1 Dollar, United States, 1856

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United States Mint, Philadelphia. Obverse: Liberty with feather headdress, facing left. Reverse: Denomination and date within cereal wreath. James B. Longacre's second attempt at designing a gold dollar proved unsatisfactory. His concept had featured a head in fairly high relief, and it soon became apparent that the design did not wear well, and that high relief on one side meant an indistinct strike on the other.
So the Longacre went back to the drawing board and came up with yet a third design, copying the new head from the one he had placed on the three dollar piece two years before. This design wore much better. It was retained for the remaining years of production of gold dollars until 1889. Fewer than ten proof gold dollars are known for 1856.
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: .1 cm x 1.5 cm; 1/32 in x 19/32 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Estate of Josiah K. Lilly
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Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
Coins, Currency and Medals
Data Source
National Museum of American History