US Type Coins

Dollars – Trade Dollar, 1873-1885

Dollars – Trade Dollar, 1873-1885

Description: Though Gobrecht/Liberty Seated dollars were the first silver dollars produced for domestic use since 1804, most did not extensively circulate but were instead sent overseas as bullion. However, the U.S. dollar was devalued for that use because it was lighter in weight than competing Spanish or Mexican dollars. The problem was addressed by Congress […]

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Dollars – Morgan Dollar, 1878-1921

Dollars – Morgan Dollar, 1878-1921

Description: Though it might seem to be a modern phenomenon, the problem of uncirculating dollar coins has a long history. The metal value of these large silver coins often lead to them being melted as bullion rather than being spent for everyday commerce. In 1873 Congress responded to this recurring issue by suspending production of […]

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Dollars – 1921 Peace Dollar – High Relief

Dollars – 1921 Peace Dollar – High Relief

Description: The Peace Dollar is a silver United States dollar coin minted from 1921 to 1928, then again in 1934 and 1935. Early proposals for the coin called for a commemorative issue to coincide with the end of World War I, but the Peace Dollar was issued as a circulating coin. The original inspiration for […]

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Dollars – Peace Dollar, Low Relief, 1922-1935

Dollars – Peace Dollar, Low Relief, 1922-1935

Description: The silver dollar, authorized by the Mint Act of April 2, 1792, was intended to be the standard unit of the American monetary system, a symbol of the growing stature of the fledgling nation. In size and composition similar to that of Spanish and Mexican dollars, the denomination seemed to be the ideal means […]

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Dollars – Eisenhower Dollar, 1971-1978

Dollars – Eisenhower Dollar, 1971-1978

Description: The silver dollar was authorized by the Mint Act of April 2, 1792, and the denomination was intended to be the standard unit of the American monetary system. Similar in size and composition to Spanish and Mexican dollars, the denomination should have been the ideal unit of commerce. However, the reality was somewhat different, […]

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Dollars – Susan B. Anthony Dollar, 1979-1999

Dollars – Susan B. Anthony Dollar, 1979-1999

Description: Susan B. Anthony dollars, known as “Susies”by many collectors, were the second copper-nickel dollar coin produced for circulation in this country. The first was the Eisenhower dollar in 1971, designed by Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro. When the new Anthony dollar was authorized in 1978 Gasparro also produced the design for this coin (the reverse […]

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Dollars – Sacagawea Dollar, 2000-date

Dollars – Sacagawea Dollar, 2000-date

Description: Dollar coins in general did not actively circulate in this country. Even the large silver “cartwheels” tended to have more value as bullion than they did as a means of commerce. Except for western and some southern states, where the coins saw use in day-to-day business, silver dollars rarely left bank vaults except when […]

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Three Cents Nickels – Three Cent Nickel 1865-1889

Three Cents Nickels – Three Cent Nickel 1865-1889

Description: The three cent coin has an unusual history. It was proposed in 1851 both as a result of the decrease in postage rates from five cents to three and to answer the need for a small-denomination, easy-to-handle coin. The first Three cent coins we composed of silver (made up of three distinct types) however […]

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5 Cent Nickels – Shield Nickel With Rays, 1866-1867

5 Cent Nickels – Shield Nickel With Rays, 1866-1867

Description: Introduced following the end of the Civil War, the eponymously named Shield “nickel” was the nation’s first five cent piece with nickel metal content. The coin was proposed at least partly in response to the public?s (and Mint Director James Pollock’s) growing dislike of fractional currency. Even though there were already more than a […]

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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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