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Half Dimes Berkeley Heights NJ

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

Some numismatists consider the denomination to be the first coin minted by the United States Mint under theCoinage Act of 1792, with production beginning on or about July 1792. However, others consider the 1792 half disme to be nothing more than a pattern coin, or 'test piece', and this matter continues to be subject to debate.

These coins were much smaller than dimes in diameter and thickness, appearing to be "half dimes". In the 1860s, powerful nickel interests successfully lobbied for the creation of new coins, which would be made of acopper-nickel alloy; production of such coins began in 1865, and were struck in two denominations — threeand five cents (the latter introduced in 1866).

The introduction of the copper-nickel five-cent pieces made the silver coins of the same denomination redundant, and they were discontinued in 1873.

A very desirable coin, your half dime value rises depending on the date, the mint that produced the coin, and how much wear and abuse it has received.

Scarce today, these small silver coins were often lost, many more melted for their silver content, and the majority of the rest simply wore out from use.

The earliest years 1794 to 1805 are all truly rare coins, most worth over $1,000. The years that followed also have their share of valuable half dimes, notably those of the mid 1860's.

Additionally...

Having a real affect on value, is the mint that coined your half dime. Since the survival rates of the different mints varies from high to very low the difficultly in finding an example for certain years when few are available, drives the value up.

And the hardest value to judge... condition.

Often having the largest impact on these old coin values is its state of preservation.

Silver Dimes Berkeley Heights NJ

The dime 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 dime is the smallest in diameter and is the thinnest of all U.S. coins currently minted for circulation. As of 2011, the dime coin cost 5.65 cents to produce.

The Coinage Act of 1792 established the dime (spelled "disme" in the legislation), cent, and mill as subdivisions of the dollar equal to 1⁄10, 1⁄100 and 1⁄1000 dollar respectively.

The first known proposal for a decimal-based coinage system in the United States was made in 1783 by Thomas JeffersonBenjamin FranklinAlexander Hamilton, and David Rittenhouse. Hamilton, the nation's first Secretary of the Treasury, recommended the issuance of six such coins in 1791, in a report to Congress. Among the six was a silver coin, "which shall be, in weight and value, one tenth part of a silver unit or dollar".

From 1796 to 1837, dimes were composed of 89.24 percent silver and 10.76 percent copper, the value of which required the coins to be physically very small to prevent their intrinsic value being worth more than face value. Thus dimes are made small and thin. The silver percentage was increased to 90.0 percent with the introduction of the Seated Liberty dime; the use of a richer alloy was offset by reducing the diameter from 18.8 millimeters (0.740 inch) to its current figure of 17.9 millimeters (0.705 inch).

With the passage of the Coinage Act of 1965, the dime's silver content was removed. Dimes from 1965 to the present are composed of outer layers of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel, bonded to a pure copper core. Starting in 1992, the U.S. Mint began issuing Silver Proof Sets annually, which contain dimes composed of the pre-1965 standard of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. These sets are intended solely for collectors, and are not meant for general circulation.

Morgan Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The Morgan dollar was a United States dollar coin minted from 1878 to 1904, and then again in 1921. It was the first standard silver dollar minted since production of the previous design, the Seated Liberty dollar, ceased due to the passage of the Coinage Act of 1873, which also ended the free coining of silver. The coin is named for its designer,United States Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan. The obverse depicts a profile portrait representing Liberty, while the reverse depicts an eagle with wings outstretched.

The dollar was authorized by the Bland–Allison Act. Following the passage of the 1873 act, mining interests lobbied to restore free silver, which would require the Mint to accept all silver presented to it and return it, struck into coin. Instead, the Bland–Allison Act was passed, which required the Treasury to purchase between two and four million dollars worth of silver at market value to be coined into dollars each month. In 1890, the Bland–Allison Act was repealed by the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which required the Treasury to purchase 4,500,000 troy ounces (140,000 kg) of silver each month, but only required further silver dollar production for one year. This act, in turn, was repealed in 1893.

In 1898, Congress approved a bill that required all remaining bullion purchased under the Sherman Silver Purchase Act to be coined into silver dollars. When in 1904, those silver reserves were depleted, the Mint ceased to strike the Morgan dollar. The Pittman Act, passed in 1918, authorized the melting and recoining of millions of silver dollars. Pursuant to the act, Morgan dollars resumed mintage for one year in 1921. The design was replaced by the Peace dollar later the same year.

In the early 1960s, a large quantity of uncirculated Morgan dollars was found to be available from Treasury vaults, including issues once thought rare. Individuals began purchasing large quantities of the pieces at face value, and eventually the Treasury ceased exchanging silver certificates for silver coin. Beginning in the 1970s, the Treasury conducted a sale of silver dollars minted at the Carson City Mint through the General Services Administration. In 2006, Morgan's reverse design was used on a silver dollar issued to commemorate the old San Francisco Mint building.

Peace Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The Peace dollar is a United States dollar coin minted from 1921 to 1928, and again in 1934 and 1935. Designed byAnthony de Francisci, the coin was the result of a competition to find designs emblematic of peace. Its reverse depicts a Bald Eagle at rest clutching an olive branch, with the legend "Peace". It was the last United States dollar coin to be struck for circulation in silver.

With the passage of the Pittman Act in 1918, the United States Mint was required to strike millions of silver dollars, and began to do so in 1921, using the Morgan dollar design. Numismatists began to lobby the Mint to issue a coin that memorialized the peace following World War I; although they failed to get Congress to pass a bill requiring the redesign, they were able to persuade government officials to take action. The Peace dollar was approved by Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon in December 1921, completing the redesign of United States coinage that had begun in 1907.

The public believed the announced design, which included a broken sword, was illustrative of defeat, and the Mint hastily acted to remove the sword. The Peace dollar was first struck on December 28, 1921; just over a million were coined bearing a 1921 date. When the Pittman Act requirements were met in 1928, the mint ceased to strike the coins, but more were struck in 1934 and 1935 as a result of other legislation. In 1965, the mint struck over 300,000 Peace dollars bearing a 1964 date, but these were never issued, and all are believed to have been melted.

None of the Peace dollar mintages are particularly rare, and A Guide Book to United States Coins (or Redbook) lists low-grade circulated specimens for most years for little more than the coin's bullion value. Two exceptions are the first year of issue 1921 Peace dollar, minted only at the Philadelphia mint and issued in high relief, and the low-mintage 1928-P Peace dollar. The prices for the 1928-P dollar are much lower than its mintage of 360.649 would suggest, because the U.S. mint announced that limited quantities would be produced and many were saved. In contrast the 1934-S dollar was not saved in great numbers so that prices for circulated specimens are fairly inexpensive but mid-grade uncirculated specimens can cost thousands of dollars.

Silver Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

Dollar coins have been minted in the United States in goldsilver, and base metal versions. The term silver dollar is often used for any large white metal coin issued by the United States with a face value of one dollar, although purists insist that a dollar is not silver unless it contains some of that metal. Silver dollars, the first dollar coin issue, wereminted beginning in 1794. Gold dollars and gold-colored dollars have also been produced by the United States. TheSacagawea and Presidential dollars are often referred to as "golden dollars".

In modern times, dollar coins have not been very popular in the United States. Despite efforts by the government to promote their use, most Americans currently use the one dollar bill rather than dollar coins.

The gold dollar (1849–89) was a tiny coin measuring only 13 mm making it difficult to grasp and easy to lose, a serious problem when a dollar was almost a day's wage.

Dollar coins have found little popular acceptance in circulation in the United States since the early 20th century, despite several attempts since 1971 to increase usage of dollar coins. This contrasts with currencies of most otherdeveloped countries, where denominations of similar value exist only in coin. These coins have largely succeeded because of a removal (or lack) of their corresponding paper issues, whereas the United States government has taken no action to remove the one-dollar bill, due to intensive lobbying.

The lack of popular support for contemporary dollar coins may stem from a belief that they are not accepted by most vending machines, a false perception which causes some to avoid their use.

A major reason for the lack of acceptance of dollar coins is their similarity in size to a quarter. Whatever the reason, a U.S. Mint official claimed in a November 2012 meeting that most of 2.4 billion dollar coins minted in the previous five years were not in circulation.

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) has stated that discontinuing the dollar bill in favor of the dollar coin would save the U.S. government approximately $5.5 billion over thirty years primarily throughseigniorage. However, the GAO's $5.5 billion estimate is controversial, having been attacked as misrepresentation in a lawsuit alleging that the correct sum is in excess of $58 billion. The dollar coin is so unpopular with the Federal Reserve, that it contrived barriers to its distribution, according to the testimony of ex-Mint director Philip Diehl in November 2012.

Bust Half Dime Berkeley Heights NJ

The obverse of the draped bust half dime was based on a sketch by artist Gilbert Stuart, with the dies engraved by Robert Scot and John Eckstein. The primary 1796 variety bears fifteen stars representing the then number of states in the union. In 1797, fifteen and sixteen star varieties were produced - the sixteenth star representing newly admitted Tennessee - as well as a thirteen star variety after the mint realized that it could not continue to add more stars as additional states joined the union. The reverse bears an open wreath surrounding a small eagle perched on a cloud. 54,757 half dimes of this design were minted.

Following a two year hiatus, mintage of half dimes resumed in 1800. The obverse remained essentially the same as the prior version, but the reverse was revised substantially. The eagle on the reverse now had outstretched wings, heraldic style. This reverse design first appeared on gold quarter and half eagles and then dimes and dollars in the 1790s. Mintage of the series never surpassed 40,000, with none produced in 1804. No denomination or mintmark appears on the coins; all were minted in Philadelphia.

Production of half dimes resumed in 1829 based on a new design by Chief Engraver William Kneass, who is believed to have adapted an earlier John Reich design. All coins were minted at Philadelphia and display no mintmark. The high circulating mintage in the series was in 1835, when 2,760,000 were struck, and the low of 871,000 was in 1837. Both Capped Bust and Liberty Seated half dimes were minted in 1837.

Flowing Hair Half Dime Berkeley Heights NJ

The flowing hair half dime was designed by Robert Scot and this same design was also used for half dollar and dollar silver coins minted during the same period. The obverse bears a Liberty portrait similar to that appearing on the 1794 half cent and cent but without the liberty cap and pole. Mintage of the 1794 version was 7,765 while 78,660 of the 1795 version were produced.

This series may be short-lived, with just two dates, yet it serves as a lesson about how much may be learned when one explores a coin type in depth. Though half dimes were struck and released in small numbers during 1792, Robert Scot's Flowing Hair type is considered the first regular emission of this denomination. Both the 1794 and 1795 issues were struck and delivered during the latter year. The 1794 half dimes are scarcer than the 1795 pieces, but neither date is truly rare.

There are four known die marriages for 1794 and ten for 1795, as well as various die states within those varieties. The peculiarities of each variety are of interest mostly to those specializing in this series. For the type collector, however, the book Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837 by Russell J. Logan and John W. McCloskey is still quite instructive. It serves not only as a guide to which varieties are sufficiently available to provide an affordable type coin, it also reveals those varieties that typically are not well struck and in which places their weakness appears.

Some generalities regarding striking quality may be made for coins of this type, and these are addressed in The Official American Numismatic Association Grading Standards for United States Coins. It notes that, "Coins of this design are often weakly struck, particularly in the drapery lines, on the hair at left of the neck, and on the eagle's breast and feathers. File adjustment — a normal part of the manufacturing process — are occasionally seen."

Capped Bust Half Dime Berkeley Heights NJ

Production of half dimes resumed in 1829 based on a new design by Chief Engraver William Kneass, who is believed to have adapted an earlier John Reich design. All coins were minted at Philadelphia and display no mintmark. The high circulating mintage in the series was in 1835, when 2,760,000 were struck, and the low of 871,000 was in 1837. Both Capped Bust and Liberty Seated half dimes were minted in 1837.

When the Capped Bust Half Dime was introduced in 1829, all silver coins that were struck by the United States Mint featured the same basic design. The design had been introduced on the half dollars in 1807, where it saw its greatest use, but also was used on the quarter dollars starting in 1815, and dimes starting in 1828. While the design on all of these denominations varied slightly, each was based on the work by John Reich, with William Kneass modifying the designs at a later date. Because of their small size, the Capped Bust Half Dimes appear noticeably different than larger denominations.

The obverse, modified by Kneass, featured the head of Liberty, facing left. She wears a Phrygian cap inscribed LIBERTYwith long, curling hair beneath and a gown visible near the truncation, secured with a brooch. The date, slightly curved, is directly under the truncation of the bust and comes in various sizes. There are seven stars are before Liberty and six stars behind, for the traditional total of thirteen.

The reverse featured a perched eagle, with its wings spread. A shield is placed at the eagle’s breast and its talons hold an olive branch and bundle of arrows. The denomination, for the first time on these small silver coins, appears below as 5 C. The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM is on a scroll directly above the head of the eagle, and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is spread from left to right wing tip in a curved fashion.

Seated Liberty Half Dime Berkeley Heights NJ

These were the last silver half dimes produced. The design features Liberty seated on a rock and holding a shield and was first conceived in 1835 used first on the silver dollar patterns of 1836. The series is divided into several subtypes. The first was struck at Philadelphia in 1837 and New Orleans in 1838 and lacks stars on the obverse. In 1838 a semicircle of 13 stars was added around the obverse border, and this basic design was used through 1859. In 1853, small arrows were added to each side of the date to reflect a reduction in weight due to rising silver prices, and the arrows remained in place through 1855. The arrows were dropped in 1856, with the earlier design resumed through 1859. In 1860, the obverse stars were replaced with the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the reverse wreath was enlarged. This design stayed in place through the end of the series. In 1978 a unique 1870-S Seated Liberty half dime became known. The Seated Liberty half dime was produced at the Philadelphia, San Francisco and New Orleans mints in an aggregate amount of 84,828,478 coins struck for circulation. See also United States Seated Liberty coinage.

The Seated Liberty designs appeared on most regular-issue silver United States coinage during the mid- and late-nineteenth century, from 1836 through 1891. The denominations which featured the Seated Liberty design included the half dime, the dime, the quarter, the half dollar, and until 1873 the silver dollar. Another coin that appeared exclusively in the Seated Liberty design was the twenty cent piece. This coin was produced from 1875 to 1878, and was discontinued because it looked very similar to the quarter. Seated Liberty coinage was minted at the main United States Mint in Philadelphia, as well as the branch mints in New Orleans, San Francisco, and Carson City.

Barber Dime Berkeley Heights NJ

The 1894-S Barber dime is a dime produced in the United States Barber coinage. It has been compared to the 1804 silver dollar and the 1913 Liberty Head nickel. It is one of the most highly prized United States coins for collectors. One was sold in 2005 for 1.3 million dollars. Another was sold in 2007 for 1.9 million dollars. Only 24 were minted, and of those, only nine are known to survive; seven are uncirculated, while two are heavily worn. In 1957, one of the latter was found in a junk coin box at Gimbels Department Store, and purchased for $2.40.

In the first half of 1894, 24 proofs of the Barber series dimes were minted in San Francisco, which is where the S in the common name of the coin comes from. Very little is known as fact about the dimes. The superintendent of theSan Francisco Mint is said to have had them minted as gifts for some important bankers. Further, three of the dimes were said to have been given to the superintendent's daughter, who allegedly spent one on ice cream and sold the other two in the 1950s.

Due to the rarity of the coin and the mysteries surrounding its past, the 1894-S dime is one of the most valuable coins produced in the United States. In the late 1990s, one of the remaining 1894-S dimes was bought for $825,000. Since then they have sold for $1,035,000 in 2005; $1.3 million also in 2005; and $1.9 million in 2007.

Mercury Dime Berkeley Heights NJ

The Mercury dime is a ten-cent coin struck by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1945. Designed by Adolph Weinman and also referred to as the Winged Liberty Head dime, it gained its common name as the obverse depiction of a young Liberty, identifiable by her winged Phrygian cap, was confused with the Roman god Mercury. Weinman is believed to have used Elsie Stevens, the wife of lawyer and poet Wallace Stevens, as a model. The coin'sreverse depicts a fasces, symbolizing unity and strength, and an olive branch, signifying peace.

By 1916, the dime, quarter, and half dollar designed by Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber had been struck for 25 years, and could be replaced by the Treasury, of which the Mint is a part, without Congressional authorization. Mint officials were under the misapprehension that the designs had to be changed, and held a competition among three sculptors, in which Barber, who had been in his position for 36 years, also took part. Weinman's designs for the dime and half dollar were selected.

Although the new coin's design was admired for its beauty, the Mint made modifications to it upon learning that vending machine manufacturers were having difficulties making the new dime work in their devices. The coin continued to be minted until 1945, when the Treasury ordered that a new design, featuring recently deceased president Franklin Roosevelt, take its place.

The 1916-D Mercury dime, struck at the Denver Mint, is the key date of the series, with a mintage of 264,000 pieces. The low mintage is because in November 1916, von Engelken informed the three mint superintendents of a large order for quarters, and instructed that Denver strike only quarters until it was filled. Striking of dimes at Denver did not resume until well into 1917, making the 1917-D relatively rare as well.

Few varieties are known in the Mercury dime series. The 1942/41 is generally termed an overdate; it is actually a doubled-die error—the obverse die from which the coins were struck took one impression from a 1942-dated hub and one from a 1941-dated hub (until the 1990s, dies required two strikes from a hub for the design to be fully impressed). Sinnock stated that the pieces were most likely struck in late 1941, when preparation of the 1942 dies was under way. Also produced at that time, though less apparent to the naked eye, was the 1942/1-D. Another popular variety is the 1945-S "Micro S", with a smaller-than-normal mintmark. This variety was caused by the Mint's wartime use of a puncheon (used to impress mintmarks on dies and hubs) which had been made for use with early 20th century Philippine coinage struck at San Francisco, which had only a small space for the mintmark. Beginning in 1928, coin albums were issued by private publishers, mostly in folder form, which were widely used to collect the pieces. This led to a great increase in interest in collecting current coinage by date and mintmark.

Many Mercury dimes were not fully struck, meaning that design detail was lost even before the coins entered circulation. Exceptionally well-struck dimes display "full bands", that is, the horizontal bands on the fasces show full detail. In circulation, the reverse tended to more readily display wear due to a lower rim in relation to the relief of the design. Most well-circulated dimes show more wear to the reverse.

Although no 1923 or 1930 dimes were struck at Denver, specimens appearing to be 1923-D or 1930-D dimes may be encountered. These counterfeits are struck in good silver, allowing the coiner to profit on the difference between the cost of production and the face value. They did not appear until after World War II, are invariably found in worn condition, and are believed to have been struck in the Soviet Union, a country known to have counterfeited US coins during World War II.

Roosevelt Dime Berkeley Heights NJ

The Coinage Act of 1792 established the dime (spelled "disme" in the legislation), cent, and mill as subdivisions of the dollar equal to 1⁄10, 1⁄100 and 1⁄1000 dollar respectively.

The first known proposal for a decimal-based coinage system in the United States was made in 1783 by Thomas JeffersonBenjamin FranklinAlexander Hamilton, and David Rittenhouse. Hamilton, the nation's first Secretary of the Treasury, recommended the issuance of six such coins in 1791, in a report to Congress. Among the six was a silver coin, "which shall be, in weight and value, one tenth part of a silver unit or dollar".

From 1796 to 1837, dimes were composed of 89.24 percent silver and 10.76 percent copper, the value of which required the coins to be physically very small to prevent their intrinsic value being worth more than face value. Thus dimes are made small and thin. The silver percentage was increased to 90.0 percent with the introduction of the Seated Liberty dime; the use of a richer alloy was offset by reducing the diameter from 18.8 millimeters (0.740 inch) to its current figure of 17.9 millimeters (0.705 inch).

With the passage of the Coinage Act of 1965, the dime's silver content was removed. Dimes from 1965 to the present are composed of outer layers of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel, bonded to a pure copper core. Starting in 1992, the U.S. Mint began issuing Silver Proof Sets annually, which contain dimes composed of the pre-1965 standard of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. These sets are intended solely for collectors, and are not meant for general circulation

Since its introduction in 1796, the dime has been issued in six different major types, excluding the 1792 "disme". The name for each type (except for the Barber dime) indicates the design on the coin's obverse.

Silver Quarters Berkeley Heights NJ

quarter dollar, commonly shortened to quarter, is a coin worth ¼ of a United States dollar or 25 cents. The quarter has been produced since 1796. The choice of 25¢ as a denomination, as opposed to 20¢ which is more common in other parts of the world, originated with the practice of dividing Spanish Milled Dollars into eight wedge shaped segments (called "pieces of eight"). At one time "two bits", that is, two wedges, each wedge an eighth, thus a quarter of the Spanish real, was a common nickname for a quarter.

Non-clad silver quarters weigh 6.25 grams and are composed of 90% silver, 10% copper, with a total silver weight of 0.1808479 troy ounce pure silver. They were issued from 1932 through 1964.

The current rarities for the Washington Quarter silver series are:

Branch Mintmarks are D = Denver, S = San Francisco. Coins without mintmarks are all made at the main Mint in Philadelphia. This listing is for Business strikes, not Proofs

  • 1932-Davis
  • 1932-S
  • 1934 – with Doubled-Die Obverse (DDO)
  • 1935-D
  • 1936-D
  • 1937 - Die Holly (DH) (obverse)
  • 1937-S
  • 1938-S
  • 1939-S
  • 1940-D
  • 1942-D – with Doubled-Die Obverse (DDO)
  • 1943 – with Doubled-Die Obverse (DDO)
  • 1943-S – with Doubled-Die Obverse (DDO)
  • 1950-D/S Over mintmark ( coin is a 1950-D, with underlying S mintmark )
  • 1950-S/D Over mintmark ( coin is a 1950-S, with underlying D mintmark )

The 1940 Denver Mint, 1936 Denver mint and the 1935 Denver Mint coins, as well as many others in the series, are considerably more valuable than other coins. This is not due to their mintages, but rather because they are harder to find in high grades (a situation referred to as "condition rarity"). Many of these coins are worth only melt value in low grades. Other coins in the above list are expensive because of their extremely low mintages, such as the 1932 Denver and San Francisco issues. The overstruck mintmark issues are also scarce and expensive, especially in the higher grades; even so they may not have the same popularity as overdates found in pre-Washington quarter series.

The 1934 Philadelphia strike appears in two versions: one with a light motto [for "In God We Trust"], which is the same as that used on the 1932 strikings, and the other a heavy motto seen after the dies were reworked. Except in the highest grades, the difference in value between the two is minor.

The Silver Series of Washington Quarters spans from 1932 to 1964; during many years in the series it will appear that certain mints did not mint Washington Quarters for that year. No known examples of quarters were made in 1933, San Francisco abstained in 1934 and 1949, and stopped after 1955, until it resumed in 1968 by way of making proofs. Denver did not make quarters in 1938, and Philadelphia never stopped, except in 1933. Proof examples from 1936 to 1942 and 1950 to 1967 were struck at the Philadelphia Mint; in 1968 proof production was shifted to the San Francisco Mint.

The mint mark on the coin is located on the reverse beneath the wreath on which the eagle is perched, and will either carry the mint mark "D" for the Denver Mint, "S" for the San Francisco mint, or be blank if minted at the Philadelphia Mint.

Draped Bust Quarter Berkeley Heights NJ

The first quarter dollars struck in the United States were the Draped Bust Quarters. This series was produced with two distinctive reverse designs, creating two rare and important subtypes. The first of these was struck in a single year in 1796, also representing the first year for the denomination. Following a gap in production, the second reverse design was used from 1804 until the conclusion of the series in 1807. Only a limited number of coins were produced during the brief duration of the series, with both the 1796 and 1804 dates being rarities. The remaining dates of 1805, 1806, and 1807 are a bit more available, but far from common.

The Draped Bust Quarter had been introduced four years after the Mint Act of 1792 and three years after the first coins were struck under the Act. This was the result of the limited demand for the denomination within the American monetary system at the time. For everyday commerce, the quarter dollar was just a little too large, as most transactions were conducted in cents and other small denominations. Silver depositors, who requested their metal to be struck into federal coinage at the Mint, usually requested larger denominations, which were more convenient. Most transactions between banks and companies were conducted in larger denominations as well.

The first quarter dollars were designed by Robert Scot, who is also credited with the designs of other early American coins.  The silver denominations introduced in 1794 and 1795 featured the head of Liberty with flowing hair. The quarter dollars introduced in 1796 featured what was seen as an improvement to that design.  The full bust of Liberty is depicted, older in appearance and facing right. Her hair is still flowing, but closer to her neck and loosely bound by a ribbon. The portrait is surrounded by fifteen stars, representing each of the states in the Union at the time. The date, slightly curved, is near the bottom, along the rim.

The original reverse of the Draped Bust Quarter featured the same design that had been introduced on the half dollars and silver dollars of 1794. An eagle appears with wings spread, placed within a field free from other parts of the design. A wreath surrounds, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around the periphery of the coin. No denomination is given, as was the case with all other early American coins. The only possibility to make the distinction between the various denominations was through the size of the coin, and in some instances the edge.

Production of the first reverse type occurred for only a single year in 1796. Further minting of the denomination did not occur until 1804, when a different reverse design was introduced. The obverse was not altered, except for the number of stars, which was reduced to thirteen. The new reverse, designed by Robert Scot, was completely different in appearance than the original.

An eagle was still featured in the central part of the design, no longer in natural state, but rather in heraldic form. A large shield is placed in front of the eagle, with an olive branch in one claw and a bundle of arrows in the other. Thirteen stars appear above the eagle’s head, and a ribbon is held in the eagle’s beak with the inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM. A number of clouds appear above the stars, and inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and 25 C. surround the image.

Capped Bust Quarter Berkeley Heights NJ

The quarter dollar denomination, first struck in 1796, was one which had fallen out of order in the early 19th century. For everyday use, it was considered to be too large, as most business was conducted with cents and half cents. For financial transactions, banks preferred to request half dollars from the Mint, which represented the largest denomination in production during the 1810′s. The final issue of the previous quarter dollar series was struck in 1807, and the denomination was not produced again until after the conclusion of the War of 1812, which had created a great shortage of coinage in the country.

The design for the Capped Bust Quarter was created by German immigrant John Reich, who had been hired as an assistant to Robert Scot. It was Reich’s first task in 1807 to redesign circulating coinage, however the quarter would have to wait 1815 for the new design to be introduced. The obverse features a familiar bust of Liberty, facing left. She is wearing a cap, often referred to as a Phrygian or Freedom Cap, with a band inscribed with the word LIBERTY. On both sides are stars, seven left and six right, representing the original thirteen states. The date appears below, slightly curved.

The reverse features a design which would be found on circulating coins into the late 19thcentury. A bald eagle with wings spread is seen at the center, with a bundle of arrows and an olive branch in its claws. On the eagle’s breast is a large shield, with horizontal and vertical lines. A scroll is included above with the inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM. Starting closely above the eagle’s right wing is the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, which ends next to the other wing. The denomination is found below, expressed as 25 C. This represented the first time the value was indicated on the quarter dollar denomination.

The Capped Bust Quarter featuring the original design was struck from 1815 to 1828. After a hiatus in production of three years, a modified design would be introduced in 1831. The coins were smaller in diameter, with details more finely executed and smaller dentils around the edge of the coin. The most notable change was the removal of the scroll bearing the E PLURIBUS UNUM motto on the reverse of the coin. These design changes were made by William Kneass, successor to Scot as the Chief Engraver at the Mint. The design changes also coincided with the relocation of the Mint to a new building and the acquisition of improved machinery.

Without doubt, the earlier type represents the scarcer of the two, and all rarities are within that date range. Uncirculated examples of the earlier type are very scarce, while examples from the 1830's can be found with some searching.

Proof versions of the coins exist, with the first examples struck in 1820. Production of proofs was irregular, often not recorded, and they are now of the greatest rarity. Offerings are seldom and the status of some are disputed, so careful examination is recommended.

Liberty Seated Quarter Berkeley Heights NJ

The basic obverse design of the Seated Liberty coinage consisted of the figure of the goddess Liberty clad in a flowing dress and seated upon a rock. In her left hand, she holds a Liberty pole surmounted by a Phrygian cap, which had been a pre-eminent symbol of freedom during the movement of Neoclassicism (and in fact traces its roots back to Ancient Greece and Rome). Although it had fallen out of favor in Europe by 1830, Neoclassicism remained in vogue in the United States until after theAmerican Civil War. Liberty's right hand rested on the top corner of a striped shield with a diagonal banner inscribed with the word "LIBERTY." The shield represented preparedness in the defense of freedom. The date of the coin appeared on the bottom below Liberty.

The basic reverse design of Seated Liberty coins depended on the denomination. The size of half dimes and dimes necessitated a smaller array of elements. On these coins, the reverse consistently featured a wreath around the words "HALF DIME" or "ONE DIME". Before 1860, this wreath consisted oflaurel leaves, a traditional Neoclassical image, but beginning that year, the wreath was enlarged and was filled not only withleaves, but also traditional American agricultural products, such as corn and wheat. On quarter, half dollars, and silver dollar coins, the reverse featured a central eagle about to take flight, with a striped shield upon its breast. The eagle clutched an olive branch of peace in its right talons and a group of arrows in its left talons. Above the eagle around the rim were the words "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" and below the eagle around the rim lay the coin denomination. Beginning in 1866 the coins featured a ribbon with the motto "In God We Trust" above the eagle.

Barber Quarter Berkeley Heights NJ

The Barber coinage consisted of a dimequarter, and half dollar designed by United States Bureau of the Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber. They were minted between 1892 and 1916, though no half dollars were struck in the final year of the series.

By the late 1880s, there were increasing calls for the replacement of the Seated Liberty design, used since the 1830s on most denominations of silver coins. In 1891, Mint Director Edward O. Leech, having been authorized by Congress to approve coin redesigns, ordered a competition, seeking a new look for the silver coins. As only the winner would receive a cash prize, invited artists refused to participate and no entry from the general public proved suitable. Leech instructed Barber to prepare new designs for the dime, quarter, and half dollar, and after the chief engraver made changes to secure Leech's endorsement, they were approved by President Benjamin Harrison in November 1891. Striking of the new coins began the following January.

Public and artistic opinion of the new pieces was, and remains, mixed. In 1915, Mint officials began plans to replace them, after the design's minimum term expired in 1916. The Mint issued Barber dimes and quarters in 1916 to meet commercial demand, but before the end of the year, the Mercury dimeStanding Liberty quarter, and Walking Liberty half dollar had begun production. Most dates in the Barber coin series are not difficult to obtain, but the 1894 dime struck at the San Francisco Mint (1894-S), with a mintage of 24, is a great rarity.

Standing Liberty Quarter Berkeley Heights NJ

The Standing Liberty quarter was a 25-cent coin struck by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1930. It succeeded the Barber quarter, which had been minted since 1892. Featuring the goddess of Liberty on one side and an eagle in flight on the other, the coin was designed by sculptor Hermon Atkins MacNeil.

In 1915, Director of the Mint Robert W. Woolley, set in motion efforts to replace the Barber dime, quarter, and half dollar, as he mistakenly believed that the law required new designs. MacNeil submitted a militaristic design that showed Liberty on guard against attacks. The Mint required modifications to the initial design, and MacNeil's revised version included dolphins to represent the oceans. In late 1916, Mint officials made major changes to the design without consulting MacNeil. The sculptor complained about the changes after receiving the new issue in January 1917. The Mint obtained special legislation to allow MacNeil to redesign the coin as he desired. One change made by the sculptor was the addition of a chain mail vest that covered Liberty's formerly bare breast.

In circulation, the coin's date wore away quickly, and Mint engravers modified the design to address the issue in 1925. The Standing Liberty quarter was discontinued in 1931, a year in which no quarters were struck. By Congressional act the Washington quarter, featuring the first president's profile was introduced in 1932 to celebrate the bicentennial of his birth.

The Standing Liberty quarter was struck at the Philadelphia Mint from 1916 to 1930 with the exception only of 1922, when no quarters were struck at any mint. It was produced less regularly at Denver and San Francisco beginning in 1917. The mint mark "D" for Denver or "S" for San Francisco may be found at the base of the wall, just to the left of Liberty's visible foot. While the key date in the series is the 1916 with a mintage of 52,000 (it catalogs for $3,250 even in worn Good-4 condition), the 1921 issue from Philadelphia and the 1923 struck at San Francisco (1923-S) are also expensive, with costs in the hundreds of dollars even for a circulated specimen. The Standing Liberty quarter is the only 20th-century regular issue U.S. coin for which no proof coins were struck. However, a handful of specimen examples of the 1917 Type 1 issue (that is, the coins struck early in 1917 before MacNeil revised the design) exist. Breen reported six known, all with exceptionally sharp central details.

It had long been a practice at the Mint to recut unused dies at the end of the year to show the following year's date. During the 18th and 19th centuries, die cutting was difficult and expensive. As making dies became cheaper and easier, the practice mostly died out around the turn of the 20th century. However, a 1917-S Type 2 die, unused by the San Francisco Mint, was recut and used to strike several thousand 1918-S quarters. Few are known, and the coins command prices in the low thousands even in well-circulated conditions.

Washington Quarter Berkeley Heights NJ

The Washington quarter is the present quarter dollar or 25-cent piece issued by the United States Mint. The coin was first struck in 1932; the original version was designed by sculptor John Flanagan.

As the United States prepared to celebrate the 1932 bicentennial of the birth of its first president, George Washington, members of the bicentennial committee established by Congress sought a Washington half dollar. They wanted to displace for that year only the regular issue Walking Liberty half dollar; instead Congress permanently replaced theStanding Liberty quarter, requiring that a depiction of Washington appear on the obverse of the new coin. The committee had engaged sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser to design a commemorative medal, and wanted her to adapt her design for the quarter. Although Fraser's work was supported by the Commission of Fine Arts and its chairman, Charles W. Moore, Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon chose a design by Flanagan, and Mellon's successor,Ogden L. Mills, refused to disturb the decision.

The new silver quarters entered circulation on August 1, 1932; they were struck in that metal until the Mint transitioned to copper-nickel clad coinage in 1965. A special reverse commemorating the United States Bicentennial was used in 1975 and 1976, with all pieces bearing the double date 1776–1976; there are no 1975-dated quarters. Since 1999, the original eagle reverse has not been used; instead that side of the quarter has commemorated the 50 statesthe nation's other jurisdictions, and National Park Service sites—the last as part of the America the Beautiful Quartersseries, which will continue until 2021. The bust of Washington was made smaller beginning in 1999; in 2010 it was restored to bring out greater detail.

Silver Half Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

Half dollar coins have been produced nearly every year since the inception of the United States Mint in 1794. Sometimes referred to as the fifty-cent piece, the only U.S. coin that has been minted more consistently is the cent.

Half dollar coins saw heavy use, particularly in the first half of the twentieth century. For many years, they were commonly used in casinosRolls of half dollars may still be kept on hand in cardrooms for games requiring 50-centantes or bring-in bets, for dealers to pay winning naturals in blackjack, or where the house collects a rake in increments, 50-cent pieces; however, casinos gradually have phased in "coinless" slots for all denominations, taking in paper dollars, and paying winners through vouchers. Additionally, some concession vendors at sporting events distribute half dollar coins as change for convenience.

By the early 1960s, the rising price of silver was nearing the point where the bullion value of U.S. silver coins would exceed face value. In 1965, the U.S. introduced layered composition coins made of a copper core laminated between two cupro-nickel outer faces. The silver content of dimes and quarters was totally eliminated, but the Kennedy half dollar composition still contained silver (reduced from 90 to 40 percent) from 1965 to 1970.

The 1964 Kennedy halves were removed from circulation by the public for sentimental reasons. Those issued through the end of the 1960s were hoarded as the only precious metal U.S. coins remaining in production, and as the price of silver continued to rise, pre-1964 halves disappeared from circulation as well. By the time that the coin's composition was changed to match that of the clad dimes and quarters in 1971, both businesses and the public had adapted to a country in which the half dollar did not generally circulate. The quarter took over the half's role as the highest-value component of change.

Most coins enter circulation through the change drawers of businesses. Few businesses stock their change drawers with half-dollars, and many banks do not stock these coins or hand them out as normal business practice, so the coins do not see much circulation.

Most U.S. vending machines do not accept half dollars, nor do payphones, which further curtails its circulation; however, most sleight of hand magicians specializing in coin magic around the world prefer the half dollar for its size and weight, and it is the most common denomination used for U.S. commemorative coins.

In recent years, half dollars have been minted only for collectors, due to large Federal Reserve and government inventories on hand of pre-2001 pieces, this mostly due to lack of demand and large quantity returns from casino slot machines that now operate "coinless". If and when the reserve supply runs low, the mint will again fill orders for circulation half dollars. It took about 18 years (1981–1999) for the large inventory stockpile of a similar low demand circulation coin, the $1 coin, to reach reserve levels low enough to again produce circulation pieces. Modern-date half dollars can be purchased in proof sets, mint sets, rolls, and bags from the U.S. Mint, and existing inventory circulation pieces can be ordered through most US banks. All collector issues since 2001 have had much lower mintages than in previous years. Although intended only for collectors, these post-2001 half dollars sometimes find their way into circulation.

Flowing Hair Half Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The Flowing Hair Half Dollar was among the first of all silver coins to be struck at the Philadelphia Mint. The series was issued for only two years from 1794 to 1795 and survivors are scarce, particularly for the lower mintage first year of issue. The Flowing Hair design of the coin is shared by the contemporary silver dollars and half dimes, but the half dollar is considered by many to be the most affordable option to acquire an example of this historic design, which circulated in the young nation.

The coins were designed by Robert Scot. The obverse of the Flowing Hair Half Dollar features the head of Liberty, facing right. Her hair is flowing back, as if in a gentle breeze, with no ornamentation or decoration. The truncation of the neck is relatively high compared to later designs. Fifteen stars, representing the number of states in the Union at the time, appear are positioned with eight to the left and seven to the right. The word “Liberty” appears above and the date below.

The reverse of the coins carried a design that would be used on all of the silver coinage of the United States for a number of years. An American Bald Eagle is seen, perched on a cloud, with wings spread. The eagle is enclosed by a wreath, slightly open at the top and having two ribbons near the bottom. The words “United States of America” appear surrounding, starting to the left of the wreath near the bottom and ending on the opposite side.

As every die for the Flowing Hair Half Dollar was handmade, many different varieties exist. The placement of the obverse stars, date, eagle, and lettering are all taken for the purposes of identification. Alongside later half dollar designs, this type is often collected by die variety, with large premiums paid for the scarcest varieties.

Draped Bust Half Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The main objective of the early United States Mint in Philadelphia was not only to turn out an adequate supply of copper, silver, and gold coinage, but also to make them more or less similar in appearance. The design that was introduced on the various denominations in 1796 was created by Robert Scot, first Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, based on work by Gilbert Stuart. It is believed, although not proven, that the image used to design Liberty was based on a portrait of the Philadelphia woman Ann Willing Bingham. A Gilbert Stuart sketch of Bingham at age 21 is pictured below.

The obverse of the Draped Bust Half Dollar features the head of Liberty, facing right. The partially visible bust is draped, hence the name given to this design in the 19thcentury, which continues to be used today. The word LIBERTY appears above, and the date appears below. An arrangement of stars appear behind and in front of Liberty.

The half dollars issued in 1796 had either fifteen or sixteen stars. The additional star was added after Tennessee became the sixteenth state of the Union in June 1796. Interestingly, the 1797 half dollars once again featured only fifteen stars, followed by a gap in production. When the denomination resumed in 1801 only thirteen stars were used to represent the original thirteen states in the Union.

The initial reverse design for Draped Bust Half Dollars features a modified reverse based on earlier work by Scot, which had previously been used for half dimes, half dollars, and silver dollars from 1794 and 1795. An American Bald Eagle is pictured at center, encircled by a wreath with the top slightly open. The eagle is seen standing on clouds, just above a ribbon which holds together both sides of the wreath. Beneath the ribbon is the fraction “1/2″ to indicate the value of the coin. The words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surround at the rim. This is the so-called “small eagle” reverse used for coins dated 1796 and 1797.

The denomination was not produced again until 1801. During the hiatus, a new reverse design had been introduced the other silver denominations, which would be adopted for the half dollar as well. The reverse used from 1801 to 1807 is known as the “heraldic eagle” reverse. The eagle is viewed from the front with wings and claws spread. One of the eagle’s talons grasp a bundle of arrows and an olive branch, while its beak hold a ribbon with the inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM. Thirteen stars and an arch of clouds appears above the eagle. The words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA encircle the image, with the denomination indicated on the edge of the coin.

Capped Bust Half Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The designer of the Capped Bust Half Dollar was John Reich, an immigrant from Germany who came to the United States in the early 19th century. He was recommended by President Thomas Jefferson to become an assistant engraver at the United States Mint in 1801. However, he would not take the position until 1807 since Robert Scot, chief engraver and designer of most of the early United States coins, had refused an assistant. John Reich was eventually hired when the health and eye sight of Scot began to decline. One of Reich’s first tasks was to redesign circulating coinage, which all featured Scot’s designs.

The obverse of Reich’s new design features the bust of Liberty, facing left. She is wearing a cap, which is referred to as a Phrygian or Freedom Cap, a symbol of the American Revolutionary War. Liberty’s hair is curling and flowing gently downwards and a small part of her dress can be seen just below the neck. There are seven stars in front and six additional stars behind, representing the original thirteen states in the Union. The headband carries the inscription LIBERTY, and the date, slightly curved, is seen beneath the portrait.

The reverse of the Capped Bust Half Dollar would be featured in various forms on much of the silver coinage of the 19th century. It features an American Bald Eagle, with wings spread and a bundle of arrows and an olive branch in its claws. A scroll above the eagle includes the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM, and nearly fully around is UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The denomination, which is expressed as 50 C., is below the eagle. Reich was the first designer who consistently included the denomination within his designs.

In 1836 Reich’s designs were replaced by slightly modified versions prepared by Christian Gobrecht. It was also at this time when the weight, diameter, and edge of the half dollar were changed. The most noticeable  of the changes in design were the removal of the banner on the reverse including the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM and the update of the denomination to read 50 CENTS. In 1838 the denomination would be modified again, replaced with HALF DOL.

Liberty Seated Half Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The Liberty Seated Half Dollars were issued from 1839-1886 The front of these coins (also called the Obverse) has the Goddess or Lady Liberty seated. She holds what looks like a small flag in her left hand. This is actually a liberty pole. Her right hand is holding the top left corner of a shield containing the word Liberty.

If you are looking for the date on this coin it's just under her dress on the front bottom center. The mint mark can be found on the reverse above or below the bottom center of the wreath.

Many people collect seated coinage by variety. This can range from a repunched mintmark to the position of a date on the coin to a die crack at various stages. This type of collecting has been popular with Bust half dollars for well over 100 years. Seated coin collecting by variety has grown over the last 30 years with the formation of Liberty Seated Collectors Club.

In 1860 the U.S. Mint eliminated the stars on the obverse of Seated Liberty half dimes and dimes, replacing them with the legend "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," which had previously appeared around thewreath on the reverse of the coins. Before this time, half dimes and dimes minted in New Orleans and San Francisco had featured their mintmarks inside the wreaths. Afterwards, the "O" and "S" (and, later, the "CC" for Carson City) mintmarks were located below the wreath next to the rim. On quarters, half dollars, and silver dollars, the mintmarks were always placed below the eagle but above thecoin currency on the reverse.

Barber Half Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The Barber Half Dollar was produced between the years 1892 and 1915, with coins struck at the Philadelphia, Denver, New Orleans, and San Francisco Mint facilities. The series followed the long running Seated Liberty design and preceded the popular Walking Liberty halves. As such, it is often overlooked, but has much to offer.

The design was created by Charles E. Barber and features the head of Liberty on the obverse. She wears a cap and has an olive branch around with thirteen leaves and the inscription "Liberty". The motto "In God We Trust" appears above, the date below, and thirteen stars in between.

On the reverse of the coin is an image of a heraldic eagle. The eagle has its wings outstretched, a shield at its chest, and an olive branch and bundle of arrows in its talons. A ribbon in its beak includes the words "E Pluribus Unum" and thirteen stars are above. The inscriptions "United States of America" and "Half Dollar" surround.

During the series, mintage levels showed some variation, although most issues remain readily obtainable. Since the series has long been overlooked by collectors, often it can be difficult to find problem free pieces with original surfaces.

Proof coins were struck for each year of the series in relatively steady numbers. These coins remain readily available, which might be surprising given their low mintages.

Soon after issuance of the new quarters, the Mint received complaints that they would not stack properly. Barber made adjustments in his design to remedy this problem. Accordingly, there are two versions of the 1892 quarter, dubbed "Type I" and "Type II", both for the version without mint mark struck at Philadelphia and for those struck at the New Orleans Mint (1892-O) and the San Francisco Mint (1892-S). They may be distinguished by their reverses: Type I quarters have about half of the letter "E" in "UNITED" covered by the eagle's wing; with Type II quarters, the letter is almost entirely obscured. Type I quarters are rarer for each mint.

The 1894-S Barber dime is one of the great numismatic rarities, with a published mintage of 24 proof pieces. Various stories attend the question of how so few came to be coined. According to Nancy Oliver and Richard Kelly in their 2011 article for The Numismatist, the San Francisco Mint in June 1894 needed to coin $2.40 in silver left over from the melting of worn-out coins, just enough to coin 24 dimes. More ten-cent pieces were expected to be struck there later in the year, but this did not occur.  Breen, on the other hand, related that San Francisco Mint Superintendent John Daggett had the dimes struck for a group of banker friends, giving three to each. He also gave three to his young daughter Hallie, telling her to retain them until she was as old as he was, and she would be able to sell them for a good price. According to the story, she spent one on a dish of ice cream, but kept the other two until 1954. One of the approximately nine known dimes was retrieved from circulation in 1957, and Breen speculated this may have been the ice cream specimen. One sold for $1,552,500 at auction in 2007.

Walking Liberty Half Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The Walking Liberty half dollar was a silver 50-cent piece or half dollar coin issued by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1947; it was designed by Adolph A. Weinman.

In 1915, the new Mint Director, Robert W. Woolley, came to believe that he was not only allowed but required by law to replace coin designs that had been in use for 25 years. He therefore began the process of replacing the Barber coinagedimesquarters and half dollars, all bearing similar designs by long-time Mint Engraver Charles E. Barber, and first struck in 1892. Woolley had the Commission of Fine Arts conduct a competition, as a result of which Weinman was selected to design the dime and half dollar.

Weinman's design of Liberty striding towards the Sun for the half dollar proved difficult to perfect, and Treasury Secretary William G. McAdoo, whose department included the Mint, considered having Barber create his own design. Mint officials were successful in getting Weinman's design into production, although it never struck very well, which may have been a factor in its replacement by the Franklin half dollar beginning in 1948. Nevertheless, art historianCornelius Vermeule considered the piece to be among the most beautiful US coins. Since 1986, a modification of Weinman's obverse design has been used for the American Silver Eagle.

No Walking Liberty half dollar is especially rare, but many dates are scarce in Mint State condition, particularly the 1921 and 1921-D. The Mint struck proof coins in 1916–1917 and 1936–1942, all at Philadelphia. The 1916 pieces were struck in very small numbers—Breen stated that he had seen only four—and only three 1917 proof coins are confirmed, most likely struck for VIPs at a time when proof coins were not sold to the public. A number of the later proof coins lack Weinman's monogram, apparently lost through overpolishing of dies. This is most common with the 1941 proof pieces—much of the year's production lacks the monogram—but is known for other years. A total of 74,400 proof coins were struck for the series.

There are few varieties in the series, and they are relatively minor. They principally involve the mint mark: several repunchings, one overpunching of a D over an S in 1942, and some changes in size. One oddity is the 1943/1942, which is not a true overdate but was formed by a working die struck once from a 1942-dated master die, and once from one dated 1943. Some 1946 half dollars show a doubled die on the reverse.

Franklin Half Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The Franklin half dollar is a coin that was struck by the United States Mint ("Mint") from 1948 to 1963. The fifty-cent piece pictures Founding Father Benjamin Franklin on the obverse and the Liberty Bell on the reverse. A small eagle was placed to the right of the bell to fulfill the legal requirement that half dollars depict the figure of an eagle. Produced in 90 percent silver with a reeded edge, the coin was struck at the PhiladelphiaDenver, and San Francisco mints.

Mint director Nellie Tayloe Ross had long admired Franklin, and wanted him to be depicted on a coin. In 1947, she instructed the Mint's chief engraver, John R. Sinnock, to prepare designs for a Franklin half dollar. Sinnock's designs were based on his earlier work, but he died before their completion. The designs were completed by Sinnock's successor, Gilroy Roberts. The Mint submitted the new designs to the Commission of Fine Arts ("Commission") for its advisory opinion. The Commission disliked the small eagle and felt that depicting the crack in the Liberty Bell would expose the coinage to jokes and ridicule. Despite the Commission's disapproval, the Mint proceeded with Sinnock's designs.

After the coins were released in April 1948, the Mint received accusations that Sinnock's initials "JRS" on the cutoff at Franklin's shoulder were a tribute to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. No change was made, with the Mint responding that the letters were simply the artist's initials. The coin was struck regularly until 1963; beginning in 1964 it was replaced by the Kennedy half dollar, issued in honor of the assassinated President, John F. Kennedy. Though the coin is stilllegal tender, its face value is greatly exceeded by its value to collectors or as silver.

The Franklin half dollar was struck in relatively small numbers in its first years, as there was limited demand due to a glut of Walking Liberty halves. No half dollars were struck at Denver in 1955 and 1956 due to a lack of demand for additional pieces. The San Francisco Mint closed in 1955; it did not reopen until 1965. In 1957, with improved economic conditions, demand for the pieces began to rise. They were struck in much greater numbers beginning in 1962, which saw the start of the greatly increased demand for coins which would culminate in the great coin shortage of 1964. No Franklin half dollar is rare today, as even low-mintage dates were widely saved. Proof coins were struck at the Philadelphia Mint from 1950. "Cameo proofs", with frosted surfaces and mirror-like fields, were struck in small numbers and carry a premium. Just under 498 million Franklin half dollars, including proofs, were struck.

There are only 35 different dates and mintmarks in the series, making it a relatively inexpensive collecting project. A widely-known variety is the 1955 "Bugs Bunny" half. This variety was caused by a die clash between an obverse die and a reverse die. The impact of the eagle's wings on the other die caused a marking outside of Franklin's mouth which according to some resembles buck teeth. The quality of half dollars struck by the Mint decreased in the late 1950s, caused by deterioration of the master die from which working dies were made for coinage.

In an initial attempt to improve the quality of the pieces, the Mint made slight modifications to the designs, though both the old (Type I) and new (Type II) were struck in 1958 and 1959. One obvious difference between the types is the number of long tail feathers on the eagle—Type I half dollars have four tail feathers, Type II only three. Approximately 20% of the 1958 Philadelphia coinage is Type II, struck from dies which were first used to strike the 1958 proofs. About 70% of the 1959 half dollars struck at Philadelphia are Type II; all 1958-D and 1959-D half dollars are Type I. The Mint recut the master die before beginning the 1960 coinage, improving quality.

An especially well-struck Franklin half dollar is said to have full bell lines. To qualify, the seven parallel lines making up the bottom of the bell must be fully visible, and the three wisps of hair to the right of Franklin's ear on the obverse must also fully show, and not blend together. Many Franklins have been damaged by "roll friction": the tendency of pieces in a loose coin roll to rub together repeatedly, causing steel-gray abrasions, usually on Franklin's cheek and on the center of the Liberty Bell.

By mintages, the key dates in this series are the 1948, 1949-S, 1953 and 1955. Franklin half dollars have been extensively melted for their silver, and many dates are rarer than the mintage figures indicate. For example, although more than nine million 1962 halves were struck for circulation, and an additional three million in proof, the coin was more valuable as bullion than in any condition when silver prices reached record levels in 1979–1980. Today, the 1962 half in MS-65 condition sells for about $145, second only to the 1953-S in price in that grade.

Kennedy Half Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The Kennedy half dollar, first minted in 1964, is a currently struck fifty cent coin issued by the United States Mint. Intended as a memorial to the assassinated President John F. Kennedy, it was authorized by Congress just over a month after his death. Use of existing works by Mint sculptors Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro allowed dies to be prepared quickly, and striking of the new coins began in January 1964.

The coins vanished from circulation soon after their release in April 1964 due to collectors, hoarders, and those interested in a memento of the late president. Although the Mint greatly increased production, the denomination still failed to circulate. Continued rises in the price of silver increased the hoarding—many early Kennedy half dollars have been melted for their silver. Starting with 1965-dated pieces, the percentage of fine silver was reduced from 90% to 40% (silver clad), but even this change failed to restore the coin to circulation.

In 1971, silver was eliminated entirely from the coins. A special design for the reverse of the half dollar was issued for the United States Bicentennial and was struck in 1975 and 1976. In addition to business strikes, special collector coins were struck for the Bicentennial in silver clad; silver proof sets in which the dime, quarter and half dollar were struck in 90% silver were first minted in 1992. Even though ample supplies of half dollars are now available, their circulation is extremely limited. Since 2002, Kennedy half dollars have only been struck to satisfy the demand from collectors, and are available through the Mint.

With the exception of 1965 through 1967, proofs have been struck each year in the same metallic composition as regular issue pieces. The first Kennedy half dollar proofs were struck in early January 1964. Early strikes depicted Kennedy with heavily accented hair; an estimated 100,000 coins were struck with this feature. This was altered for the remainder of the mintage of nearly four million proof coins. Due to the coin shortage, the Treasury Department announced that no proof sets would be struck in 1965. Instead, Special Mint Sets would be struck to satisfy collector demand. Coins for these sets, minted at the San Francisco Assay Office, were struck with no mint marks early in 1966 with heavily polished dies dated 1965. Similar sets bearing the dates 1966 and 1967 were also struck. A few of the 1966 halves from the Special Mint Sets are known with Gasparro's initials "FG" missing from the reverse, apparently because of an overpolished die. The first year's production was sold in soft plastic packaging; the 1966 and 1967 issues were sonically sealed in hard plastic cases. In 1968, regular proof coinage was resumed, although production of proof coins was shifted to San Francisco and the "S" mintmark added.

In 1973, Congress authorized silver-clad collector versions of the Bicentennial coins; in April 1975, the Mint began to strike them. The coins were issued in both proof and uncirculated quality. Copper-nickel clad Bicentennial coins were placed in both the 1975 and 1976 proof sets, while their silver clad counterparts were sold in three coin sets. Since 1992, the Mint has struck Kennedy half dollars in 90% silver for inclusion in special silver proof sets. 1964 proofs were struck in Philadelphia, and since 1968, proof coins have been struck in San Francisco only. In 1998, some silver proof pieces were struck to a matte finish for inclusion in a set along with a Robert Kennedy commemorative silver dollar. From 2005-2010, uncirculated pieces included in mint sets received a matte finish, which differentiates them from the pieces sold in bags and rolls.

Silver Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

Dollar coins have been minted in the United States in goldsilver, and base metal versions. The term silver dollar is often used for any large white metal coin issued by the United States with a face value of one dollar, although purists insist that a dollar is not silver unless it contains some of that metal. Silver dollars, the first dollar coin issue, wereminted beginning in 1794. Gold dollars and gold-colored dollars have also been produced by the United States. The Sacagawea and Presidential dollars are often referred to as "golden dollars".

In modern times, dollar coins have not been very popular in the United States. Despite efforts by the government to promote their use, most Americans currently use the one dollar bill rather than dollar coins.

The gold dollar (1849–89) was a tiny coin measuring only 13 mm making it difficult to grasp and easy to lose, a serious problem when a dollar was almost a day's wage.

Dollar coins have found little popular acceptance in circulation in the United States since the early 20th century, despite several attempts since 1971 to increase usage of dollar coins. This contrasts with currencies of most otherdeveloped countries, where denominations of similar value exist only in coin. These coins have largely succeeded because of a removal (or lack) of their corresponding paper issues,[2] whereas the United States government has taken no action to remove the one-dollar bill, due to intensive lobbying.

The lack of popular support for contemporary dollar coins may stem from a belief that they are not accepted by most vending machines, a false perception which causes some to avoid their use.

A major reason for the lack of acceptance of dollar coins is their similarity in size to a quarter. Whatever the reason, a U.S. Mint official claimed in a November 2012 meeting that most of 2.4 billion dollar coins minted in the previous five years were not in circulation.

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) has stated that discontinuing the dollar bill in favor of the dollar coin would save the U.S. government approximately $5.5 billion over thirty years primarily throughseigniorage. However, the GAO's $5.5 billion estimate is controversial, having been attacked as misrepresentation in a lawsuit alleging that the correct sum is in excess of $58 billion. The dollar coin is so unpopular with the Federal Reserve, that it contrived barriers to its distribution, according to the testimony of ex-Mint director Philip Diehl in November 2012.

Flowing Hair Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The Flowing Hair dollar was the first dollar coin issued by the United States federal government. The coin was minted in 1794 and 1795; its size and weight were based on the Spanish dollar, which was popular in trade throughout the Americas.

In 1791, following a study by Alexander Hamilton, Congress passed a joint resolution calling for the establishment of a national mint. Later that year, in his third State of the Union address, President George Washington urged Congress to provide for a mint, which was officially authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792. Despite the authorization, silver and gold coins were not struck until 1794. The Flowing Hair dollar, designed by Robert Scot, was initially produced in 1794, and again in 1795. In October 1795 the design was replaced by the Draped Bust dollar.

In May 2005, a specimen striking from the 1794 production was sold in a private sale for $7.85 million, more than any other coin in history. On January 24, 2013, a 1794 production was sold for a new record $10 million by Stack's Bowers Galleries, including commission. Rare-coin firm Legend Numismatics was the purchaser.

Draped Bust Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The Draped Bust dollar is a United States dollar coin minted from 1795 to 1803, and again into the 1850s. The design succeeded the Flowing Hair dollar, which began mintage in 1794 and was the first silver dollar struck by the United States Mint. The designer is unknown, though the distinction is usually credited to artist Gilbert Stuart. The model is also unknown, though Ann Willing Bingham has been suggested.

In October 1795, newly appointed Mint Director Elias Boudinot ordered that the legal fineness of .892 (89.2%) silver be used for the dollar rather than the unauthorized fineness of .900 (90%) silver that had been used since the denomination was first minted in 1794. Due largely to a decrease in the amount of silver deposited at the Philadelphia Mint, coinage of silver dollars declined throughout the latter years of the 18th century. In 1804, coinage of silver dollars was halted; the last date used during regular mint production was 1803.

In 1834, silver dollar production was temporarily restarted to supply a diplomatic mission to Asia with a special set ofproof coins. Officials mistakenly believed that dollars had last been minted with the date 1804, prompting them to use that date rather than the date in which the coins were actually struck. A limited number of 1804 dollars were struck by the Mint in later years, and they remain rare and valuable.

Most coin collectors became aware of the 1804 dollar in 1842, when Jacob R. Eckfeldt (son of Adam Eckfeldt) and William E. Du Bois published a book entitled A Manual of Gold and Silver Coins of All Nations, Struck Within the Past Century. In the volume, several coins from the Mint's coin cabinet, including an 1804 dollar, were reproduced by tracing a pantograph stylus over an electrotype of the coins. In May 1843, numismatist Matthew A. Stickney was able to obtain an 1804 dollar from the Mint's coin cabinet by trading a rare pre-federal United States gold coin. Due to an increase in the demand for rare coins, Mint officials, including Director Snowden, began minting an increasing number of coin restrikes in the 1850s. Several 1804 dollars were struck, and some were sold for personal profit on the part of Mint officials. When he discovered this, Snowden bought back several of the coins. One such coin, which Snowden later added to the Mint cabinet, was struck over an 1857 shooting thaler and became known as Class II, the only such piece of that type known to exist today. Six pieces with edge lettering applied after striking became known as Class III dollars.

Seated Liberty Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The Seated Liberty dollar was a one-dollar coin struck by the United States Mint from 1840 to 1873 and designed by its chief engraver, Christian Gobrecht. It was the last silver coin of that denomination to be struck before passage of theCoinage Act of 1873, which temporarily ended production of the silver dollar for American commerce. The coin'sobverse is based on that of the Gobrecht dollar, which had been minted experimentally from 1836 to 1839. However, the soaring eagle used on the reverse of the Gobrecht dollar was not used; instead, the United States Mint (Mint) placed a heraldic eagle, based on a design by late Mint Chief Engraver John Reich first used on coins in 1807.

Seated Liberty dollars were initially struck only at the Philadelphia Mint; in 1846, production began at the New Orleans facility. In the late 1840s, the price of silver increased relative to gold because of an increase in supply of the latter caused by the California gold rush; this led to the hoarding, export, and melting of American silver coins. The Coinage Act of 1853 decreased the weight of all silver coins of five cents or higher, except for the dollar, but also required a supplemental payment from those wishing their bullion struck into dollar coins. As little silver was being presented to the Mint at the time, production remained low. In the final years of the series, there was more silver produced in the US, and mintages increased.

In 1866, "In God We Trust" was added to the dollar following its introduction to United States coinage earlier in the decade. Seated Liberty dollar production was halted by the Coinage Act of 1873, which authorized the Trade dollar for use in foreign commerce. Representatives of silver interests were unhappy when the metal's price dropped again in the mid-1870s; they advocated the resumption of the free coinage of silver into legal tender, and after the passage of the Bland-Allison Act in 1878, production resumed with the Morgan dollar.

Trade Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The trade dollar was a United States dollar coin minted to compete with other large silver coins that were already popular in East Asia. The idea first came about in the 1860s, when the price of silver began to decline due to increasedmining efforts in the western United States. A bill providing in part for the issuance of the trade dollar was eventually put before Congress, where it was approved and later signed into law as the Coinage Act of 1873. The act made trade dollars legal tender up to five dollars. A number of designs were considered for the trade dollar, and an obverse and reverse created by William Barber were selected.

The coins were first struck in 1873, and most of the production was sent to China. Eventually, bullion producers began converting large amounts of silver into trade dollars, causing the coins to make their way into American commercial channels. This caused frustration among those to whom they were given in payment, as the coins were largely maligned and traded for less than one dollar each. In response to their wide distribution in American commerce, the coins were officially demonetized in 1876, but continued to circulate. Production of business strikes ended in 1878, though the mintage of proof coins officially continued until 1883. The trade dollar was re-monetized when the Coinage Act of 1965 was signed into law.

Trade dollars were again made legal tender by the Coinage Act of 1965, which stated in part "All coins and currencies of the United States (including Federal Reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal Reserve banks and national banking associations), regardless of when coined or issued, shall be legal tender for all debts, public and private, public charges, taxes, duties and dues." However, the numismatic and bullion value of any trade dollar far exceeds its face value of one dollar. Because of its demand by collectors a large number of counterfeits exist made with base metal, and buyers should exercise caution when purchasing specimens.

Morgan Silver Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The Morgan dollar was a United States dollar coin minted from 1878 to 1904, and then again in 1921. It was the first standard silver dollar minted since production of the previous design, the Seated Liberty dollar, ceased due to the passage of the Coinage Act of 1873, which also ended the free coining of silver. The coin is named for its designer,United States Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan. The obverse depicts a profile portrait representing Liberty, while the reverse depicts an eagle with wings outstretched.

The dollar was authorized by the Bland–Allison Act. Following the passage of the 1873 act, mining interests lobbied to restore free silver, which would require the Mint to accept all silver presented to it and return it, struck into coin. Instead, the Bland–Allison Act was passed, which required the Treasury to purchase between two and four million dollars worth of silver at market value to be coined into dollars each month. In 1890, the Bland–Allison Act was repealed by the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which required the Treasury to purchase 4,500,000 troy ounces (140,000 kg) of silver each month, but only required further silver dollar production for one year. This act, in turn, was repealed in 1893.

In 1898, Congress approved a bill that required all remaining bullion purchased under the Sherman Silver Purchase Act to be coined into silver dollars. When in 1904, those silver reserves were depleted, the Mint ceased to strike the Morgan dollar. The Pittman Act, passed in 1918, authorized the melting and recoining of millions of silver dollars. Pursuant to the act, Morgan dollars resumed mintage for one year in 1921. The design was replaced by the Peace dollar later the same year.

In the early 1960s, a large quantity of uncirculated Morgan dollars was found to be available from Treasury vaults, including issues once thought rare. Individuals began purchasing large quantities of the pieces at face value, and eventually the Treasury ceased exchanging silver certificates for silver coin. Beginning in the 1970s, the Treasury conducted a sale of silver dollars minted at the Carson City Mint through the General Services Administration. In 2006, Morgan's reverse design was used on a silver dollar issued to commemorate the old San Francisco Mint building.

Peace Silver Dollar Berkeley Heights NJ

The Peace dollar is a United States dollar coin minted from 1921 to 1928, and again in 1934 and 1935. Designed byAnthony de Francisci, the coin was the result of a competition to find designs emblematic of peace. Its reverse depicts a Bald Eagle at rest clutching an olive branch, with the legend "Peace". It was the last United States dollar coin to be struck for circulation in silver.

With the passage of the Pittman Act in 1918, the United States Mint was required to strike millions of silver dollars, and began to do so in 1921, using the Morgan dollar design. Numismatists began to lobby the Mint to issue a coin that memorialized the peace following World War I; although they failed to get Congress to pass a bill requiring the redesign, they were able to persuade government officials to take action. The Peace dollar was approved by Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon in December 1921, completing the redesign of United States coinage that had begun in 1907.

The public believed the announced design, which included a broken sword, was illustrative of defeat, and the Mint hastily acted to remove the sword. The Peace dollar was first struck on December 28, 1921; just over a million were coined bearing a 1921 date. When the Pittman Act requirements were met in 1928, the mint ceased to strike the coins, but more were struck in 1934 and 1935 as a result of other legislation. In 1965, the mint struck over 300,000 Peace dollars bearing a 1964 date, but these were never issued, and all are believed to have been melted.

 

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