The United States large cent was a coin with a face value of 1/100 of a United States dollar. Its nominal diameter was 11⁄8 inch; the first official mintage of the large cent was in 1793, its production continued until 1857, when it was replaced by the modern-size one-cent coin. Large cents were made of nearly pure copper, or copper as pure as it emerged from smelting, without any deliberate addition of other metals. First struck in 1793, the large cent was coined every year from 1793 to 1857 except 1815; the wartime embargo against shipments made it so the mint could not get any new copper planchets, which were imported from Great Britain, to strike coins. The mint made do with what supply it had and struck coins into 1815. After the war ended in 1815, the mint wasted no time in ordering new planchets. For an unknown reason no coins were dated 1815 from the supply. In addition to the copper shortage, people hoarded precious metals during the war; the Philadelphia Mint produced all large cents.
This made the coins bulky and heavy, bigger than modern-day U. S. Quarters; the obverse featured a bust of Liberty with a reverse of a ring of chains. Henry Voigt's design was universally criticized in its time for its unattractiveness and perceived allusion to slavery, it bears the distinction, however, of being the first official coinage minted by the United States federal government on its own equipment and premises. 36,103 were minted. Its low survival rate, in addition to its small mintage, coupled with being the first regular federal issue and a one-year design and type, has created an strong demand from generations of numismatists; as a result, all surviving specimens command high prices ranging from $2,000-$3,000 in the absolute lowest state of preservation to over $500,000 in the highest. The Mint caved in to the intense ridicule in 1793, Mint Director David Rittenhouse ordered Adam Eckfeldt to revise the obverse and reverse designs. Liberty's bust was redesigned with longer, wilder hair, the chain was removed from the reverse in favor of a wreath.
Scholars are undecided as to what plant or plants are depicted in the wreath, with several varieties extant. Total mintage of the wreath reverse numbered about 63,000 pieces. Rittenhouse was dissatisfied with Eckfeldt's designs, with the criticism of the Chain cents fresh in his mind, he hired Joseph Wright to do yet another redesign in the denomination's troubled first year. Wright's design "tamed" her wild hair; the Phrygian cap was added as an ancient symbol of freedom. The reverse design was revised to a recognizable laurel wreath, future Chief Engraver Robert Scot had a hand in several minor revisions to the design over the next three years; this design was more successful and it was continued into 1796. In 1795, planchets became too thin for the edge lettering because of a weight reduction, so the mint stopped edge lettering on the cent, the rest of these coins were made with a plain edge. Four coins from 1795 are known to have a reeded edge. Robert Scot redesigned the whole of United States coinage for 1796, applying a new design featuring a bust of Liberty wearing a drapery at the neckline and a ribbon in her flowing hair.
The reverse design now featured an olive wreath. As with earlier types, several minor revisions to the design were made in the first few years, with the final 1797 design lasting through the end of the type in 1807. John Reich, assistant to Chief Engraver Scot, was appointed by new Mint Director Robert Patterson to redesign Scot's Draped Bust cent; the so-called "Classic Head" derives its name from the fillet worn by Liberty on the obverse, though the fillet was worn only by male athletes in ancient Greece. The copper used during the years in which Classic Head cents were minted was of a higher quality, containing less metallic impurity, they were softer and more prone to wear and corrode more than issues before or after. As a result, high-grade specimens are difficult to obtain and fetch strong premiums when they appear on market with original red or red-brown mint luster; as a response to public criticism of the Classic Head, the Mint assigned Chief Engraver Scot to redesign the cent in 1816.
This newest design enlarged the obverse portrait, giving Liberty a much more mature look, surrounded the portrait with stars along the outer edge of the coin. The "Matron head" design was modified in 1835 to give Liberty a younger look and matron head cents continued to be made until 1839. Facing more negative public reaction, the Coronet cents were redesigned in 1835 by new Chief Engraver Christian Gobrecht; this last major change to the coin updated the obverse by giving Liberty a slimmer, more youthful appearance. Minor tweaks continued through 1843, the 1843 design prevailed through the end of mintage in 1857; some 11 years after the large cent was discontinued, a mint employee coined several large cents dated 1868 certainly for sale as instant rarities to numismatists. Fewer than a dozen of these unofficial issues, struck in both bronze and copper-nickel, are known to survive. United States dollar Mill Complete US Large Cent information by type. Histories, mintages, diameters, metal contents, edge designs and more.
Large Cent Pictures Images of Large Cents at the American Numismatic Society
Quarter (United States coin)
The quarter, short for quarter dollar, is a United States coin worth 25 cents, one-fourth of a dollar. It has a thickness of.069 inches. The coin sports the profile of George Washington on its obverse, its reverse design has changed frequently, it has been produced on and off since 1796 and since 1831. The choice of 1⁄4 as a denomination—as opposed to the 1⁄5 more common elsewhere—originated with the practice of dividing Spanish milled dollars into eight wedge-shaped segments. "Two bits" is a common nickname for a quarter. The current clad version is two layers of cupronickel, 75% copper and 25% nickel, on a core of pure copper; the total composition of the coin is 8.33% nickel, with the remainder copper. It weighs 1/80th of a pound, 0.1823 troy oz. The diameter is 0.955 inches, the width of 0.069 inches. The coin has a 0.069-inch reeded edge. Owing to the introduction of the clad quarter in 1965, it was called a "Johnson Sandwich" after Lyndon B. Johnson, the US President at the time; as of 2011, it cost 11.14 cents to produce each coin.
The U. S. Mint began producing silver quarters again in 1992 for inclusion in the annual Silver Proof set. Early quarters were larger in diameter and thinner than the current coin; the current regular issue coin is the George Washington quarter, showing George Washington on the front. The reverse featured an eagle prior to the 1999 50 State Quarters Program; the Washington quarter was designed by John Flanagan. It was issued as a circulating commemorative, but was made a regular issue coin in 1934. In 1999, the 50 State Quarters program of circulating commemorative quarters began; these have a modified Washington obverse and a different reverse for each state, ending the former Washington quarter's production completely. On January 23, 2007, the House of Representatives passed H. R. 392 extending the state quarter program one year to 2009, to include the District of Columbia and the five inhabited US territories: Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The bill passed through the Senate and was signed into legislation by President George W. Bush as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, Pub. L. 110–161, on December 27, 2007. The typeface used in the state quarter series varies a bit from one state to another, but is derived from Albertus. On June 4, 2008, a bill titled America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008, H. R. 6184, was introduced to the House of Representatives. On December 23, 2008, President Bush signed the bill into law as Pub. L. 110–456. The America the Beautiful Quarters program will continue for 12 years. Silver quartersWright 1792 Draped Bust 1796–1807 Draped Bust, Small Eagle 1796 Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle 1804–1807 Capped Bust 1815–1838 Capped Bust, With Motto 1815–1828 Capped Bust, No Motto 1831–1838 Seated Liberty 1838–1891 Seated Liberty, No Motto 1838–1865 Seated Liberty, With Motto 1866–1891 Barber 1892–1916 Standing Liberty 1916–1930Standing Liberty 1916–1917 Standing Liberty 1917–1924 Standing Liberty 1925-1930 Washington Quarter 1932–1964, 1992–1998 Washington Bicentennial 1975–1976 Washington U.
S. Statehood Series 1999–2008 Washington District of Columbia and U. S. Territories 2009 Washington America the Beautiful Quarters 2010–2021 Copper-nickel quartersWashington Quarter 1965–1974, 1977–1998 Washington Bicentennial 1975–1976 Washington U. S. Statehood Series 1999–2008 Washington District of Columbia and U. S. Territories 2009 Washington America the Beautiful Quarters 2010–2021 Non-clad silver quarters weigh 6.25 grams and are composed of 90% silver, 10% copper, with a total silver weight of 0.1808479 troy ounce pure silver. They were issued from 1932 through 1964; the current rarities for the Washington Quarter silver series are: Branch Mintmarks are D = Denver, S = San Francisco. Coins without mintmarks are all made at the main Mint in Philadelphia; this listing is for Business strikes, not Proofs 1932-D 1932-S 1934 – with Doubled Die Obverse 1935-D 1936-D 1937 – with Doubled Die Obverse 1937-S 1938-S 1939-S 1940-D 1942-D – with Doubled Die Obverse 1943 – with Doubled Die Obverse 1943-S – with Doubled Die Obverse 1950-D/S Over mintmark 1950-S/D Over mintmark The 1940 Denver Mint, 1936 Denver mint and the 1935 Denver Mint coins, as well as many others in the series, are more valuable than other coins.
This is not due to their mintages. Many of these coins are worth only melt value in low grades. Other coins in the above list are expensive because of their low mintages, such as the 1932 Denver and San Francisco issues; the overstruck mintmark issues are scarce and expensive in the higher grades. The 1934 Philadelphia strike appears in two versions: one with a light motto, the same as that used on the 1932 strikings, the other a heavy motto seen after the dies were reworked. Except in the highest grades, the difference in value between the two is minor; the Silver Series of Was
The three-dollar piece was a gold coin produced by the United States Bureau of the Mint from 1854 to 1889. Authorized by the Act of February 21, 1853, the coin was designed by Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre; the obverse bears a representation of Lady Liberty wearing a headdress of a Native American princess and the reverse a wreath of corn, wheat and tobacco. In 1851, Congress had authorized a silver three-cent piece so that postage stamps of that value could be purchased without using the disliked copper cents. Two years a bill was passed which authorized a three-dollar coin. By some accounts, the coin was created. Longacre, in designing the piece, sought to make it as different as possible from the quarter eagle or $2.50 piece, striking it on a thinner planchet and using a distinctive design. Although over 100,000 were struck in the first year, the coin saw little use, it circulated somewhat on the West Coast, where gold and silver were used to the exclusion of paper money, but what little place it had in commerce in the East was lost in the economic disruption of the Civil War, was never regained.
The piece was last struck in 1889, Congress ended the series the following year. Although many dates were struck in small numbers, the rarest was produced at the San Francisco Mint in 1870. In 1832, New York Congressman Campbell P. White sought a means of returning American gold coins to circulation—as gold was overvalued with respect to silver by the government, gold coins had been exported since the start of the 19th century. White's solution was to have the silver dollar and gold eagle struck at full value, but to have smaller gold and silver coins, including a $3 piece, which contained less than their face value in metal. Although Congress, in passing the Coinage Act of 1834, made adjustments to the ratio between gold and silver, it did not authorize a $3 coin at that time; the Act of March 3, 1845 authorized the first United States postage stamps and set the rate for local prepaid letters at five cents. In the years following, this rate was seen as an impediment to commerce. Accordingly, Congress on March 3, 1851 authorized both a three-cent stamp and a three-cent silver coin.
Kentucky Representative Richard Henry Stanton believed that the need to make change from a silver half dime with large copper cents might defeat the new scheme, writing to Mint Director Robert M. Patterson that "reduced postage depended on a three-cent coin for use in those states where copper does not circulate." According to numismatic historian Walter Breen, "the main purpose of the new 3¢ piece would be to buy postage stamps without using the unpopular and filthy copper cents. By 1853, silver was overvalued with respect to gold; this was due to large discoveries of gold in California, silver was exported. To correct this situation, Secretary of the Treasury Thomas Corwin advocated reducing the precious-metal content of most silver coins to prevent their export; the opposition to the bill was led by Tennessee Representative Andrew Johnson, who believed that Congress had no authority to alter the gold/silver price ratio and, if it did, it should not exercise it. Congress passed the bill, which became law on February 21, 1853.
That bill authorized a three-dollar gold coin. According to Breen, Congress believed the new coin "would be convenient for exchange for rolls or small bags of silver 3¢ pieces, for buying sheets of 3¢ stamps—always bypassing use of copper cents". In 1889, then-Mint Director James P. Kimball wrote that "it is supposed that the three-dollar piece was designed to be a multiple of the three-cent piece, for the convenience of postal transactions". Numismatist Walter Hagans in his 2003 article on the three-dollar coin notes and dismisses the postal explanation, writing "the actual reason for the gold $3 coin was the abundant supply of gold discovered in California." Coin dealer and author Q. David Bowers notes that "whether or not the $3 denomination was necessary or worthwhile has been a matter of debate among numismatists for well over a century." Much of what is known of the design process for the three-dollar piece is from an August 21, 1858, letter from the Mint's chief engraver, James B. Longacre, the coin's designer, to James Ross Snowden.
This letter is in response to some criticism, in it, Longacre discussed his views on coin design regarding the three-dollar piece. He noted that he was perplexed as to what to put on the coin. Although he had designed the three-cent piece and other issues before Snowden's directorship, he had been told what to put on those pieces; the coin weighed 64.5 grams, had a fineness of 900. Longacre noted that although those in charge of coinage design had dictated adaptations of Roman or Greek art, for the three-dollar coin, he was minded to create something American: Why should we in seeking a type for the illustration or symbol of a nation that need not hold itself lower than the Roman virtue or the Science of Greece prefer the barbaric period of a remote and distant people, from which to draw an emblem of nationality: to the aboriginal period of our own land: when the latter presents us with a characteristic distinction not less interesting, more peculiar than that which still casts its chain over the civilized portion of the older continent?
Why not be American from the spring-head within our own domain?... From the coppe
The copper-nickel three-cent piece called a three-cent nickel piece or three-cent nickel, was designed by US Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre and struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint from 1865 to 1889, it was popular, but its place in commerce was supplanted by the five-cent piece, or nickel. With precious metal federal coinage hoarded during the economic turmoil of the American Civil War, including the silver three-cent piece, the copper-nickel cent commanding a premium, Congress issued paper money in denominations as small as three cents to replace the hoarded coins in commerce; these small slips of paper became ragged and dirty, the public came to hate "shinplasters". After the issuance in 1864 of a lighter bronze cent and a two-cent piece of that metal, both of which circulated there were proposals for a three-cent piece in copper-nickel to replace the three-cent note; the advocates were led by Pennsylvania industrialist Joseph Wharton, who controlled the domestic supply of nickel ore.
On the last legislative day of the congressional session, March 3, 1865, a bill for a three-cent piece in copper-nickel alloy was introduced in Congress, passed both houses without debate, was signed by President Abraham Lincoln. The three-cent nickel piece circulated well, but became less popular when the five-cent nickel was introduced in 1866, a larger, more convenient coin, with a value of five cents better fitting the decimal system. After 1870, most years saw low annual mintages for the three-cent nickel, in 1890 Congress abolished it; the last were struck in 1889. The issue is not collected, prices for rare dates remain low by the standards of American collectible coinage; the great influx of bullion from the California Gold Rush and other finds caused the price of silver relative to gold to increase starting in 1848, silver coins were hoarded or exported for melting. In 1851, a bill for a three-cent piece in 75% silver and 25% copper was introduced in Congress by New York Senator Daniel S. Dickinson, who wanted to lower postage rates from five to three cents.
This percentage of silver was less than the normal 90% so that the coins would circulate at a time of hoarding. The copper large cent did not circulate in the Pacific Coast region or South due to prejudice against coins that did not contain precious metal, some means of allowing the purchase of a postage stamp without the use of copper cents was necessary. Dickinson's bill passed on March 3, 1851, in addition to authorizing the new three-cent silver, lowered rates for most domestic mails. By 1854, the imbalance had abated, Congress increased the silver content of the three-cent piece to the standard 90% for silver coins, though its weight was reduced; the large cent was replaced by a smaller version made of 88% copper and 12% nickel in 1857. In 1861, the Civil War began, when efforts to finance the war via borrowing failed, the Treasury stopped paying out gold in December 1861; the United States shifted to a paper money-based economy with little disruption. By June 1862, the price of silver had risen to the point where coins of that metal vanished from circulation, many exported to Canada, where they were both acceptable in circulation, could be exchanged for gold.
This departure of low-value coins was far more disruptive to commerce than the loss of the high-denomination gold coins, change in transactions was made by a variety of makeshifts. These included currency issues by cities and businesses, encased postage stamps, federally issued fractional currency—paper notes in denominations as small as three cents; the low-value paper currency, whether issued by government or business, were called shinplasters by the public, which disliked them. On the Pacific Coast, where paper money was not favored and gold continued to circulate. Since fractional currency in three-cent denominations did not appear until late 1864, the cent was the only means circulating of making change from the five-cent note, came, in 1862 and 1863, to command a premium when sold in lots, of about 4%; the Philadelphia Mint tried to keep up with demand, limiting public purchases of cents to five dollars, sending shipments to major cities. Despite these attempts, Mint Director James Pollock noted in his annual reports that cents were unobtainable, hoarded despite the fact that their metallic value remained less than one cent each.
Numismatist Neil Carothers theorized that they were put aside by the public as the only circulating federal coinage, made of metal at a time when the public was forced to accept flimsy pieces of paper instead of silver and gold. With cents from the Philadelphia Mint selling at a premium, many private token issues were issued in 1863, passed as cents in commerce. Mint officials took notice that the tokens made of bronze rather than the copper-nickel alloy being used in the cent, were not hoarded and began to consider issuing bronze coins; when Pollock proposed legislation for bronze one-, two-, three-cent pieces, it was opposed by industrialist Joseph Wharton, owner of the major source of nickel in the United States at the time, a mine at Gap, Pennsylvania. Pollock's bill, as introduced, provided for one- and two-cent pieces of bronze, the Wharton interests opposed it. According to Carothers, Congress declined to compromise with the nickel interests... In the House, its opponents managed to delay its passage for a month.
Thaddeus Stevens, one of the most influential men in the House, fought it bitterly, however, that he objected to it because it adversely affected Wharton's interests. The Coinage Act of 1864 passed into law on April 22 of that year. After entering circulation several months the bronze cent an
United States Mint
The United States Mint is a unit of the Department of Treasury responsible for producing coinage for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce, as well as controlling the movement of bullion. It does not produce paper money; the Mint was created in Philadelphia in 1792, soon joined by other centers, whose coins were identified by their own mint marks. There are four active coin-producing mints: Philadelphia, San Francisco, West Point; the Mint was created by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1792, placed within the Department of State. Per the terms of the Coinage Act, the first Mint building was in Philadelphia, the capital of the United States. Today, the Mint's headquarters are in Washington D. C.. It operates mint facilities in Philadelphia, San Francisco, West Point, New York and a bullion depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Official Mints were once located in Carson City, Nevada. Part of the State Department, the Mint was made an independent agency in 1799, it converted precious metals into standard coin for anyone's account with no seigniorage charge beyond the refining costs.
Under the Coinage Act of 1873, the Mint became part of the Department of the Treasury. It was placed under the auspices of the Treasurer of the United States in 1981. Legal tender coins of today are minted for the Treasury's account; the first Director of the United States Mint was renowned scientist David Rittenhouse from 1792 to 1795. The position was held most by Edmund C. Moy until his resignation effective January 9, 2011; the position was left vacant until April 2018. Henry Voigt was the first Superintendent and Chief Coiner, is credited with some of the first U. S. coin designs. Another important position at the Mint is that of Chief Engraver, held by such men as Frank Gasparro, William Barber, Charles E. Barber, James B. Longacre, Christian Gobrecht; the Mint has operated several branch facilities throughout the United States since the Philadelphia Mint opened in 1792, in a building known as "Ye Olde Mint". With the opening of branch mints came the need for mint marks, an identifying feature on the coin to show its facility of origin.
The first of these branch mints were the Charlotte, North Carolina, Dahlonega and New Orleans, Louisiana branches. Both the Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints were opened to facilitate the conversion of local gold deposits into coinage, minted only gold coins; the Civil War closed both these facilities permanently. The New Orleans Mint closed at the beginning of the Civil War and did not re-open until the end of Reconstruction in 1879. During its two stints as a minting facility, it produced both gold and silver coinage in eleven different denominations, though only ten denominations were minted there at one time. A new branch facility was opened in Carson City, Nevada, in 1870. Like the Charlotte and Dahlonega branches, the Carson City Mint was opened to take advantage of local precious metal deposits, in this case, a large vein of silver. Though gold coins were produced there, no base metal coins were. In 1911 the Mint had a female acting director, Margaret Kelly, at that point the highest paid woman on the government's payroll.
She stated that women were paid within the bureau. A branch of the U. S. mint was established in 1920 in Manila in the Philippines, a U. S. territory. To date, the Manila Mint is the only U. S. mint established outside the continental U. S. and was responsible for producing coins. This branch was in production from 1920 to 1922, again from 1925 through 1941. Coins struck by this mint bear either the M mintmark or none at all, similar to the Philadelphia mint at the time. A branch mint in The Dalles, was commissioned in 1864. Construction was halted in 1870, the facility never produced any coins, although the building still stands. There are four active coin-producing mints: Philadelphia, San Francisco, West Point; the Mint's largest facility is the Philadelphia Mint. The current facility, which opened in 1969, is the fourth Philadelphia Mint; the first was built in 1792, when Philadelphia was still the U. S. capital, began operation in 1793. Until 1980, coins minted at Philadelphia bore no mint mark, with the exceptions of the Susan B.
Anthony dollar and the wartime Jefferson nickel. In 1980, the P mint mark was added to all U. S. coinage except the cent. Until 1968, the Philadelphia Mint was responsible for nearly all official proof coinage. Philadelphia is the site of master die production for U. S. coinage, the engraving and design departments of the Mint are located there. The Denver branch began life in 1863 as the local assay office, just five years after gold was discovered in the area. By the turn of the century, the office was bringing in over $5 million in annual gold and silver deposits, in 1906, the Mint opened its new Denver branch. Denver uses a D mint mark and strikes coinage only for circulation, although it did strike, along with three other mints, the $10 gold 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Com
Stella (United States coin)
The United States four dollar coin officially called a Stella, is a unit of currency equivalent to four United States dollars. It was minted as a universal coin exchangeable with any currency around the world. Two varieties of the Stella were made: Liberty with flowing hair, designed by Charles E. Barber, with coiled hair, designed by George T. Morgan; the flowing hair variety is the most seen variety. Though the coin was designed as a pattern coin, similar to the Gobrecht dollar, many catalogs list the coin as a regular-issue item; the Stella was a pattern coin produced to explore the possibility of joining the Latin Monetary Union. The Stella was meant to contain a quantity of precious metal similar to that of the standard LMU gold piece, the twenty-franc Napoleon minted in France and other LMU countries. However, the composition and weight of the Stella was not a precise match to the LMU standard: the total weight was 7 grams, the gold content was 6 grams of fine gold, the coins were only.857 fine.
Two different designs obverse were produced: one with flowing hair. Both bear the same inscription: "★6★G★.3★S★.7★C★7★G★R★A★M★S★" to indicate the metallic content of the coin, the date. The reverse star had the inscriptions ONE STELLA and 400 CENTS, while the reverse rim had the legends UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and FOUR DOL. and circling the star but between its points were the legends E PLURIBUS UNUM and DEO EST GLORIA. The coin and the prospect of joining the Latin Monetary Union were rejected by Congress, but not before several hundred restrikes of the Barber flowing hair design had been produced and sold to Congressmen at the cost of production; these became a source of scandal when it was noted that a number of them ended up as jewelry pieces adorning the necks of madams operating some of Washington's most infamous bordellos. Five examples of a pattern quintuple stella denominated at 20 dollars were produced in 1879 as well; these coins used a modified version of the then-current Liberty Head design of the double eagle, replacing the stars on the obverse with "★30★G★1.5★S★3.5★C★35★G★R★A★M★S★", the motto IN GOD WE TRUST on the reverse with the same DEO EST GLORIA found on the reverse of the stella.
Only 425 examples of the Stella were made. All 1880 coins are rare. Stella Pattern images and historical information
James B. Longacre
James Barton Longacre was an American portraitist and engraver, the fourth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1844 until his death. Longacre is best known for designing the Indian Head cent, which entered commerce in 1859, for the designs of the Shield nickel, Flying Eagle cent and other coins of the mid-19th century. Longacre was born in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, in 1794, he ran away to Philadelphia at age 12. His artistic talent developed and he was released to apprentice in an engraving firm, he struck out on his own in 1819, making a name providing illustrations for popular biographical books. He portrayed the leading men of his day. Calhoun, led to his appointment as chief engraver after the death of Christian Gobrecht in 1844. In Longacre's first years as a chief engraver, the Philadelphia Mint was dominated by Mint Director Robert M. Patterson and Chief Coiner Franklin Peale. Conflict between Longacre and the two men developed after Congress ordered a new gold dollar and double eagle, with both to be designed by Longacre.
Peale and Patterson nearly had Longacre fired, but the chief engraver was able to convince Treasury Secretary William M. Meredith that he should be retained. Both Patterson and Peale left the Mint in the early 1850s. In 1856, Longacre designed the Flying Eagle cent; when that design proved difficult to strike, Longacre was responsible for the replacement, the Indian Head cent, issued beginning in 1859. Other coins designed by Longacre include the silver and nickel three-cent pieces, the Shield nickel, the pattern Washington nickel, the two-cent piece. In 1866–1867, he redesigned the coins of Chile. Longacre died on New Year's Day 1869. Longacre's coins are well-regarded today, although they have been criticized for lack of artistic advancement. James Barton Longacre was born on a farm in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, on August 11, 1794, his mother Sarah Longacre died early in his life. When Peter Longacre remarried, his son found the home life intolerable, James Longacre left home at the age of 12, seeking work in the nearby city of Philadelphia.
He apprenticed himself at a bookstore. Over the following years, Longacre worked in the bookstore, but Watson realized that the boy's skill was in portraiture. Watson granted Longacre a release from his apprenticeship in 1813 so that he could follow an artistic muse, but the two remained close, Watson would sell Longacre's works. Longacre became apprenticed to George Murray, principal in the engraving firm Murray, Fairman & Co. at 47 Sansom Street in Philadelphia. This business derived from the firm established by the Philadelphia Mint's first chief engraver, Robert Scot. Longacre remained at the Murray firm until 1819. Employed at the Murray firm from 1816 was the man who would be Longacre's predecessor as chief engraver, Christian Gobrecht. Longacre's work at the company gave him a good reputation as an engraver skilled in rendering other artists' paintings as a printed engraving, in 1819, he set up his own business at 230 Pine Street in Philadelphia. Longacre's first important commission were plates for S.
F. Bradford's Encyclopedia in 1820. Longacre agreed to engrave illustrations for Joseph and John Sanderson's Biographies of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, published in nine volumes between 1820 and 1827. Although the venture was marked by criticism of the writing, sales were good enough that the project was completed. Numismatic writer Richard Snow suggests that the books sold on the strength of the quality of Longacre's illustrations. Longacre completed a series of studies of actors in their roles in 1826 for The American Theatre. With lessons learned from the Sanderson series, Longacre proposed to issue his own set of biographies illustrated with plates of the subjects, he was on the point of launching this project, having invested $1,000 of his own money in preparation, when he learned that James Herring of New York City was planning a similar series. In October 1831, he wrote to Herring, the two men agreed to work together on The American Portrait Gallery, published in four volumes between 1834 and 1839.
Herring was an artist, but much of the work of illustrating fell to Longacre, who traveled in the United States to sketch subjects from life. He again sketched Jackson, by now president, as well as former president James Madison, both in July 1833, he met many of the political leaders of the day. Among these advocates was the former vice president, South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun. In July 1832, Niles' Register described a Longacre engraving, "one of the finest specimens of American advancement in the art". Longacre had married Eliza Stiles in 1827. Sales of the Gallery lagged due to the Panic of 1837.