US Type Coins

Coin Profile: Proof 1836 50/00 Capped Bust Half Dollar

Coin Profile: Proof 1836 50/00 Capped Bust Half Dollar

One of Only Six Examples Positively Confirmed to Exist; The Breen Plate Coin Writing in the 1989 edition of his encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial proof coins, the late Walter Breen accounts for four die marriages of the proof 1836 Lettered Edge Capped Bust Half Dollar. Of the four varieties, two are of perhaps the […]

By March 21, 2011 0 Comments Read More →
Three Cent Silver – Three Cent Silver, Type 1, 1851-1853

Three Cent Silver – Three Cent Silver, Type 1, 1851-1853

Description: Called a trime in some Treasury Department records, the three cent silver coin was the smallest ever issued by the U.S. in terms of weight and thickness. Initially proposed in 1849, and again in 1850 in conjunction with a plan to reduce postal rates from five to three cents, production was finally authorized in […]

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Three Cent Silver – Three Cent Silver, Type 2, 1854-1858

Three Cent Silver – Three Cent Silver, Type 2, 1854-1858

Description: Though the initial production of three cent silver coins helped meet the need for small denomination circulating coins, the greater problem of rising silver prices (relative to gold prices) was still an issue. This was resolved by an 1853 Act which reduced the weight of all silver coins except the dollar, but also raised […]

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Three Cent Silver – Three Cent Silver, Type 3, 1859-1873

Three Cent Silver – Three Cent Silver, Type 3, 1859-1873

Description: The Type 2 design modification of the three cent silver coin failed to improve striking quality so additional, apparently successful, modifications were done to alleviate the problem, giving us the third type of the series. However, a growing surplus of small denomination coins since the mid-1850’s combined with the start of the Civil War […]

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Gold Dollars – Gold Dollar Type 1 (Liberty Head) 1849-1854

Gold Dollars – Gold Dollar Type 1 (Liberty Head) 1849-1854

Description: The Type 1 Gold dollar was produced from 1849 to 1854. Composed of 90% pure gold, it was the smallest denomination of gold currency ever produced in the United States. When the US system of coinage was originally designed there had been no plans for a gold dollar coin, but in the late 1840s, […]

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Gold Dollars – Gold Dollar Type 2 (Indian Head) 1854-1856

Gold Dollars – Gold Dollar Type 2 (Indian Head) 1854-1856

Description: In 1854 the US Mint issued the redesigned gold dollar with an increased diameter of 15 mm. As planned, neither its weight not its composition was changed. James Longacre designed a new obverse for the coin based on his work with the three-dollar piece. The head depicted on the obverse has commonly been described […]

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Gold Dollars – Gold Dollar Type III (Large Head) 1856-1889

Gold Dollars – Gold Dollar Type III (Large Head) 1856-1889

gDescription: In 1856, a newly durable gold dollar was released by the Mint. Dubbed “the Large Head type,” Longacre’s new design was very similar to that of the Small Head type, but the size of the Indian head on the obverse increased, while at the same time it became more flat. The headdress changed location […]

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Quarter Eagle – Capped Bust Right No stars 1796 Quarter Eagle

Quarter Eagle – Capped Bust Right No stars 1796 Quarter Eagle

Description: There is little doubt that the 1796 No Stars quarter eagle and the 1808 Capped Bust quarter eagle are two of the most important type coins in the entire panorama of American numismatics. After the Mint Act of April 2, 1792, was passed by Congress, steps were taken to proceed with a physical Mint […]

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Quarter Eagle – Capped Bust Right 1796-1807 Quarter Eagle

Quarter Eagle – Capped Bust Right 1796-1807 Quarter Eagle

Description: The Mint Act of 1792 authorized all of the gold and silver coins that would eventually be struck by the young Philadelphia Mint. After property was acquired, construction of the actual buildings was completed, and all was ready to produced the Nation’s first coinage, copper, silver, and gold. Despite completion of the physical components […]

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Quarter Eagles – Capped Bust Left Large 1808 Quarter Eagle

Quarter Eagles – Capped Bust Left Large 1808 Quarter Eagle

Description: The 1808 quarter eagle is a transcendent rarity that is well known outside collectors of 19th century gold type coins. John Reich’s design was struck in just this one year, and only 2,710 pieces were minted. Of that number it has been estimated that fewer than 2% exist today in all grades, with 35-40 […]

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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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