Half Dollar Pattern, United States, 1792

Produced by Peter Getz at a temporary mint in Philadelphia. Obverse: Bust of George Washington in uniform, date below. Reverse: Eagle, stars above. Peter Getz created the dies for these and several other pieces, basing his designs on two British copper proposals of 1791. The United States lacked a mint, and so the Getz pieces were struck in the coach house of John Harper, a metallurgical expert then resident in Philadelphia. Only a few specimens including this piece survive in silver. There are handful more in copper. The scheme for adopting this design came to naught when President Washington declined the honor of appearance on American coinage. Apparently, Washington preferred a depiction of Liberty on the national coinage rather than a portrait of himself.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
issuing authority
Getz, Peter
Getz, Peter
obverse designer
Getz, Peter
reverse designer
Getz, Peter
United States Mint
Physical Description
silver (overall metal)
0 (overall die axis)
0 (overall die axis measurement)
struck (overall production method)
overall: 35 mm; 1 3/8 in
place of issue
United States
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
catalog number
Coins, Currency and Medals
See more items in
Armed Forces History: National Numismatic Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Stack, Harvey and Lawrence
Publication title
Glossary of Coins and Currency Terms
Publication URL
Additional Media

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