50 Dollars, Pattern, United States, 1877

Description (Brief):

One (1) 50 dollar coin, pattern

Description (Brief)

United States, 1877

Description (Brief)

Obverse Image: Left-facing Liberty wearing a coronet. 13 stars.

Description (Brief)

Obversre Text: LIBERTY / 1877

Description (Brief)

Reverse Image: A modified heraldic eagle with a shield over chest, holding a double scroll, clutching arrows and branch. Rays and stars above eagle.

Description (Brief)


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.

Date Made: 1877

Maker: U.S. MintDesigner: Barber, William

Place Made: United States

See more items in: Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection, Coins, Numismatics, Coins, Currency and Medals, Legendary Coins

Exhibition: Value of Money

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Related Web Publication: http://americanhistory.si.edu/coins/glossary.cfm

Related Publication: Zoomable Image and Details, Glossary of Coins and Currency Terms

Credit Line: U.S. Department of the Treasury, United States Mint

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1986.0836.0059Accession Number: 1986.0836Catalog Number: 1986.0836.0059

Object Name: coinpattern coin

Physical Description: gold (overall material)Measurements: overall: .3 cm x 5.11 cm; 1/8 in x 2 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-fcf5-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_472685

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