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.

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

1794 Liberty Cap Large Cent

The Liberty Cap design fared a little better than the Chain and Wreath cents, lasting from 1793 to 1796. The 1794 Starred Reverse is a unique variety that features tiny star interspersed among the denticles on the reverse. The "Jefferson Head" varieties of 1795 were made outside of the U.S. Mint, presumably in a bid for a private coining contract. In 1795, the weight of the planchets for half cents and large cents was reduced, and edge lettering was no longer applied to either denomination. As a result, 1795 large cents are know with both lettered and plain edges, as well as an unusual reeded edge (extremely rare). In 1796, the Draped Bust type replaced the Liberty Cap design, albeit after some of the latter had been struck.

Liberty Cap Large Cent Liberty Cap Large Cent

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).

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

1805 Draped Bust Half Cent

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.

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

1812 Classic Head Large Cent

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").

1812 Classic Head Large Cent 1812 Classic Head Large Cent

1814 Capped Bust Half Dollar

In 1807 the Capped Bust obverse was introduced. Liberty now faces left, wearing a cap secured at the base with a ribbon or band inscribed LIBERTY, with tresses falling to her shoulder. Her low neckline is draped in a cloth or a gown and is secured by a brooch on her shoulder. Seven stars are to the left and six are to the right. The date is below. The reverse depicts an eagle perched on an olive branch and holding three arrows, with E PLURIBUS UNUM above on a scroll and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 50C surrounding. The edge displayed the lettering FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR.

1814 Liberty Cap Half Dollar 1814 Liberty Cap Half Dollar

1818 Coronet Head Large Cent

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".

1818 Coronet Head Large Cent 1818 Coronet Head Large Cent

1823 Capped Bust Dime

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.

1823 Liberty Cap Dime 1823 Liberty Cap Dime

1825 Classic Head Half Cent

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.

1825 Classic Head Half Cent 1825 Classic Head Half Cent

1833 Capped Bust Half Dime

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.

1833 Liberty Cap Half Dime 1833 Liberty Cap Half Dime

1845 Braided Hair Large Cent

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.

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

1847 Liberty Seated Half Dime

Type 3. The 1847 Half Dime is relatively common. However, not nearly as common as the 1841, 1842, 1844, or 1845.

1847 United States Seated Half Dime 1847 United States Seated Half Dime

1851 Liberty Seated Half Dollar

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.

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

1855 Liberty Seated Dime - arrows at date

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.

1855 United States Seated Dime 1855 United States Seated Dime

1856-1858 Flying Eagle Penny

It was very difficult for me to ID this coin as the front is very smooth and barely hints at an eagle outline. The detail of the wreath on the revrese is how I was able to confirm this as a Flying Eagle penny. It does not have the shield at the top of the wreath and, based on this info, it had to be a Flying Eagle or an 1859 Indian Head. The 1859 Indian is the only year it did not have a shield above the wreath. However, the wreath on the Flying Eagle matches this coin as it is much thicker and has a distinct top edge which has two leaf like parts pointing towards each other.

No one knows for certain why quickly changed from the Flying Eagle to the Indian Head design, but the difficulty of getting good strikes of the former may have been a factor. Collectors today will find a typical weakness on the eagle's tail feathers even on Mint State specimens and regardless of the date. Fully struck tail feathers are exceptions that often command significant premiums.

1856-1858 Flying Eagle Penny
1856-1858 Flying Eagle Penny
1856-1858 Flying Eagle Penny
1856-1858 Flying Eagle Penny

1865 Two Cents

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.

1865 United States Two Cents 1865 United States Two Cents

1869 Shield Nickel

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).

1869 Sheild Nickel 1869 Sheild Nickel

1874 Indian Head Penny

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.

1874 Indian Head Penny 1874 Indian Head Penny

1891 Liberty Nickel

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.

1891 Liberty Nickel 1891 Liberty Nickel

1893 Barber Quarter

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

1893 United States Barber Quarter 1893 United States Barber Quarter

1898 Barber Dime

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).

1898 United States Barber Dime 1898 United States Barber Dime

Member of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania and The New Jersey Historical Society.

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