US Type Coins

5 Cent Nickels – Shield Nickel No Rays, 1867-1883

5 Cent Nickels – Shield Nickel No Rays, 1867-1883

Description: Because of consistent demand, production of the nickel five cent piece was higher than that of the equivalently valued silver half dime each year through the end of the half dime’s production in 1873, except for 1871. However, ongoing striking problems on the hard blanks lead to a modest design change of the Shield […]

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5 Cent Nickels – 1883 Liberty Head Nickel – No Cents Reverse

5 Cent Nickels – 1883 Liberty Head Nickel – No Cents Reverse

Description: The Liberty Head nickel, sometimes referred to as the V nickel due to its reverse design, was an American nickel five-cent piece. Officially, it was minted from 1883 to 1912; a few patterns were struck in 1881 and 1882, and five pieces were surreptitiously struck in 1913, which today number among America’s most fabled […]

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5 Cent Nickels – Liberty Head Nickel, With Cents, 1883-1912

5 Cent Nickels – Liberty Head Nickel, With Cents, 1883-1912

Description: Charles Barber’s Liberty Head five cent coin was first produced for circulation in 1883 after two years of development of various patterns for the proposed type, including an 1882 pattern virtually identical to the design actually released. The issued 1883 nickel did not have text indicating the denomination anywhere on the coin, but there […]

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5 Cent Nickels – 1913 Type 1 Buffalo Nickel (1913 Only)

5 Cent Nickels – 1913 Type 1 Buffalo Nickel (1913 Only)

Photos used with permission and courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries On March 4, 1913, coins from the first bag to go into circulation were presented to outgoing President Taft and 33 Indian chiefs at the groundbreaking ceremonies for the National Memorial to the North American Indian at Fort Wadsworth, New York.  James Earle Fraserr, a […]

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5 Cent Nickels – Buffalo Nickel, Type 2, 1913-1938

5 Cent Nickels – Buffalo Nickel, Type 2, 1913-1938

Description: Buffalo, or Indian Head, nickels have been a popular series with collectors since the start of the type, abetted by the introduction of collecting boards and albums in the 1930s. James Earle Fraser’s design for the coin included popular western themes represented by the native American on the obverse and the bison (more commonly […]

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5 Cent Nickels – Jefferson Wartime Nickel, 1942-1945

5 Cent Nickels – Jefferson Wartime Nickel, 1942-1945

Description: During World War II nickel metal was a strategic war material for munitions, and the supply of the raw material was not sufficient to satisfy the requirements of both the War Department and the Mint; and war needs came first. In the search for a replacement for nickel an issue that was first raised […]

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5 Cent Nickels – Jefferson Nickel, 1938-2003

5 Cent Nickels – Jefferson Nickel, 1938-2003

Description: Nickel five cent pieces have been produced since 1866 and from the beginning the denomination has been a mainstay in commerce. Though obviously the purchasing power has declined, and in recent times the prices of copper and nickel have often pushed the metal value of the coin past the face value, the nickel has […]

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Half Cents – 1793 Flowing Hair Half Cent

Half Cents – 1793 Flowing Hair Half Cent

Description: The 1793 Liberty Cap has obvious significance as the first Half Cent produced by the Mint, and is also a highly coveted one-year type. In the informative Encyclopedia of United States Half Cents: 1793-1857 Breen wrote that the Philadelphia Mint prepared two obverse and three reverse dies for this issue between April and July, […]

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Half Cents – 1794 Half Cent Liberty Cap Head Facing Right- Large Head

Half Cents – 1794 Half Cent Liberty Cap Head Facing Right- Large Head

The half cent coin was produced in the United States from 1793-1857. The half-cent piece was made of 100% copper. It was slightly smaller than a modern U.S. quarter, with a diameter of 23.5 mm (0.93 inch). Although it is the lowest face value coin ever produced by the United States, given nineteenth century price […]

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Half Cents – Liberty Cap Half Cent, Head Facing Right, Small Head, 1795-1797

Half Cents – Liberty Cap Half Cent, Head Facing Right, Small Head, 1795-1797

Description: Though 1794 half cents are sometimes included in the Liberty Cap, Head Facing Right type, there are differences that distinguish that date from half cents produced from 1795 through 1797. Chief Engraver Robert Scot’s 1794 Liberty design was adapted from the Libertas Americana medal, a design by French medalist Augustin Dupre to commemorate America’s […]

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Half Cents – Draped Bust Half Cent, 1800-1808

Half Cents – Draped Bust Half Cent, 1800-1808

Description: Half cents were authorized by the Mint Act of April 2, 1792, were first produced in 1793, but were not popular with the public. It is perhaps for this reason that it wasn’t until 1800 that Engraver Robert Scot adapted the Gilbert Stuart design to the half cent. Stuart’s design first appeared on the […]

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Half Cents – Classic Head Half Cent, 1809-1836

Half Cents – Classic Head Half Cent, 1809-1836

Description: Robert Patterson, a respected scholar with ties to President Thomas Jefferson, was appointed Director of the U.S. Mint in 1805. As Director, he was instrumental in the ascension of John Reich to the position of Second Engraver under Chief Engraver Robert Scot. Reich came to this country from Germany as an indentured servant to […]

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Half Cents – Braided Hair Half Cent, 1840-1857

Half Cents – Braided Hair Half Cent, 1840-1857

Description: By 1809 the half cent was not a denomination as frequently used in commerce as was the cent and various foreign coins that circulated during this era in the United States. Lowered public demand and the difficulty in securing sufficient copper blanks for production resulted in the suspension of half cent production after the […]

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Large Cents – 1793 Chain Cent – Ameri. Reverse

Large Cents – 1793 Chain Cent – Ameri. Reverse

Description: Considered the first Chain cent produced, and struck between February 27th and March 12th, 1793, the first coinage of the fledgling United States Mint after the facility was ready for operations. Sheldon-1 The abbreviated legend on the reverse almost certainly represents a layout problem that resulted from the engraver’s inexperience. Presumably, the engraver laid […]

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Large Cents – 1793 Chain Cent – America Reverse

Large Cents – 1793 Chain Cent – America Reverse

Description:Chain Cents were struck only briefly in 1793, replaced by the more available Wreath Cent type, presumably due to contemporary criticism of the chain device. The March 18, 1793 edition of Philadelphia’s The Mail, or Claypoole’s Daily Advertiser stated the opinion, “The chain on the reverse is but a bad omen for liberty.” Five die […]

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Large Cents – 1793 Wreath Cent

Large Cents – 1793 Wreath Cent

Description: The Chain cents produced early in 1793 received immediate criticism. The obverse Liberty was considered an unflattering portrait of the symbol of freedom, particularly in the rendition of the hair which was described as unkempt or even savage in appearance. The reverse chain motif, apparently intended to represent the unity of the states, was […]

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Large Cents – Liberty Cap Cent, 1793-1796

Large Cents – Liberty Cap Cent, 1793-1796

Description: The Liberty Cap design by Joseph Wright was derived from what today is likely one of the most popular early medals, the Libertas Americana medal by Augustin DuprŽ. Sponsored by Benjamin Franklin, the Libertas Americana medal not only symbolized American victories in our Revolutionary War, but also represented the friendship between France and the […]

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Large Cents – Draped Bust Cent, 1796-1807

Large Cents – Draped Bust Cent, 1796-1807

Description: Copper cents in the early years of the country had a checkered history. The large cents were not the most easily handled, but they were extensively used because the denomination was convenient for small transactions. The Mint, however, had trouble producing the coins because of poor quality copper supplies, problems in creating the dies, […]

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Large Cents – Classic Head Cent 1808-1814

Large Cents – Classic Head Cent 1808-1814

Description: Robert Patterson, an Irish immigrant, was a schoolmaster, shopkeeper, and mathematician, the teacher of the man who later surveyed the original boundaries of the District of Columbia. Principal of the Wilmington Academy in Delaware in the mid-1770s, he left that post to serve in the Revolutionary War, attaining the rank of brigade major. Following […]

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Large Cents – Matron Head Large Cent, 1816-1835

Large Cents – Matron Head Large Cent, 1816-1835

Description: The Classic Head cents had been coined through 1814, but because of a copper shortage no cents were made in 1815; the only year without cent production from the beginning in 1873 to the present. The design of the Classic Head cent had resulted in criticism, for the narrow headband worn by Liberty (called […]

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Large Cents – Modified Matron Head Cent, 1836-1839

Large Cents – Modified Matron Head Cent, 1836-1839

Description: Continuous modifications were made to the Matron Head cent starting in the mid-1830s, and the transitional nature of the changes has resulted in differences between reference texts regarding the dates dividing Engraver Robert Scot’s original design and the changes made later by William Kneass and Christian Gobrecht. Walter Breen (Walter BreenÕs Complete Encyclopedia of […]

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Large Cents – Braided Hair Cent, 1839-1857

Large Cents – Braided Hair Cent, 1839-1857

Description: Liberty Head Large cents were produced from 1816 through 1857. Modifications were made to the Matron Head style starting in the mid-1830s, and the transitional nature of the changes has resulted in differences between reference texts regarding the dates dividing the Robert Scot/ John Reich original design and the changes made later by William […]

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Small Cents – One Cent Flying Eagle, 1856-1858

Small Cents – One Cent Flying Eagle, 1856-1858

Description: By the early 1850s copper availability was limited, and the price of the raw metal rose to the point that the Mint lost money on every cent that was made. At the same time the large copper cents had become increasingly unpopular with the public, which thought the coins unattractive, too heavy, and too […]

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Small Cents – Indian Head Cent 1859 COPPER-NICKEL Laural Wreath Reverse

Small Cents – Indian Head Cent 1859 COPPER-NICKEL Laural Wreath Reverse

Description: The Indian Head one-cent coin was produced by the United States Mint from 1859 through 1909. It was designed by James Barton Longacre, the Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint. The obverse of the coin shows UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, an Indian head facing to the left, wearing a feather bonnet. The word LIBERTY is […]

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Small Cents – Indian Head Cent, Copper-Nickel, 1860-1864

Small Cents – Indian Head Cent, Copper-Nickel, 1860-1864

Description: James B. Longacre’s Indian Head design for the cent debuted in 1859. The previous Flying Eagle design had been minted for only three years (including the 1856 pattern, usually considered a regular issue by collectors). The apparent reason for the change from the Flying Eagle design was weakness in the strike, brought about because […]

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Small Cents – Indian Head Cent, Bronze, 1864-1909

Small Cents – Indian Head Cent, Bronze, 1864-1909

Description: The small “white cents”, so-called because of their light color compared to that of the older large cents, had at first escaped the hoarding of coins that came with the Civil War. But by 1862, in spite of the production of millions of the coins, the cent also disappeared from circulation, joining the silver […]

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Small Cents – 1909 V.D.B. Lincoln Cent

Small Cents – 1909 V.D.B. Lincoln Cent

Description:The first year issue of perhaps one of the most popular and enduring designs in US Coinage. The new coin featured a portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the front and two “ears” of wheat on the back. The designers initials “VDB” were placed near the rim on the reverse. A total mintage of 24,479,000 coins […]

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Small Cents – Lincoln Cent, Bronze, Wheat Ears Reverse, 1909-1958

Small Cents – Lincoln Cent, Bronze, Wheat Ears Reverse, 1909-1958

Description: The Lincoln cent has been a favorite of collectors for many years. Part of the appeal lies in the fact that it is the first circulating U.S. coin to feature a likeness of an real person; who just happens to be one of the most respected and admired presidents in this country’s history. The […]

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Small Cents – Lincoln Cent, Steel, Wheat Ears Reverse, 1943

Small Cents – Lincoln Cent, Steel, Wheat Ears Reverse, 1943

Description: Lincoln cents were made of bronze most years, but World War II resulted in a couple of changes to the cent composition. Because copper was a critical war material, efforts were made to find alternative materials (ceramics and plastics were considered) from which to produce cents, with the eventual selection of zinc-coated steel planchets […]

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Small Cents – Lincoln Cent, Bronze/ Brass, Memorial Reverse, 1959-1982

Small Cents – Lincoln Cent, Bronze/ Brass, Memorial Reverse, 1959-1982

Description: The Lincoln motif on the cent was introduced to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. The 150th anniversary of that event occasioned another design change, the replacement of the wheat seed heads on the reverse with a depiction of the Lincoln Memorial. The Memorial is located at the west end of the National […]

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