liberty Head Eagle with Motto, 1866-1907

Eagles – Liberty Head Eagle with Motto, 1866-1907

Description: The gold eagle was the largest denomination coin authorized by the Mint Act of 1792, but an unfavorable silver to gold ratio meant that gold coins were worth more silver in Europe than in the U.S.; thus to Europe many gold eagles were sent. Those that remained in this country were hoarded, so few […]

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Eagles – 1907 Indian Head Eagle – No Motto w/Periods

Eagles – 1907 Indian Head Eagle – No Motto w/Periods

Description: Stylized Indian Head facing left, female portrait wearing a feathered headdress (worn by male Native Americans of the plains when worn at all), stars around the border, date below. On the reverse the standing eagle is accompanied by inscriptions, with periods before and after. The original coinage of the 1907 with wire rim on […]

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Eagles – Indian Head Eagle, No Motto, 1907-1908

Eagles – Indian Head Eagle, No Motto, 1907-1908

Description: In 1907 a collaboration between the dynamic president Theodore Roosevelt and renown American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens resulted in the replacement of the previous Liberty Head design on the ten dollar gold coin. The new design featured a native American on the obverse, and a standing eagle on the reverse. The Indian was modeled after […]

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Eagles – Indian Head Eagle, With Motto, 1908-1933

Eagles – Indian Head Eagle, With Motto, 1908-1933

Description: In 1907 a collaboration between the dynamic president Theodore Roosevelt and renown American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens resulted in new designs for both the twenty dollar gold coin and the ten dollar gold coin. The new design on the eagle featured a native American on the obverse, and a standing eagle on the reverse. The […]

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Double Eagles – Liberty Head Double Eagle, Without Motto, 1849-1866

Double Eagles – Liberty Head Double Eagle, Without Motto, 1849-1866

Description: By 1840 the Bechtler family of North Carolina had at their private mint produced more than $2.2 million in gold coins, about half of which were dollars. This success put continued pressure on the U.S. government to produce gold dollar coins, but it took the California gold discoveries in the late 1840s to move […]

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Double Eagles – Liberty Head Double Eagle, With Motto, 1866-1876

Double Eagles – Liberty Head Double Eagle, With Motto, 1866-1876

Description: When the double eagle was proposed one of the arguments in support of the new coin was that a depositor with a large amount of bullion would find the $20 coin a more convenient product than smaller denomination coins. One of the sponsors of the double eagle authorizing legislation, Representative James McKay of North […]

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Double Eagles – Liberty Head Double Eagle, With Motto, 1877-1907

Double Eagles – Liberty Head Double Eagle, With Motto, 1877-1907

Description: This last variation of the Liberty double eagle, often labeled Type 3, was produced in large quantities, particularly during the last decade of the 19th century and in the years leading to the end of the series in 1907. In most years the output from the San Francisco branch mint was greater than the […]

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Double Eagles – 1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim

Double Eagles – 1907 $20 High Relief, Wire Rim

Frank A. Leach was superintendent of the U.S. Mint in San Francisco from 1897 to 1907. He assumed the title of Mint director in Washington in 1907 after the resignation of George E. Roberts from the post, and moved there in time to assume his new duties by Oct. 1, 1907. As the following excerpt […]

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Double Eagles – Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, Without Motto, 1907-1908

Double Eagles – Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, Without Motto, 1907-1908

Description: “I think our coinage is artistically of atrocious hideousness. Would it be possible, without asking permission of Congress, to employ a man like Saint-Gaudens to give us a coinage that would have some beauty?”. So wrote President Theodore Roosevelt to Secretary of the Treasury Leslie Mortier Shaw in December, 1904. The drama of Roosevelt’s […]

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Double Eagles – Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, With Motto, 1908-1933

Double Eagles – Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, With Motto, 1908-1933

Description: The first Saint-Gaudens double eagles, acclaimed as one of the most beautiful and artistic U.S. coin designs, did not display the motto IN GOD WE TRUST anywhere on the coin. Even though the Coinage Act of 1890 did not include that motto in the list of required wording to be placed on U.S. coins, […]

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Half Dimes – 1792 Half Disme

Half Dimes – 1792 Half Disme

Throughout the broad range of U.S. coinage from 1792 to the present day, this issue is arguably the most significant of any that has ever been struck. Although still recorded as a pattern issue in some references, most numismatists now consider the 1792 half disme to be a regular issue coin. Slightly smaller than a […]

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Half Dimes – Flowing Hair Half Dime, 1794-1795

Half Dimes – Flowing Hair Half Dime, 1794-1795

Description: Small numbers of half dimes were made in 1792, a tangible result of the efforts of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton to move the United States to a decimal coinage system. The 1792 coins are often collected as contract issues or patterns, though wear on the coins indicates that they did circulate. […]

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Half Dimes – Draped Bust Half Dime, Small Eagle, 1796-1797

Half Dimes – Draped Bust Half Dime, Small Eagle, 1796-1797

Description: Robert Scot’s Flowing Hair half dime design, used in 1794 and 1795, was disparaged by some for his portrayals both of Liberty and the reverse eagle. Perhaps responding to that criticism, Mint Director Henry W. DeSaussure announced a goal of improving the designs of all silver coins. Artist Gilbert Stuart (known for his portrait […]

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