1 Dollar, United States, 1794

Description
Once a new national government had been established under a new Constitution, attention naturally turned to ways of proclaiming national identity. A new, national coinage was one way of doing so, especially if it featured patriotic new images, rather than the endless sequence of crowned monarchs and coats of arms adorning the coinage of Old Europe.
A U. S Mint Act was passed in 1792, and work was quickly underway. Designs were chosen-a depiction of Liberty for obverses, an eagle, or the value within a wreath, for reverses. The first of the new coins, copper cents and half cents, appeared early the following year. By 1794, mint designers were working to create a silver dollar, the flagship of the new denominations. But they first made a trial piece, in copper.
Robert Scot created the dies for this design, a Liberty head with flowing hair for the dollar's obverse; an eagle within a simple wreath for the reverse. The new dies to be used in producing silver dollars were tested with a striking in copper. Copper would took a good impression, and would allow Scot and his associates to see whether the dies were cut deeply enough and would therefore be capable of producing the detail wanted on the final silver product.
Only one piece, this coin, was struck in copper, and it is a unique national treasure.
Object Name
coin
date made
1794
mint
U.S. Mint. Philadelphia
designer
Scot, Robert
Physical Description
copper (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 25 mm x 38 mm; 31/32 in x 1 1/2 in
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
city
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
province
United States: Pennsylvania
country
United States
political area
United States
ID Number
1987.0910.01
accession number
1987.0910
catalog number
1987.0910.0001
subject
Coins, Currency and Medals
Legendary Coins
Numismatics
Coins
See more items in
Armed Forces History: National Numismatic Collection
Legendary Coins
Coins
Numismatics
Exhibition
The Value of Money
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
depicted
Sewer, Andy; Allison, David; Liebhold, Peter; Davis, Nancy; Franz, Kathleen G.. American Enterprise: A History of Business in America
Publication title
Glossary of Coins and Currency Terms
Publication URL
http://americanhistory.si.edu/coins/glossary.cfm
Title
Copper Pattern Dollar, 1794
Credit Line
Norman & Harvey G. Stack
Additional Media

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