Canceled denominations of United States currency

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The United States has several coins and banknotes which were proposed at one time but never adopted.



A three dollar bill was proposed two times during the 1860s. A design was engraved for a potential $3 United States Note, and a 1865 law called for a $3 National Bank Note, but neither proposal came to fruition.

$3 note Three Dollar United States Note proof, obverse.jpg Three Dollar United States Note proof, reverse.jpg Not to be confused with fake or privately issued obsolete notes or the three-dollar Continental currency banknotes issued during the American Revolution


There have been several United States coins which were proposed but never adopted. Most of the coins listed below, although never adopted, were produced in limited numbers as patterns.

Silver center cent
1792 Silver center cent pattern, obverse.jpg 1792 Silver center cent pattern, reverse.jpg 4.48 g24.00 mmCu (ring)
Ag (plug)
reeded1792The first and only US bi-metallic coin until the 2000 Library of Congress ten dollar coin.
Ring cent
1850 P1C One Cent, Judd-119 Original, Pollock-134, Low R.6.jpg 1850 P1C One Cent, Judd-119 Original, Pollock-134, Low R.6 rev.jpg various weights90% Cu

10% Ag α

various1850–1851, 1853 β , 1884–1885196 ring cents (originals and restrikes) are known to exist. [1] Examples exist with or without a hole.
Aluminum cent
1974Aluminumfront.jpg 1974Aluminumback.jpg 0.937 g19.05 mm96% Al
4% trace metals
Two-cent billon
1836 P2C Two Cents (Judd-52) (obv).jpg 1836 P2C Two Cents (Judd-52) (rev).jpg 3.84 g~13.00 mm90% Cu
10% Ag
Two and a half cent piece
unknownunknownunknownunknownnever mintedProposed in 1916 by US mint director Robert W. Woolley. [2]
Civil War tokens of this denomination exist.
Three-cent bronze
1863 3C Three Cents, Judd-319 Restrike, Pollock-384, R.5.jpg 1863 3C Three Cents, Judd-319 Restrike, Pollock-384, R.5 rev.jpg 10.89 g28.57 mm95% Cu
5% Zn
Ring nickel
1884 ring nickel (obverse).jpg 1884 ring nickel (reverse).jpg plain1884–1885 [3] [4]
Gold ring half dollar
1852 gold ring half dollar (obverse).jpg 1852 gold ring half dollar (reverse).jpg 1852 [5]
Gold ring dollar
1852 gold ring dollar (obverse).jpg 1852 gold ring dollar (reverse).jpg 1849, 1852 [6] [7]
Two dollar piece
unknownunknownunknownunknownnever mintedProposed but not minted. [8] Some privately struck renditions exist. [9]
1879 Flowing Hair Stella obverse.png 1879 Flowing Hair Stella reverse.png 7.00 g22 mm6.00g Au
0.30g Ag
0.70g Cu
1877 $50 Fifty Dollar pattern (Judd-1547, Pollock-1720) Obverse.jpg 1877 $50 Fifty Dollar pattern (Judd-1547, Pollock-1720) Reverse.jpg 83.58 g50.80 mm90% Au
10% Cu γ
reeded1877 Commemorative coins of this denomination were issued in 1915.

Several bullion coins are produced in this denomination.

Proposed $100 Gold Union, obverse.jpg Proposed $100 Gold Union, reverse.jpg unknownunknown90% Au
10% Cu
unknownnever mintedCanceled before any patterns could be minted (fantasy coin shown).

Some commemorative and bullion coins are minted in this denomination.


Pattern coins for the ring cent were struck in various metals, including copper, aluminum, and nickel, as well as billon.
1853 ring cents are restrikes dated 1850, although they can be distinguished from the original 1850 cents in that they use a different reverse design.
Although circulation strikes of the Half Union were to be 90% gold 10% copper, only two of the twenty known pattern coins were struck with this composition. The other 18 were struck in 100% copper, although some were later plated with gold by the mint. [10]

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Penny (United States coin) Lowest-value physical American currency

The cent, the United States one-cent coin, often called the "penny", is a unit of currency equaling one one-hundredth of a United States dollar. It has been the lowest face-value physical unit of U.S. currency since the abolition of the half-cent in 1857. The first U.S. cent was produced in 1787, and the cent has been issued primarily as a copper or copper-plated coin throughout its history.

1943 steel cent U.S. currency

1943 steel cents are U.S. one-cent coins that were struck in steel due to wartime shortages of copper. The Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints each produced these 1943 Lincoln cents. The unique composition of the coin has led to various nicknames, such as wartime cent, steel war penny, zinc cent and steelie. The 1943 steel cent features the same Victor David Brenner design for the Lincoln cent which had been in use since 1909.

Double eagle Gold $20 coin of the United States

A double eagle is a gold coin of the United States with a denomination of $20. The coins are 34 mm x 2 mm and are made from a 90% gold and 10% copper alloy and have a total weight of 1.0750 troy ounces.

Liberty Head nickel American five-cent piece

The Liberty Head nickel, sometimes referred to as the V nickel because of its reverse design, is an American five-cent piece. It was struck for circulation from 1883 until 1912, with at least five pieces being surreptitiously struck dated 1913. The obverse features a left-facing image of the goddess of Liberty.

Half dime Former United States five-cent silver coin

The half dime, or half disme, was a silver coin, valued at five cents, formerly minted in the United States.

Pattern coin Sample coin to demonstrate the design of a coin

A pattern coin is a coin which has not been approved for release, but produced to evaluate a proposed coin design. They are often off-metal strike, to proof standard or piedforts. Many coin collectors collect and study pattern coins because of their historical importance. Many of the world's most valuable coins are pattern coins; nearly 25 of the pieces listed in 100 Greatest US Coins are pattern coins.

Indian Head cent American one-cent coin (1859-1909)

The Indian Head cent, also known as an Indian Head penny, was a one-cent coin ($0.01) produced by the United States Bureau of the Mint from 1859 to 1909. It was designed by James Barton Longacre, the Chief Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint.

Large cent One-cent coin in the United States from 1793 to 1957

The United States large cent was a coin with a face value of 1/100 of a United States dollar. Its nominal diameter was 118 inch (28.57 mm). The first official mintage of the large cent was in 1793, and its production continued until 1857, when it was officially replaced by the modern-size one-cent coin.

Flying Eagle cent One-cent piece struck by the Mint of the United States

The Flying Eagle cent is a one-cent piece struck by the Mint of the United States as a pattern coin in 1856 and for circulation in 1857 and 1858. The coin was designed by Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre, with the eagle in flight based on the work of Longacre's predecessor, Christian Gobrecht.

Gold dollar U.S. one-dollar coin (1849–1889)

The gold dollar or gold one-dollar piece is a gold coin that was struck as a regular issue by the United States Bureau of the Mint from 1849 to 1889. The coin had three types over its lifetime, all designed by Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre. The Type 1 issue has the smallest diameter of any United States coin minted to date.

1974 aluminum cent Proposed American coin

The 1974 aluminum cent was a one-cent coin proposed by the United States Mint in 1973. It was composed of an alloy of aluminum and trace metals, and intended to replace the predominantly copper–zinc cent due to the rising costs of coin production in the traditional bronze alloy. Of the 1,571,167 coins struck in anticipation of release, none were released into circulation. To encourage congressional support for the new alloy, the Mint distributed several examples to US Congressmen. When the proposed aluminum cent was rejected, the Mint recalled and destroyed those coins. However, despite the recall, a few aluminum cents were not returned to the Mint, and those coins may remain at large. One example was donated to the Smithsonian Institution, while another was alleged to have been found by Albert P. Toven, a US Capitol Police Officer. A 1974-D specimen was found in January 2014 by Randall Lawrence, who said it was a retirement gift to his father, Harry Edmond Lawrence, who was Deputy Superintendent at the Denver Mint. Randall planned on selling it in a public auction, but the Mint demanded its return, saying that the coin was never authorized for release and therefore remains U.S. Government property. Lawrence ultimately surrendered the coin when the Mint showed that the aluminum cent had never been authorized to be struck in Denver, and there was no evidence that the coin had been a gift of any kind.

Half union Gold coin issued by the United States

The half union was a United States pattern coin with a face value of fifty U.S. Dollars. It is often thought of as one of the most significant and well-known patterns in the history of the U.S. Mint. The basic design, featuring Liberty on the obverse, was slightly modified from the similar $20 "Liberty Head" Double Eagle, which was designed by James B. Longacre and minted from 1849 to 1907.

Coronet large cent One-cent coin issued by the United States Mint from 1816 to 1857

The Coronet large cent was a type of large cent issued by the United States Mint at the Philadelphia Mint from 1816 until 1839.

James B. Longacre American portraitist and engraver (1794–1869)

James Barton Longacre was an American portraitist and engraver, and the fourth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1844 until his death. Longacre is best known for designing the Indian Head cent, which entered commerce in 1859, and for the designs of the Shield nickel, Flying Eagle cent and other coins of the mid-19th century.

Three-cent silver US three-cent coin (1851–1873)

The three-cent silver, also known as the three-cent piece in silver or trime, was struck by the Mint of the United States for circulation from 1851 to 1872, and as a proof coin in 1873. Designed by the Mint's chief engraver, James B. Longacre, it circulated well while other silver coinage was being hoarded and melted, but once that problem was addressed, became less used. It was abolished by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1873.

Two-cent billon

The two-cent billon was a pattern US coin struck in 1836 and initially proposed as part of the Act of January 13, 1837. Versions exist with either a reeded edge and coin orientation or a plain edge and medal orientation; however, those with the former tend to be original strikes, whereas the latter are always proof restrikes.

Ring cent

The ring cent or holey cent was a one-cent pattern coin first struck in various compositions and designs between 1850 and 1851 as part of an experiment on producing a cent with a reduced weight and diameter, as the rising price of copper had caused cents to cost more than their face value to produce. Many varieties exist, with differing designs as well as differing compositions, including billon (standard), aluminum, copper, cupronickel, nickel silver, nickel, silver, and white metal.

1942 experimental cents United States pattern coins

The 1942 experimental cents were pattern coins struck by the United States Mint to test alternative compositions for the penny.

2000 Sacagawea dollar – Washington quarter mule United States error coin

The 2000 Sacagawea dollar – Washington quarter mule is an error coin featuring the obverse of a Washington quarter and the reverse of a Sacagawea dollar struck on a gold-colored dollar coin planchet. It is one of the first known authentic mule coins to be released into circulation by the United States Mint.

Washington nickel Pattern coin struck by the United States Mint

The Washington nickel is a pattern coin that was struck by the United States Mint in 1866 and again in 1909 and 1910.


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  2. "Mint proposed 2.5-cent piece in 1916". Coin World. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
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