As one of the top coin dealers in Northeast Philadelphia, we can appreciate that the Seated Liberty coinage designs were some of the most beautiful and beloved designs that the United States has ever minted. The design was created by Christian Gobrecht. The coinage feature the Goddess of Liberty seated on the obverse and a more basic description of denomination and decorative wreath on the reverse. The minting of Seated Liberty coins took place from 1836 through 1891. This design was utilized for silver coinage including the half dime, the quarter, the dime, the half dollar, the twenty-cent piece and the dollar coin.
The Silver Dollar
The Seated Liberty silver dollar design was introduced in 1840 and was halted in 1873, a full decade and a half prior to the other denominations. This premature end to the coin was due to the Coinage Act of 1873, which temporarily stopped the minting of the silver dollar for commercial usage. This lull in silver dollars lasted a full five years until 1878 when the production of Morgan Dollar began.
The Half Dollar
The Seated Liberty half dollar was produced from 1839 through 1891, nearly the full duration of the designs lifespan. It was during this minting time frame that the authorized weight of half dollars was reduced, thus leading to the introduction of arrows on either side of the date and rays above the eagle on the reverse of the coin.
The minting of Seated Liberty quarters first began in 1838. There are a number of more scarce dates in this series of coin, especially due to some slowed production periods during the time frame of their mintage. Aside from the handful of notable exceptions, this series is not especially difficult to complete for a dedicated collector.
The Twenty Cent Piece
This is one of the most unique denominations in United States history. While the 20 cent coin was minted for only four short years, those being 1875 to 1878. The last two years of production were a limited run intended for collectors thus effectively making them quite difficult to obtain in high grades. This coin was discontinued due to frequent confusion with a quarter. Both coins were similar size and shared an obverse, meaning it was quite easy to mistake the two.
The Seated dime features some of the more desired examples of the design due to a few mint errors that took place during production. After the introduction of arrows and rays to indicate reduced weight coins it was discovered that the Carson City mint had mistakenly forgotten to add arrows to the obverse die for the 1879 dime. This is a highly sought after piece for anyone assembling a collection of Seated Liberty dimes.
The Half Dime
The Seated Liberty half dime was the last of its kind. The Coinage Act of 1873 that led to the cease in production of silver dollars also led to the halt in production of half dimes, though we did not see a return to production like with silver dollars. Some examples minted in New Orleans, as well some dates from the 1860’s are particularly desirable to collectors.
Edelman’s is a full-service coin and stamp store with the largest stock of fine quality coins in the Philadelphia area. If you are looking for coin dealer in the Philadelphia area, visit our website or contact us today.