US Type Coins

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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Half Dimes – Draped Bust Half Dime, Heraldic Eagle, 1800-1805

Half Dimes – Draped Bust Half Dime, Heraldic Eagle, 1800-1805

Description: Following a two-year gap in production, mintage of half dimes resumed in 1800. The obverse portrait of Liberty remained, though slightly updated, but the reverse was extensively modified. Most noticeable, and giving name to the type, was the change of the eagle to the outstretched wing, heraldic style copied from the Great Seal of […]

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Half Dimes – Capped Bust Half Dime, 1829-1837

Half Dimes – Capped Bust Half Dime, 1829-1837

Description: The Draped Bust half dime was last produced in 1805, the final year of a short five-year series of the type (no half dimes were produced in 1804). Production of half dimes resumed in 1829, the first samples struck early on July 4 as part of the events surrounding the laying of the cornerstone […]

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Half Dimes – Liberty Seated Half Dime, No Stars, 1837-1838

Half Dimes – Liberty Seated Half Dime, No Stars, 1837-1838

Description: The portrayal of Liberty shown on Seated coins was favored by Mint Director Robert M. Patterson, who apparently did not like portraits on coins. This representation of Liberty was similar to the figure of Britannia used on copper English coins. Originally the Roman name for the island of Great Britain, Britannia became personified as […]

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Half Dimes – Liberty Seated Half Dime, Stars, No Drapery 1838-1840

Half Dimes – Liberty Seated Half Dime, Stars, No Drapery 1838-1840

Description: Though the No Stars half dime was a more faithful rendition of the cameo-like Liberty Seated design as implemented by Christian Gobrecht, objections were voiced about the “missing” stars. William Kneass had included 13 small stars to the sides of Liberty on the previous Capped Bust half dime, but Gobrecht did not include them […]

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Half Dimes – Liberty Seated Half Dime, Stars, 1838-1859

Half Dimes – Liberty Seated Half Dime, Stars, 1838-1859

Description: This type might be more specifically described as the Stars, Drapery half dime, to distinguish it from the previous 1838-1840 Stars, No Drapery issue prepared by Christian Gobrecht. Robert Ball Hughes, a sculptor originally from London, was hired in late 1840 to make modifications to Liberty on the Seated design for half dimes, dimes, […]

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Half Dimes – Liberty Seated Half Dime, Arrows, 1853-1855

Half Dimes – Liberty Seated Half Dime, Arrows, 1853-1855

Description: The Act of February 21, 1853, established the prevalence of fiat coinage for this nation; the value stamped on a coin was what the government said it was, not necessarily related to the value of the material from which that coin was made. Though for at least the past generation all circulating coins have […]

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Half Dimes – Liberty Seated Half Dime, Legend, 1860-1873

Half Dimes – Liberty Seated Half Dime, Legend, 1860-1873

Description: After the weight of the half dime was reduced in 1853 (indicated by an arrow on either side of the date through 1855, then dropped from the motif), the design was unchanged until 1860. In that year Chief Engraver James B. Longacre replaced the thirteen obverse stars with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and replaced […]

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Dimes – Ten Cent Draped Bust Small Eagle, 1796-1797

Dimes – Ten Cent Draped Bust Small Eagle, 1796-1797

Description: Thomas Jefferson proposed a decimal system for U.S. coinage in 1783 partly to signify a break from Old World traditions, partly to recognize growing acceptance of that system for use in calculations. This view was promoted by Alexander Hamilton, first treasury secretary, who recommended six denominations including a silver “tenth”, the tenth part of […]

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Dimes – Ten Cent Draped Bust Heraldic Eagle, 1798-1807

Dimes – Ten Cent Draped Bust Heraldic Eagle, 1798-1807

Description: The Mint Act of 1792 specified coins of various denominations, including “dismes” which were to be “of the value of one tenth of a dollar”. The first dimes were produced in 1786 from designs by Robert Scot, with an obverse Liberty said to be modeled after a Philadelphia socialite and a reverse eagle similar […]

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