50 Dollars, United States, 1877

Description
Some twenty years after the private sector had abandoned the idea of a fifty-dollar gold piece in the mid-1850s, the Philadelphia Mint considered the possibility of a federal coin of this denomination. There was even talk of a "union," or hundred-dollar coin, and a drawing or two has survived to suggest what the Mint had in mind. But in the end, no such coin was ever produced.
The project went a bit farther in the case of the "half-union." Dies were prepared, the work of William Barber (father of the eventual Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber).
Barber's obverse and reverse designs look vaguely akin to Longacre's work for the double eagle. A few patterns were struck in copper and two in gold; the latter share a reverse die but each has a slightly different obverse die. The project was abandoned soon afterwards, as it became apparent that the new coin simply wasn't needed.
Object Name
coin
pattern coin
date made
1877
maker
U.S. Mint
Physical Description
gold (overall material)
Measurements
overall: .3 cm x 5.11 cm; 1/8 in x 2 in
place made
United States
ID Number
1986.0836.0059
accession number
1986.0836
catalog number
1986.0836.0059
See more items in
Armed Forces History: National Numismatic Collection
Legendary Coins
Coins
Numismatics
Coins, Currency and Medals
Exhibition
The Value of Money
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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