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Encyclopedia > United States coinage
Top row: Sacagawea Dollar, Lincoln Cent, and Roosevelt Dime. Bottom row: Kennedy Half Dollar and Westward Journey Series Jefferson Nickels
Top row: Sacagawea Dollar, Lincoln Cent, and Roosevelt Dime.
Bottom row: Kennedy Half Dollar and Westward Journey Series Jefferson Nickels
2005 State Quarters: California, Minnesota, Oregon, Kansas, and West Virginia
2005 State Quarters: California, Minnesota, Oregon, Kansas, and West Virginia

United States coinage was first minted by the new republic in 1792. New coins have been produced every year since then and they make up a valuable aspect of the United States currency system. Today circulating coins exist in denominations: $0.01, $0.05, $0.10, $0.25, $0.50, and $1.00. Also minted are bullion and commemorative coins. All of these are produced by the United States Mint. The coins are then sold to Federal Reserve Banks which in turn are responsible for putting coins into circulation and withdrawing them as demanded by the country's economy. Image File history File links Summary Proof versions of current 2005 United States coinage Top row: Sacagawea dollar coin, Lincoln cent, Roosevelt dime Bottom row: Kennedy half dollar, Westard Journey Series Jefferson nickels Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert... Image File history File links Summary Proof versions of current 2005 United States coinage Top row: Sacagawea dollar coin, Lincoln cent, Roosevelt dime Bottom row: Kennedy half dollar, Westard Journey Series Jefferson nickels Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert... ImageMetadata File history File links Summary Proof versions of the 50 State Quarters Designs: California - John Muir, California Condor, Half Dome and Yosemite Valley Minnesota - State motto, Land of 10,000 lakes, people in a boat fishing, and Loon Oregon - Crater Lake Kansas - State animal and flower: Buffalo and Sunflower... ImageMetadata File history File links Summary Proof versions of the 50 State Quarters Designs: California - John Muir, California Condor, Half Dome and Yosemite Valley Minnesota - State motto, Land of 10,000 lakes, people in a boat fishing, and Loon Oregon - Crater Lake Kansas - State animal and flower: Buffalo and Sunflower... 1792 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ... The United States Mint is responsible for producing and circulating coinage for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce. ... Federal Reserve Districts The United States Federal Reserve System consists of twelve Federal Reserve Banks, each responsible for a particular district, and some with branches. ...

Contents

Current coinage

Today four mints operate in the United States producing billions of coins each year. The main mint is the Philadelphia Mint which produces circulating coinage, mint sets and some commemorative coins. The Denver Mint also produces circulating coinage, mint sets and commemoratives. The San Francisco Mint produces regular and silver proof coinage. The West Point Mint produces bullion coinage (including proofs). Philadelphia and Denver produce the dies used at all of the mints. The proof and mint sets are manufactured each year and contain examples of all of the year's circulating coins. These and the other non-circulating coins can be purchased directly from the US Mint. The Philadelphia Mint was created from the need to establish a national identity and the needs of commerce. ... The Denver Mint The Denver Mint is a branch of the United States Mint established in 1862 that is today operational and produces coins for circulation, as well as mint sets and commemorative coins. ... The San Francisco Mint is a branch of the United States Mint, and was opened in 1854 to serve the gold mines of the California Gold Rush. ... A beautiful example of a proof coin. ... The West Point Mint Facility was erected in 1937, near the U.S. Military Academy in New York State. ... A coin die is one of the two metallic pieces that are used to strike one side of a coin. ...


Circulating coins

Value Obverse Reverse Mainstream Common Reference
$0.01 Abraham Lincoln (since 1909) wheat (1909–1958)
Lincoln Memorial (1959

–present) The United States one-cent coin, commonly called a penny, is a unit of currency equaling one-hundredth of a United States dollar. ... Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865), sometimes called Abe Lincoln and nicknamed Honest Abe, the Rail Splitter, and the Great Emancipator, was an American politician who served as the 16th President of the United States (1861 to 1865), and the first president from the Republican Party. ... Year 1909 (MCMIX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... The Lincoln Wheat Ears Cent (sometimes referred to as a Wheat penny) was a United States one-cent coin produced from 1909 to 1958. ... Year 1909 (MCMIX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... The Lincoln Memorial at night. ... Year 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Yes Penny, Cent
$0.05 Thomas Jefferson (since 1938) Monticello (1938–2003)
Westward Journey Series (20042005)
Monticello (since 2006)
Yes Nickel
$0.10 Franklin D. Roosevelt (since 1946) Torch, oak branch, olive branch (since 1946) Yes Dime
$0.25 George Washington (since 1932) Bald eagle (1932–1998)
Bicentenial colonial military drummer (1976)
State Quarter Series (19992008)
Yes Quarter
$0.50 John F. Kennedy (since 1964)* Great Seal of the United States surrounded by 50 stars (since 1964) No Half dollar, 50-cent piece
$1.00* Sacagawea Bald Eagle in flight No Gold(en) dollar
$1.00** Every (deceased) president Statue of Liberty Gold(en) dollar

Note:
: Dimes and quarters from before 1965 and half-dollars from before 1971 generally don't remain in circulation due to being removed for their silver content. The half-dollar retained a lower silver content between 1965 and 1970 The United States five-cent coin, commonly called a nickel, is a unit of currency equaling one-twentieth, or five-hundredths, of a United States dollar. ... This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ... 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Thomas Jeffersons Monticello Monticello, located near Charlottesville, Virginia, was the estate of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, the third President of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The United States five-cent coin, commonly called a nickel, is a unit of currency equaling one-twentieth, or five-hundredths, of a United States dollar. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Thomas Jeffersons Monticello Monticello, located near Charlottesville, Virginia, was the estate of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, the third President of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A dime is a coin issued by the United States Mint with a denomination of one-tenth of a United States dollar, or ten cents. ... FDR redirects here. ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... Species See List of Quercus species The term oak can be used as part of the common name of any of several hundred species of trees and shrubs in the genus Quercus, and some related genera, notably Cyclobalanopsis and Lithocarpus. ... Olive branch is a colloquial term referring to a concession or a gesture of peace, as well as a peace symbol. ... The quarter is 1/4th of a United States dollar or 25 cents. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732–December 14, 1799)[1] led Americas Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and was later elected the first President of the United States. ... 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will take you to a full 1932 calendar). ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... Quarter bicentennial reverse Half dollar bicentennial reverse Dollar bicentennial reverse All quarter, half dollar and dollar coins produced by the United States Mint during the years 1975 and 1976 bore special designs on their reverse, commemorating the 200th anniversary (bicentennial) of the independence of the United States. ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... Obverse of redesigned quarter The 50 State Quarters program is the release of a series of commemorative coins by the United States Mint. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... 2008 (MMVIII) will be a leap year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Half Dollar of the United States has been produced nearly every year since the inception of the United States Mint in 1793. ... John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), also referred to as John F. Kennedy, JFK, John Kennedy or Jack Kennedy, was the 35th President of the United States. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Obverse The Great Seal of the United States is used to authenticate certain documents issued by the United States government. ... The Sacagawea dollar is the current United States dollar coin. ... Sacagawea (Sakakawea, Sacajawea, Sacajewea; see below) (c. ... The Presidential $1 Coin Program (Public Law 109-145; 119 Stat. ... The presidential seal was used by President Hayes in 1880 and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii. ... Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island Liberty Enlightening the World (French: La liberté éclairant le monde), known more commonly as the Statue of Liberty (Statue de la Liberté), is a statue given to the United States by the Paris based Union Franco-Américaine (Franco-American Union) in 1876, standing... General Name, Symbol, Number silver, Ag, 47 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 5, d Appearance lustrous white metal Atomic mass 107. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1970 calendar). ...


: In 1975 and 1976 bicentennial coinage was minted. Coins were dated 1776-1976. The quarter featured a Colonial Drummer, the half dollar Independence Hall and the dollar coin featured the Liberty Bell superimposed on the Moon. 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ... Quarter bicentennial reverse Half dollar bicentennial reverse Dollar bicentennial reverse All quarter, half dollar and dollar coins produced by the United States Mint during the years 1975 and 1976 bore special designs on their reverse, commemorating the 200th anniversary (bicentennial) of the independence of the United States. ... Exterior view of Independence Hall (circa 1770s). ... The Liberty Bell The Liberty Bell, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an American bell of great historic significance. ...


*: The Kennedy half-dollar (since 2003) and Sacagawea dollar (since 2002) are no longer being released for general circulation but are still minted for collectors and are available in uncirculated rolls, mint sets and proof sets from the United States Mint.


**:The Presidential Dollar series will feature portraits of all deceased U.S. Presidents in a rotating order based upon inauguration date. The presidential seal was used by President Hayes in 1880 and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii. ...


$1.00 Dwight D. Eisenhower (1971only minted from 1978 Bald Eagle on Moon (Apollo 11 Mission Insignia Eisenhower dollar Dollar coins have been minted in the United States in gold, silver and base metal versions. ... This page is about Dwight D. Eisenhower. ... 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1971 calendar). ... 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday. ... Binomial name Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Linnaeus, 1766) Subspecies (Linnaeus, 1766) Southern Bald Eagle Audubon, 1827) Northern Bald Eagle or Washingtons Eagle Synonyms Falco leucocephalus Linnaeus, 1766 The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), also known as the American Eagle, is a bird of prey found in North America, most recognizable as the... Adjective lunar Bulk silicate composition (estimated wt%) SiO2 44. ... Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. ...


Bullion coins

Non-circulating bullion coins have been produced each year since 1986. They can be found in silver, gold and also platinum since 1997. The face value of these coins is symbolic and does not actually reflect the value of the precious metal contained therein. A precious metal is a rare metallic element of high, durable economic value. ... General Name, Symbol, Number silver, Ag, 47 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 5, d Appearance lustrous white metal Atomic mass 107. ... General Name, Symbol, Number gold, Au, 79 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 6, d Appearance metallic yellow Atomic mass 196. ... General Name, Symbol, Number platinum, Pt, 78 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 10, 6, d Appearance grayish white Atomic mass 195. ...

Type Diameter Fineness Face Value Content
American Silver Eagle 40.6 mm 999 fine silver $1 one troy ounce (~31.1 grams)
American Gold Eagle 16.5 mm
22.0 mm
27.0 mm
32.7 mm
916 fine gold (22 karat) $5
$10
$25
$50
1/10 troy ounce (~3.11 grams)
¼ troy ounce (~7.78 grams)
½ troy ounce (~15.6 grams)
one troy ounce (~31.1 grams)
American Platinum Eagle 16.5 mm
22.0 mm
27.0 mm
32.7 mm
999.5 fine platinum $10
$25
$50
$100
1/10 troy ounce (~3.11 grams)
¼ troy ounce (~7.78 grams)
½ troy ounce (~15.56 grams)
one troy ounce (~31.1 grams)
American Buffalo 32.7 mm 999.9 fine gold (24 karat) $50 one troy ounce (~31.1 grams)

The American Silver Eagle is the official silver bullion coin of the United States. ... The American Gold Eagle is the official bullion gold coin of the United States. ... Carat is a measure of the purity of gold and platinum alloys. ... The American Platinum Eagle is the official platinum bullion coin of the United States. ... The American Buffalo is a 24 karat gold bullion coin first released by the United States Mint in June 2006. ...

Commemorative coins

Modern commemoratives have been minted since 1982. A complete list is available: Modern United States commemorative coins. Commemorative coinage of the United States consists of coins that have been minted to commemorate a particular event, person or organization. ... // Half dollars George Washington - 1982 Statue of Liberty - 1986 Congress - 1989 Mount Rushmore Golden Anniversary - 1991 XXV Olympiad - 1992 Christopher Columbus Quincentenary - 1992 Bill of Rights - 1993 World War II 50th anniversary - (1993)1991–1995 1994 World Cup tournament - 1994 Civil War battlefields - 1995 Centennial Olympic Games - 1995–1996 Capitol...

Composition of US Modern Commemorative Coins
Type Total Weight Diameter Content Weight of Precious Metal
Half Dollar 11.34 grams 30.61 mm (1.205") 92% Cu, 8% Ni (none)
Dollar 26.73 grams 38.1 mm (1.50") 90% Ag, 10% Cu 24.057 grams Silver (~ 0.84 oz)
Half Eagle 8.359 grams 21.59 mm (0.850") 90% Au, 6% Ag, 4% Cu 7.523 grams Gold (~ 0.26 oz)
Eagle 16.718 grams 26.92 mm (1.06") 90% Au, 6% Ag, 4% Cu 15.05 grams Gold (~ 0.53 oz)
First Spouse Eagle Bullion 14.175 grams 26.49 mm (1.043") 99.99% Au 14.175 grams (1/2 oz)

General Name, Symbol, Number copper, Cu, 29 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 4, d Appearance metallic pinkish red Atomic mass 63. ... General Name, Symbol, Number nickel, Ni, 28 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 10, 4, d Appearance lustrous, metallic Atomic mass 58. ... General Name, Symbol, Number silver, Ag, 47 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 5, d Appearance lustrous white metal Atomic mass 107. ... General Name, Symbol, Number gold, Au, 79 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 6, d Appearance metallic yellow Atomic mass 196. ...

Obsolete coins and denominations

  • Half cent: $0.005, copper
  • Large Cent: $0.01, copper
  • Two-cent piece: $0.02, copper
  • Three-cent piece: $0.03, silver and copper/nickel
  • Half dime: $0.05, silver
  • Twenty-cent piece: $0.20, silver
  • Silver dollar: $1.00, silver (some modern commemoratives are minted in this denomination)
  • Gold dollar: $1.00, gold
  • Quarter-eagle: $2.50, gold
  • Three-dollar piece: $3.00, gold
  • Stella: $4.00, gold (not circulated)
  • Half-eagle: $5.00, gold (some modern commemoratives are minted in this denomination)
  • Eagle: $10.00, gold (some modern commemoratives are minted in this denomination)
  • Double eagle: $20.00, gold
  • Fifty-dollar coin or "Half Union" (Commemorative only, California territorial gold, pattern piece)

Note: It is a common misconception that "eagle"-based nomenclature for gold U.S. coinage was merely slang. This is not the case. The "eagle," "half-eagle" and "quarter-eagle" were specifically given these names in the Coinage Act of 1792. Likewise, the double eagle was specifically created as such by name ("An Act to authorize the Coinage of Gold Dollars and Double Eagles", title and section 1, March 3, 1849). The half-cent coin was produced in the United States from 1793-1857. ... The United States large cent was a coin with a face value of 1/100 of a United States dollar. ... The two-cent coin was produced in the United States from 1864-1873 with decreasing mintages throughout that time. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The half dime was a silver coin, valued at five cents, formerly minted in the United States. ... The United States twenty cent coin (often called a twenty cent piece) was a unit of currency equaling 1/5th of a United States dollar. ... Dollar coins have been minted in the United States in both gold and silver versions. ... The gold dollar was a United States dollar coin produced from 1849 to 1889. ... The Quarter Eagle was authorized by the Act of April 2, 1792. ... The three-dollar piece was a United States coin produced from 1854 to 1889. ... The United States four dollar coin, also offically called a stella, is a unit of currency equaling four United States dollars. ... The 1914 Half Eagle The half eagle was a United States coin produced from 1795 to 1929. ... Eagle: retired $10 denomination of a series of gold coins A 1908 Eagle, Graded MS62 1908 Eagle Reverse The Eagle was one of four coins issued in gold by the United States Mint. ... The 1933 Double Eagle, Saint Gaudens design Double Eagle is the official term used for gold coins of the United States with a denomination of $20. ... The Coinage Act, passed by the U.S. Congress on April 2, 1792, established the U.S. Mint and regulated coinage of the United States. ... 1792 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


Some modern commemorative coins have been minted in the silver dollar, half-eagle and eagle denominations.


See also US coin sizes, showing all major US coin series and scaled images in a single chart. The United States Mint has minted over 20 different kinds of coins, of many different sizes. ...


Criticisms

Unlike many world currencies the values of US coins are not inscribed in numerals on the coin. Instead the value is written in English words presenting potential difficulties for visitors to the country who do not speak the language well or English speakers unfamiliar with the currency. Furthermore the coins' inscriptions do not follow a pattern in describing the value: "One Cent" (penny), "Five Cents" (nickel), "One Dime" (worth 10 cents), "Quarter Dollar" (worth 25 cents), and "Half Dollar" (worth 50 cents). A numeral is a symbol or group of symbols that represents a number. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


For historical reasons the size of the coins does not increase with their face value. Both the one cent and the five cent are larger than the ten cent and the less common 50 cent coin is larger than the recent Sacagawea and Susan B. Anthony dollar coins. The sizes of the dime, quarter and half dollar are holdovers from before 1965 when they were made from 90% silver and 10% copper; their sizes thus depended upon the amount of silver needed to equal the face value. The diameter of the current dollar coins was introduced in 1979 with the Susan B. Anthony dollar not only as a concession to the vending machine industry which wanted a smaller dollar coin usable in their machines but also as an increase in the amount of seignorage for the US Government (the difference between what a piece of money costs to produce and its face value or the "profit margin"). Sacagawea (Sakakawea, Sacajawea, Sacajewea; see below) (c. ... Susan B. Anthony. ... General Name, Symbol, Number silver, Ag, 47 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 5, d Appearance lustrous white metal Atomic mass 107. ... General Name, Symbol, Number copper, Cu, 29 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 4, d Appearance metallic pinkish red Atomic mass 63. ... For the Smashing Pumpkins song, see 1979 (song). ... Seigniorage, also spelled seignorage, is the net revenue derived from the issuing of currency. ...


External links

  • United States Mint
  • United States Virtual Coin Museum
  • Page of 1792 Mint and Coinage Act (Describes the first completely regulated U.S. coinage system.)
  • What have they done to our coins? - An article visually exploring recent changes to U.S. modern coin designs.
  • Complete US Coin Histories By year and type.
  • Metal detecting for collectible coins - How to find historic coins with a metal detector.

  Results from FactBites:
 
United States coinage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (703 words)
All are produced by the United States Mint, which sells them to the Federal Reserve Banks, which are responsible for putting coins into circulation and withdrawing them from circulation, as demanded by the country's economy.
Non-circulating bullion coins are also produced by the United States Mint.
Beginning in 1971 it has been struck in the same cupro-nickel clad as the dime, quarter, and new Eisenhower dollar) their sizes thus depended upon the amount of silver which cost their respective values, and this helps explain why the dime is the smallest of the coins.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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