United States, Five Dollars, 1815

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United States Mint, Philadelphia. vObverse: Capped head of Liberty facing left; thirteen stars around, date below. Reverse: Eagle, motto above, denomination below. For reasons unknown, designer John Reich's earlier bust of Liberty was abandoned in favor of a crude, almost ugly head. Reich seems to have been responsible for the coins struck with the new design from 1813 to 1815. Then Robert Scot made a trite design worse by coarsening Liberty's hair and retouching her cap. Thus amended, the Reich/Scot half eagles remained in production through 1829.
Most were melted, as the gold they contained eventually became worth more than their face value. The 1815 half eagle started out rare (only 635 minted) and became rarer as the coins were melted down. Perhaps a dozen remain including this one.
Currently not on view
Date made
U.S. Mint. Philadelphia
place of issue
United States
Physical Description
gold (overall metal)
0 (overall die axis)
0 (overall die axis measurement)
struck (overall production method)
overall: dia. 25.2 mm; wt. 8.727 g
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Estate of Josiah K. Lilly
See more items in
Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
Coins, Currency and Medals
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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