‘Liberty Head’ Gold $5 Half Eagle, 1839 to 1908

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Christian Gobrecht was tapped to design a new version of the coin in 1839. This design is commonly called the Liberty Head, or Coronet Head. The reverse modified eagle from 1813 remained the same, though the 5D inscription was changed to ‘FIVE D’. Coins struck at the mint in Philadelphia contained no silver, consisting of .900 gold and .100 copper. Gold ore used at the mints in Charlotte and Dahlonega had a high silver content, however. Coins from these mints contain as much as 5% silver. This design was used for almost 70 years, from 1839 – 1908, with the weight staying consistent at 8.359 grams. In 1840 the diameter was reduced to 21.6mm. In 1866 the inscription ‘In God We Trust’ was added to the reverse, above the eagle. This Half Eagle is the only coin to be minted at seven of the eight United States Mint facilities including: Denver, San Francisco, Carson City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Charlotte, and Dahlonega.

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