United States $5.00 Liberty Head Half Eagle 1839-1908
Destined to become one of America’s most enduring coinage designs, Christian Gobrecht’s Coronet Liberty Head motif grew to be as familiar as the Pillar Dollar or Athenian Owl. First appearing on the $10 gold coin in 1838, it was adapted to the $5 gold coin in 1839 and the $2.50 in 1840.
Specifications of Liberty Head Half Eagle:
Diameter: 7/8” (22.5mm) – 1839-40
Diameter: 17/20” (21.6 mm) – 1840-1908
Weight: 129 grains (8.359 grams)
Composition: 90% gold – 10% silver/copper (1839-49)
Composition: 90% gold – 10% copper (1849-1908)
Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Engravers: Christian Gobrecht (1838-44); James Longacre (1844-68); William Barber (1869-79); and Charles E. Barber (after 1879)
Mint Marks: Philadelphia (none); Carson City (CC); Charlotte (C); Dahlonega (D); Denver (D); San Francisco (S); New Orleans (O); – obverse over date (1839) reverse under eagle (after 1839)
Obverse: Liberty head is facing left wearing a coronet inscribed LIBERTY. Date (below), 13 stars (surrounding) around beaded border.
Reverse: Spread eagle holding 3 arrows in left claw and an olive branch in right. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and denomination FIVE D. around beaded border. Motto IN GOD WE TRUST (beginning in 1866) on scroll above eagle.