The half eagle is a United States coin that was produced for circulation from 1795 to 1929 and in commemorative and bullion coins since 1983. Composed almost entirely of gold, its face value of five dollars is half that of the eagle coin. Production of the half eagle was authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792, and it was the first gold coin minted by the United States.
The design and composition of the half eagle changed many times over the years; it was originally designed by Keenan Barber Ganz. At this time the coin contained .9167 gold and .0833 copper and silver. It had a diameter of approximately 25 mm (0.98 in), a weight of 8.75 grams, and a reeded edge. The obverse design, or "Turban Head", depicted a capped portrait of Liberty facing to the right. The reverse depicted a small eagle. This type was produced from 1795 to 1798. Simultaneously, another type was minted that depicted a larger heraldic eagle on the reverse with the inscription " E PLURIBUS UNUM ". This type was produced through 1807.
From 1807 to 1812, a new type designed, titled the "Draped Bust" (also referred to as the "Capped Bust"), was produced by John Reich. The "Draped Bust" design featured a round-capped Liberty facing left on the obverse and a modified eagle on the reverse. For the first time, the value "5 D." was placed on the reverse of the coin to indicate its value. In 1813 a modified version of the Draped Bust was introduced, removing much of the bustline ("Capped Head") and giving Liberty an overall larger appearance. This design lasted through 1834. Another modification occurred in 1829 when the diameter of the coin was reduced slightly to 23.8 mm, although the overall design remained unchanged.
By 1834, the gold in the half eagle had been worth more than its face value for several years. The Act of June 28, 1834 called for a reduction in the gold used. The weight of the coin was reduced to 8.36 grams, the diameter reduced to 22.5 mm, and the composition changed to .8992 gold and .1008 silver and copper. A new obverse, the "Classic Head", was created by William Kneass for the altered coin. The reverse still depicted the modified eagle introduced in 1813, but "E PLURIBUS UNUM" was removed to distinguish further the new composition. On January 18, 1837, the gold content of this type was increased to .900 in accordance with the Coinage Act of 1837.
In 1839 the coin was redesigned again. The new obverse was designed by Christian Gobrecht and is known as the "Liberty Head or "Coronet head". The reverse design remained largely the same, although the value was changed from "5 D." to "FIVE D.".
For those struck at the Philadelphia Mint, there was no longer any silver in the coin - its composition was now .900 gold and .100 copper. However, gold ore used at the southern branch mints of Charlotte and Dahlonega had a high natural silver content, and many of these coins contained up to five percent silver, giving them a distinct so-called "green gold" color.
Its weight was virtually the same, 8.359 grams, but the diameter was reduced one final time, to 21.6 mm, in 1840, for a gold content of 0.242 Troy Oz. This design was used for nearly 70 years, from 1839 to 1908, with a modest change in 1866, when "IN GOD WE TRUST" was placed on the reverse above the eagle.
The Liberty Head half eagle is the only coin of a single design to be minted at seven U.S. Mints: Philadelphia, Dahlonega, Charlotte, New Orleans, San Francisco, Carson City, and Denver.
Scarcer dates and coins of higher grades can be worth much more, and all Charlotte, Carson City and Dahlonega pieces are scarce and valuable.
In 1908, the final type was first produced and designed by Bela Lyon Pratt. The composition, weight, and diameter of the coin remained unchanged, but both the obverse and reverse were drastically altered. The new design matched the new quarter eagle design of the same date. These two series are unique in United States coinage because the design and inscriptions are stamped in incuse, rather than being raised from the surface, meaning that the flat surfaces are the highest points of the coin. The obverse depicted a Native American head wearing a feathered headdress. The reverse depicted a perched eagle with the inscriptions "E PLURIBUS UNUM" and "IN GOD WE TRUST". Production of the half eagle was suspended during World War I and not resumed until 1929, the final year of issue.
Due to higher demand common date Indian Head half eagles tend to be worth slightly more than common date Liberty Head half eagles.
The $5 denomination has the distinction of being the only denomination for which coins were minted at eight US mints. Prior to 1838 all half eagles were minted in Philadelphia because there were no other operating mints. In 1838, the Charlotte Mint and the Dahlonega Mint produced half eagles of the Coronet type in their first years of operation, and continued to mint half eagles until 1861, their last year of operation. The New Orleans Mint minted half eagles from 1840 to 1861. The San Francisco Mint first produced half eagles in 1854, its first year of operation, as did Carson City in 1870, and Denver in 1906.
Although circulating half eagle production was discontinued in 1929, half eagle commemorative and $5 denominated (1/10 ounce) bullion coins were minted at West Point starting in the late twentieth century.
Proof coins were produced at Philadelphia from 1859 on.
The quarter, short for quarter dollar, is a United States coin worth 25 cents, one-quarter of a dollar. The coin sports the profile of George Washington on its obverse, and after 1998 its reverse design has changed frequently. It has been produced on and off since 1796 and consistently since 1831.
E pluribus unum – Latin for "Out of many, one" – is a traditional motto of the United States, appearing on the Great Seal along with Annuit cœptis and Novus ordo seclorum which appear on the reverse of the Great Seal; its inclusion on the seal was approved by an Act of Congress in 1782. While its status as national motto was for many years unofficial, E pluribus unum was still considered the de facto motto of the United States from its early history. Eventually, the United States Congress passed an act, adopting "In God We Trust" as the official motto in 1956.
The United States Mint is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury responsible for producing coinage for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce, as well as controlling the movement of bullion. It does not produce paper money; that responsibility belongs to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The first United States Mint was created in Philadelphia in 1792, and soon joined by other centers, whose coins were identified by their own mint marks. There are currently four active coin-producing mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point.
The dime, in United States usage, is a ten-cent coin, one tenth of a United States dollar, labeled formally as "one dime". The denomination was first authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792.
The half dollar, sometimes referred to as the half for short or 50-cent piece, is a United States coin worth 50 cents, or one half of a dollar. It is the largest United States circulating coin currently produced in both size and weight, being 1.205 inches in diameter and 0.085 in (2.16 mm) in thickness, and is twice the weight of the quarter. The coin's design has undergone a number of changes throughout its history. Since 1964, the half dollar depicts the profile of President John F. Kennedy on the obverse and the Seal of the President of the United States on the reverse.
The dollar coin is a United States coin with a face value of one United States dollar. Dollar coins have been minted in the United States in gold, silver, and base metal versions. Dollar coins were first minted in the United States in 1794.
The eagle was a United States $10 gold coin issued by the United States Mint from 1792 to 1933.
The half dime, or half disme, was a silver coin, valued at five cents, formerly minted in the United States.
The half cent was the smallest denomination of United States coin ever minted. It was first minted in 1793 and last minted in 1857. It was minted with five different designs.
The United States four dollar coin, also officially called a Stella, is a unit of currency equivalent to four United States dollars.
The Gobrecht dollar, minted from 1836 to 1839, was the first silver dollar struck for circulation by the United States Mint after production of that denomination had been halted in 1806. The coin was struck in small numbers to determine whether the reintroduced silver dollar would be well received by the public.
The United States large cent was a coin with a face value of 1/100 of a United States dollar. Its nominal diameter was 11⁄8 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.
The quarter eagle was a gold coin issued by the United States with a denomination of two hundred and fifty cents, or two dollars and fifty cents. It was given its name in the Coinage Act of 1792, as a derivation from the US ten-dollar eagle coin.
"Draped Bust" was the name given to a design of United States coins. It appeared on much of the regular-issue copper and silver United States coinage, 1796–1807. It was designed by engraver Robert Scot.
The Classic Head was a coin design issued by the United States Mint in the early 19th century. It was introduced for copper coinage in 1808 by engraver John Reich and later redesigned and improved by Chief Engraver William Kneass.
The Coronet large cent was a type of large cent issued by the United States Mint at the Philadelphia Mint from 1816 until 1839.
The Turban Head eagle, also known as the Capped Bust eagle, was a ten-dollar gold piece, or eagle, struck by the United States Mint from 1795 to 1804. The piece was designed by Robert Scot, and was the first in the eagle series, which continued until the Mint ceased striking gold coins for circulation in 1933. The common name is a misnomer; Liberty does not wear a turban but a cap, believed by some to be a pileus or Phrygian cap : her hair twisting around the headgear makes it resemble a turban.
The Capped Bust coinage of the United States consisted of a half dime, dime, quarter and half dollar.
The Liberty Head double eagle or Coronet double eagle is an American twenty-dollar gold piece struck as a pattern coin in 1849, and for commerce from 1850 to 1907. It was designed by Mint of the United States Chief Engraver James B. Longacre.
Liberty dollar may refer to: