Five Dollar Half Eagle Gold Coin

The half eagle, or $5 coin, was the first gold coin actually struck for the United States. The $5 gold piece was authorized by the Act of April 2, 1792, and the weights and fineness for gold coins were revised with statutes during the 1830s. The occasion for new laws was the discovery of gold in North Carolina and Georgia. Prior to 1830, the scarcity of precious metals was one reason why there was less than one U.S. coin per capita in the United States. Foreign coins, paper bank notes, and privately issued tokens served as money for transactions.
The development of the newly discovered gold fields was encouraged with a law in 1834 that effectively put the United States on a gold standard. Branch mints in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Dahlonega, Georgia were established in 1838 to handle the new gold near the source. Dies were manufactured in Philadelphia and transported to the functioning branch mints in Charlotte (1838-1861) and Dahlonega (1838-1861). Both branch mints handled only gold coins.TR*317527
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
U.S. Mint, Charlotte
Physical Description
gold (overall material)
overall: 21.7 mm; 27/32 in
Place Made
United States: North Carolina, Charlotte
United States
United States: North Carolina, Charlotte
United States: North Carolina
political area
United States
ID Number
catalog number
accession 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
5 Dollar Coin, United States, 1852
Credit Line
Hauck, Frederick A.
Additional Media

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