Saturday, May 3, 2014

There was a Seated Liberty design on United States coins?

This was an actual design that the United States mint produced from 1836 through 1891.  The design was produced at the main mint in Philadelphia, as well as the branch mints in San Francisco, Carson City, and even New Orleans.

This design was put on the half dime (which later became the 5 cent piece), dime, quarter, twenty cent piece, half dollar, and even the dollar.
*picture from

Because of the fact that there were so many years and denominations, this gives you a massive assortment of coins to choose from to form a collection.  Each denomination has its rare examples (it could be a rare year, mint mark or die variety), so it might take some hunting and some saving on your part to find them.

The design itself even gives you another way to collect them.  In 1853 and 1873, weights of the each of the denominations were changed by the U.S. mint.  When they did this, they added arrows around the date.  These arrows were then removed in 1856 and 1875, so you could collect either or both styles.  A lot of the times, you will see the coin being described as being “with arrows” or “without arrows”.
*picture from (check around the date for no arrows)
*picture from (check around the date for the arrows)

This design also has some stars near the edge (this is on the same side that Miss Liberty is on).  These stars were then replaced with rays around Miss Liberty in 1860.  Like with the arrows, you will sometimes see these coins described as “with rays” or “without rays”.

“Buy the book before the coin” is a famous saying to keep in mind when you are about to embark on collecting this design.

Have you run across this design either at a flea market, antique mall, a show, or even a coin shop?

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