Recovered Coins - United States

Below are actual photos of some of the American coins (1899 or older) that I've recovered in the United States. I have included detailed sample photos for reference if my recovered coin was in rough shape. All of these are "natural" finds. I have never participated in a seeded hunt.

1786-1788 New Jersey Copper.

On June 1, 1786, the New Jersey legislature authorized Walter Mould, Thomas Goadsby, and Albion Cox to mint three million copper coins at a weight of 150 grains each over a two-year period. They were only minted between 1786-1788 and there are almost 150 varieties of the coin.

Identification source:

1786-1788 New Jersey Copper 1786-1788 New Jersey Copper

1796-1799 Draped Bust Large Cent.

The Draped Bust large cent first appeared in mid-1796 as a replacement for the former Liberty Cap design. The new obverse was paired with three different reverses (Reverse of 1794, Reverse of 1795, and a new reverse that would continue through 1807).

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1796-1799 Draped Bust Large Cent 1796-1799 Draped Bust Large Cent

1805 Draped Bust Half Cent (mintage 814,464).

The Draped Bust design that first appeared on large cents in 1796 did not appear on half cents until 1800. The 1804 "Spiked Chin" was caused when a foreign object was impressed into the obverse die, creating a spear-like projection from Liberty's chin.

Identification source:

1805 United States Draped Bust Half Cent 1805 United States Draped Bust Half Cent

1812 Classic Head Large Cent (mintage 1,075,000).

John Reich's Classic Head design entered the large cent world in 1808 and was issued every year from 1808-1814 inclusive. All dates in this series are of relatively equal rarity, with none being particularly valuable. No large cents were struck in 1815 due to a fire at the Mint, this being the only year in which One cent pieces (of any size) were not made. In 1816, the Classic Head design was replaced with a new Liberty head design known as the "Coronet head" (or "Matron head").

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1812 Classic Head Large Cent 1812 Classic Head Large Cent

1818 Coronet Head Large Cent (mintage 3,167,000).

1816 is the first year of what is known as the Middle Dates in the large cent series, encompassing the period from 1816 to 1839. In 1840, the Coronet Head design was replaced with a new design known as the "Braided Hair".

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1818 Coronet Head Large Cent 1818 Coronet Head Large Cent

1823 Liberty Cap Dime (mintage 440,000).

This large E variety of the 1823/2 Capped Bust Dime has large letter "E"'s in the words "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" on the reverse of the coin. In 1809 the Capped Bust dime made its appearance. The design is similar to that used on early half dollars beginning in 1807. Dimes of the Capped Bust, Small Dentil type were made from 1828 thorough 1837.

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1823 Liberty Cap Dime 1823 Liberty Cap Dime

1825 Classic Head Half Cent (mintage 63,000).

Half cents of 1809 sported a new look, with a matronly bust of Liberty facing left and a modified wreath on the reverse. The new design, by John Reich, lasted until 1836, although half cents were not minted from 1812-1824, in 1827 and 1830.

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1825 Classic Head Half Cent 1825 Classic Head Half Cent

1833 Liberty Cap Half Dime (mintage 1,370,000).

Following a span of years from 1806 to 1828, when no half dimes were minted, the Capped Bust style was introduced in 1829. The design is quite similar to that used on the dime from 1809 to 1837, by John Reich, and was modified from that source by William Kneass, Mint engraver.

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1833 Liberty Cap Half Dime 1833 Liberty Cap Half Dime

1845 Braided Hair Large Cent (mintage 3,894,804).

Braided Hair large cents first appeared in 1839 (with an 1840 coin date) as a modification to the old Coronet/Matron head design. The most obvious difference between the two, besides the shape of the head, is the braiding of the hair from Liberty's ear to her forehead. No large cents were struck after 1857. They, and the half cents, simply became too expensive to produce any longer.

Identification source:

1845 United States Braided Hair Large Cent 1845 United States Braided Hair Large Cent

1851 Seated Half Dollar (mintage 200,750).

The Liberty Seated design, without motto on the reverse, was minted in the half dollar series from 1839 through 1866. The regular Liberty Seated design, which had been in use since 1839 was modified in 1866 by the addition of IN GOD WE TRUST to the reverse. The motto appears on a scroll or ribbon above the eagle.

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1850 United States Seated Half Dollar 1850 United States Seated Half Dollar

1855 Seated Liberty Dime - arrows at date (mintage 2,075,000).

Certain dimes (and half dimes) of 1853, and all those dated 1854 and 1855 have arrows at the date to signify a reduction in weight, and are considered a separate type. The dime underwent a design change in 1860 (along with half dimes). The Liberty Seated motif was retained on the obverse, but the stars were removed, and in their place, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, formerly on the reverse, was added.

Identification source:

1855 United States Seated Dime 1855 United States Seated Dime

1863 Civil War Token.

Civil War tokens were privately minted and distributed in the United States between 1861 and 1864. They were used mainly in the Northeast and Midwest. The widespread use of the tokens was a result of the scarcity of government-issued cents during the Civil War. Civil War tokens became illegal after the United States Congress passed a law on April 22, 1864 prohibiting the issue of any one or two-cent coins, tokens or devices for use as currency. On June 8, 1864 an additional law was passed that forbade all private coinage.

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1863 Civil War Token 1863 Civil War Token

1865 Two Cents (mintage 13,640,000).

The two-cent piece was produced by the Mint of the United States for circulation from 1864 to 1872 and for collectors in 1873. Designed by James B. Longacre, there were decreasing mintages each year, as other minor coins such as the nickel proved more popular. It was abolished by the Mint Act of 1873.

Identification source:

1865 United States Two Cents 1865 United States Two Cents

1869 Sheild Nickel (mintage 16,395,000).

The Act of May 16, 1866 authorized a new five cent coin made of 25% nickel and 75% copper. This created the unusual situation where two coins of the same value circulated simultaneously (the other coin being the Half Dime).

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1869 Sheild Nickel 1869 Sheild Nickel

1874 Indian Head Penny (mintage 14,187,500).

Indian Head Cents replaced the Flying Eagle Cent in 1859. The obverse depiction of a putative American Indian is actually a head of Liberty with an Indian chief's headdress. In 1860, the wreath was altered and a small shield was added to the top of the reverse. From 1859-1864, the cents were made of a mixture of copper-nickel.

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1874 Indian Head Penny 1874 Indian Head Penny

1891 Liberty Nickel (mintage 16,832,000).

In 1883, the Liberty Nickel was introduced. The earliest versions were produced without the words “Five Cents” on the reverse. Enterprising individuals took advantage of this omission by gold-plating the coins, adding reeding to the edges, and passing the coins off as a new $5 Half Eagle. The Mint quickly remedied the situation by adding “FIVE CENTS” to the reverse of the coin later in 1883.

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1891 Liberty Nickel 1891 Liberty Nickel

1893 Barber Quarter (mintage 5,444,023).

Charles E. Barber’s Liberty Head motif, commonly referred to as the “Barber” style, was used on quarter dollars from 1892 through 1916.

Identification source:

1893 United States Barber Quarter 1893 United States Barber Quarter

1898 Barber Dime (mintage 16,320,000).

In 1892, the dime, quarter and half dollar denominations were redesigned. A Liberty Head motif common to all three denominations made its appearance the same year. Known as the Barber dime (named after the designer Charles E. Barber).

Identification source:

1898 United States Barber Dime 1898 United States Barber Dime

Member of The New Jersey Historical Society and many local historical societies.

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