50 Cents, Proof, United States, 1838

50 Cents, Proof, United States, 1838

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Description (Brief)
One (1) 50 cent coin, proof
United States, 1838
Obverse Image: Left-facing bust of Liberty wearing a cap. 13 stars along coin edge.
Obverse Text: LIBERTY / 1838 / O
Reverse Image: Eagle with wings outstretched clutching arrows and branch in talons, shield over chest.
Reverse Text: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / HALF DOL.
Description
In 1835, Congress amended American coining laws. These laws made numismatic history. Three branches of the United States Mint were established. Two were in the southern Piedmont region, at Charlotte, North Carolina and Dahlonega, Georgia. These facilities were intended for the coinage of gold.
The third branch was set up at New Orleans, Louisiana, hundreds of miles from any mining activity, but the major port of entry for gold and silver coinage shipped in from Mexico and points south. It is estimated that twenty 1838-dated half dollars were struck in proof, perhaps at the beginning of the following year. Numismatist and U.S. coin encyclopedist Walter Breen believed they were minted to test the coining capabilities of a new large press. But they also could have been intended as presentation pieces. We know of eleven survivors. We don't know what happened to the other nine.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
coin
date made
1838
mint
U.S. Mint, New Orleans
designer
Gobrecht, Christian
place of issue
United States
Physical Description
silver (overall metal)
0 (overall die axis)
0 (overall die axis measurement)
struck (overall production method)
Measurements
overall:.2 cm x 3 cm; 3/32 in x 1 3/16 in
ID Number
1985.0441.0295
catalog number
1985.0441.0295
accession number
1985.0441
Credit Line
Government Transfer: US DOTT, USM
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Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
Coins, Currency and Medals
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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