The Half Eagle
is a United States coin
that was produced for circulation from 1795 to 1929 and in commemorative and bullion coins since the 1980s. Composed almost entirely of gold, it has a face value of five dollars
. Its production was authorized by The Act of April 2, 1792, and it was the first gold coin minted by the United States.
The design and composition of the half eagle changed many times over the years, but it was originally designed by Robert Scot
. At this time the coin contained .9167 gold
and .0833 copper
. It had a diameter of approximately 25 mm, a weight of 8.75 grams, and a reeded edge. The obverse design, or "Turban Head", depicted a capped portrait of Liberty facing to the right. The reverse depicted a small eagle. This type was produced from 1795 to 1798. Simultaneously, another type was minted that depicted a larger heraldic eagle on the reverse with the inscription "E PLURIBUS UNUM
". This type was produced through 1807.
From 1807 to 1812, a new type designed by John Reich
was produced, the "Draped Bust", featuring a round-capped Liberty facing left on the obverse and a modified eagle on the reverse. For the first time, the value "5 D.
" was placed on the reverse of the coin to indicate its value. In 1813 a modified version of the Draped Bust was introduced, removing much of the bustline and giving Liberty an overall larger appearance. This design which would last... Read More