20th Century Type Set
INDIAN HEAD CENT, 1859-1909
Designed by James B. Longacre. At times, during the civil War, it was the only U.S. coin circulating. The first Indian cents were made of copper-nickel alloy from 1859-1864.
LINCOLN CENT-WHEAT EARS REVERSE, 1909-1958
Designed by Victor D. Brenner to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The first regular issue coin to feature an actual person rather than a personification of the goddess Liberty.
LINCOLN CENT-MEMORIAL REVERSE, 1959-PRESENT
New reverse designed by Frank Gasparro to commemorate the 1 50th Anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, showing the Lincoln Memorial constructed in Washington, D.C., in the 1920’s. This same design is shown on the back of the $5.00 bill.
LIBERTY HEAD FIVE CENTS, 1883-1913
Designed by Charles Barber, who used the Roman numeral “V,’ to signify “5”. Only five 1913 coins of this type were made by a dishonest mint employee who produced the coin himself after regular working hours.
INDIAN HEAD or “BUFFALO” FIVE CENTS, 1913-1938
Designed by James E. Fraser, an artist known for his statues of American Indians. This coin was to be the first totally American coin issued featuring totally American subjects, the American Bison and the American Indian.
JEFFERSON FIVE CENTS, 1938-PRESENT
Designed by Felix Schlag, an immigrant from Germany who wished to give something back to his adopted country. The reverse features Monticello, Jefferson’s home, for which he was the architect.
BARBER DIME, 1892-1916
Named for its designer, Charles Barber. The reverse depicts some of America’s agricultural crops, including corn, wheat, & cotton.
WINGED LIBERTY or “MERCURY” DIME, 1916-1945
Designed by Adolph A. Weinman, the wings on Miss Liberty’s cap signify Freedom of Thought, though many confuse her with the Greek god Mercury, who had wings on his feet. The design of Miss Liberty is very similar to a Roman silver coin from 200 B.C. known as a denarius.
ROOSEVELT DIMES, 1946-PRESENT
Designed by John R. Sinnock. Franklin D. Roosevelt was our first handicapped President, having to use a wheelchair due to polio. He supported the March of Dimes against polio, and after his death in office in 1945 was depicted on the dime.
BARBER QUARTER, 1892-1916
Named for its designer, Charles Barber. The reverse shows half of the Great Seal of the United States, now found on the back of the $1.00 bill.
STANDING LIBERTY QUARTER, 1916-1930
Designed by Herman A. MacNeil during the First World War, Miss Liberty holds an olive branch signifying America’s desire for peace, and a shield signifying America’s willingness to defend itself.
WASHINGTON QUARTER, 1932-PRESENT
Designed by John Flanagan as a one-year commemorative honoring the 200th Anniversary of George Washington’s birth, this coin proved to be so popular that it was retained as a regular issue.
BARBER HALF DOLLAR, 1892-1915
Similar to the Quarter. Note that there are 13 stars on both the front and back, 13 leaves on the olive branch in the eagle’s claw and 13 arrows in the cluster, to represent the 13 original colonies that revolted against England.
LIBERTY WALKING HALF DOLLAR, 1916-1947
Designed by Adolph A. Weinman. Miss Liberty, wrapped in he American flag and holding a large olive branch of peace, strides towards the sun rising over war-torn Europe. Generally regarded as one of America’s most beautiful coins.
FRANKLIN HALF DOLLAR, 1948-1963
Originally designed by John R. Sinnock for use on a cent, this coin honors the senior statesman of the American Revolution, famous for the expression “A penny saved is a penny earned.” The U.S. used English pennies before the Revolution. The famous Liberty Bell of Philadelphia is on the reverse of this coin
KENNEDY HALF DOLLAR, 1964-PRESENT
Designed by Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro to honor this popular President who was assassinated in 1963. The reverse depicts the Seal of the President of the United States, and has 13 stars above the eagle and another SO stars around it. The only Kennedy half dollars struck in 90% silver for circulation were those made in 1964.
MORGAN SILVER DOLLAR, 1878-1921
Named for its designer, George T. Morgan. Struck in large quantity using silver from the American west, these “cartwheels” circulated well into the 1960’s. For nearly 100 years silver dollars were the backing for silver certificates.
PEACE SILVER DOLLAR, 1921-1935
Designed by Anthony De Francisci as a one-year commemorative marking the end of World War I (note the word PEACE on the reverse), this design was retained as a regular issue for several years. The 1921 coins were struck in a higher relief than in following years.
EISENHOWER DOLLAR, 1971-1978
Designed by Frank Gasparro, this coin honored the President who was Supreme Commander of Allied Forces during World War II and who began the U.S. space program. The reverse design is the emblem of the Apollo II mission to the moon from 1969.
SUSAN B. ANTHONY DOLLAR, 1979-1981
Designed by Frank Gasparro, this coin honors a hero who spent her entire long life in the struggle for women’s rights. The reverse is the same as before.
LIBERTY HEAD $2.50 GOLD, 1840-1907
Designed by Christian Gobrecht. Because America’s monetary system was established on a decimal system, a “Quarter Eagle” equal to ten Quarter Dollars was struck for many years.
INDIAN HEAD $2.50 GOLD, 1908-1929
Designed by Bela L. Pratt. Unlike the Caucasian face on the Indian Head cent, said by some to resemble the designer’s daughter, this last “Quarter Eagle” depicts a realistic Native American.
LIBERTY HEAD $5.00 GOLD, 1839-1908
Designed by Christian Gobrecht in the days when people would not accept paper money, this “Half Eagle” was used longer than any U.S. coin design other than the Lincoln cent.
INDIAN HEAD $5.00 GOLD, 1908-1929
Designed by Bela L. Pratt. Like the $2.50 of this series, the design of this “Half Eagle” is recessed below the surface of the coin to protect the relatively soft gold from wear in circulation. This type of sculpture known as sunken relief was practiced by the Egyptians as early as 2400 B.C. on wall reliefs
LIBERTY HEAD $10.00 GOLD, 1838-1907
Designed by Christian Gobrecht. As part of America’s decimal monetary system, a gold “Eagle” equal to ten silver dollars circulated for many years.
INDIAN HEAD $10.00 GOLD, 1907-1933
Designed by the famous sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens, the face on this “Eagle” was originally intended to be the Greek goddess Nike until St. Gauden’s friend, President Theodore Roosevelt, suggested adding a Native American headdress.
LIBERTY HEAD $20.00 GOLD, 1849-1907
Designed by James B. Longacre. So much gold was coming out of California during the California gold rush that a larger coin was needed, and so the “Double Eagle” was created. The coin had three subtle changes on the back during its long life.
ST. GAUDENS $20.00 GOLD, 1907-1933
Designed by Augustus St. Gaudens, and widely regarded as America’s most beautiful coin. The obverse design is copied from an ancient Greek statue of Victory originally on Mount Olympus. St. Gaudens first use of this design was for the Sherman Monument outside Central Park in New York City where a winged victory leads Sherman’s force.