US Coins

#1 US Coins Buyer Las Vegas & Henderson

What are US Coins

A coin is a small metal disc that we use as money. US coins were first produced in 1792 when the US government established the first mint at Philadelphia. The United States Mint is the government agency that makes U.S. coins.

New coins have been produced annually and they make up a valuable aspect of the United States currency system. Since that time many different varieties and denominations of United States coins have been produced by the U.S. Mint.

Circulating Coins

Today, circulating coins exist in denominations of 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1.00. Circulating coins are the coins that the United States Mint produces for everyday transactions. Circulating coins are also included in the United States Mint’s annual coin sets, which are the staple of coin collecting.

Parts of A Coin

Each coin is made of different metals, designs, and sizes, but every coin has two sides: an obverse (heads) and a reverse (tails).

  • Date – It states the year it was made.
  • Inscriptions
  • Bust – The sides of the coin that feature designs and artwork, often including an image of a person from the neck up.
  • Mint mark – Small letters that show where the coin was minted.
  • Field – The blank area of background on a coin.
  • Relief – refers to the depth of the markings on the coin and how much they are raised above the field.
  • Sculptor/Artist – The initials of who designed and/or sculpted the coin.
  • Rim – Raised area near the edge.
  • Edge – The outer surface that has lettering, reeding, or designs on it.

Every coin has the phrase “IN GOD WE TRUST” and the Latin phrase “E PLURIBUS UNUM” which translates to “Out of Many, One”.

Coin Denominations

U.S. coins currently are made in the following six denominations: cent, nickel, dime, quarter, half dollar, and dollar. These coin denominations are split into two types, the common coins and the not so common coins. Here are the different coin denominations:

Common Coins

    • Penny – A penny is worth one cent. It is a copper-plated zinc coin that has Abraham Lincoln on the obverse side (heads) and the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse side (tails). The U.S. Mint made 8.426 billion pennies in 2017 costing taxpayers $68.8 million. Producing one penny costs more than it is worth, 1.9 cents.
    • Nickel – The equivalent of five cents. It is made of nickel and copper blend. It is also larger than a penny. It has Thomas Jefferson on the front and Monticello on the back.In 1793, the sizes of coins were proportional to the U.S. silver dollar. But this made the five-cent coin too small. In 1866, the Mint made it larger by replacing the silver with nickel. Nickels cost 7.6 cents each to produce and distribute.
    • Dime – Its value is ten cents and also made of nickel and copper blend. It is smaller than a penny and a nickel. Dimes only cost 3.5 cents each to produce.
    • Quarter – It is worth twenty-five cents, and it only costs nine cents to make and distribute. It is made of cupronickel, and it is larger than a nickel but about the same size of an Indian fifty paise coin. The front of it is the face of George Washington and the back is a United States emblem or a design of one of the 50 states of America.

Not So Common Coins

  • Half Dollar – Its value is fifty cents, and is made of silver and copper. It has the image of John F. Kennedy sculpted on the front, and the Presidential Coat of Arms on the back. Half dollar is the largest US coin.
  • Dollar – There are a hundred cents in a dollar. It is made of manganese-brass alloy, and features a native American heroine Sacagawea sculpted on the front and bald eagle sculpted on the back. The United States is the only developed country that still uses $1 bills. One dollar bills wear out so quickly that most counties do not use the any more. Coins are used much more as they average about 40 years of circulation.

Types of US Coins

There are different denominations and types of coins that have been produced since the inception of the United States Mint in 1792. Some coins are grouped by denomination, while other coins are grouped by coin type. Here are the different coin types:

  • Half Cent Coins – Half cents, also called as half penny was one of the earliest US coins. The US half cent is the smallest denomination ever minted by the United States. It was first produced in 1793 as authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792 on April 2, 1792. All coins were made with 100% copper and minted at the Philadelphia Mint. Coinage of half cents was discontinued by the congressional act of February 21, 1857.
  • Large Cent Coins – One cent coins and half cents were the first coins struck for circulation by the United States mint in 1793. Large cents are the first US coins to ever minted by the United States government on its own equipment and premises. Large cents were produced in every year from 1793 until 1857 except for 1815.
  • Small Cent Coins – In 1856 the United States produced its first small cent coin made out of an alloy of copper and nickel. There are three different variations of small cents.

The flying eagle penny was produced from 1857-1858. It was the first small cent coin. It got its name from the eagle that is sculpted on the front of the coin. On the back the words “ONE CENT” are surrounded by a wreath.

The Indian Head Penny replaced the flying eagle penny from 1859 through 1909.  It is a one cent coin that was produced for fifty years by the United States Mint. The head of a Native American wearing a feather head dress with the word “LIBERTY” on it is sculpted in the front part of the coin.

  • Lincoln Cent Coins –  It is the longest-running US coin series as well as being very popular in United States Coin Collecting. The Lincoln cent replaced the Indian Head Penny in 1909 and is still being produced today.
  • Two Cent Coins – This coin is one of the shortest-lived issues in the history of the United States Mint. It was only was produced from 1864 to 1873. Its composition was 95% copper and 5% tin and zinc and was a little bit smaller than the quarter we know today.
  • Three Cent Coins – Three cent coins also known as a trime or fish scale, are coins that were only 14 mm in diameter. Its smallest physical coin ever made in the United States mint in 1851. The first issues were made with 75% silver. Then, in 1865 a different design and composition were introduced that was made with 75% copper and 25% nickel and had a diameter of 17.9 mm.
  • Five Cent Coins – Five cent coins are consist of half-dimes and nickels. Five cent coins was produced from 1792 up to date. Here are the different variations of five cent coins:

Half dime was one of the first coins ever struck by the United States in 1792. It is also referred to as half disme. Early half dimes were made of silver and due to the rising cost of silver five-cent pieces known as “nickels” were first made in 1866.

The shield nickel was the first nickel five-cent piece minted in the United States. It was called shield nickel because a shield is featured on the front (obverse) and the numeral 5 surrounded by stars on the back (reverse). They were made of 75% copper and 25% nickel, and were produced from 1866 to 1883.

The liberty nickel was officially minted between 1883 and 1912. It is also called as V nickel because it featured an image of “Liberty” on the front and the roman numeral “V” on the back. It was made of 75% copper and 25% nickel.

The Indian head nickel or sometimes called buffalo nickel were made from 1913 to 1938 and are made of 75% copper and 25% nickel.

Jefferson nickels were first produced in 1938 and are still produced today. Thomas Jefferson is on the obverse (front) of the coin and the Monticello, Jefferson’s famous home in Virginia, on the reverse or back of the coin.

  • Ten Cent Coins – Dimes or ten cent pieces were also one of the first coins made in the United States beginning in 1796. They were first minted in 1796 and got their name from a French word “disme” which means tithe or tenth part. The production of dimes continues through today even though the design has changed several times over the years.
  • Twenty Cent Coins –  A short-lived series of United States coin that was minted for only three years (1875-1878) and authorized by an act of Congress on March 3, 1875. It is a greatly criticized and disliked coin by the public because it was frequently confused with a quarter.
  • Quarter Dollar Coins – The quarter dollar coin or twenty-five cent pieces is known as the “workhorse” of the United States economy. It was minted in 1972 but the first quarter were not issued until 1796.
  • Half Dollar Coins – These coins have been minted by the United States since 1794. Pres. John F. Kennedy is commemorated on this coin since his assassination in November 1963. His image is featured on the front part of the coin.
  • One Dollar Coins – This was the coin of choice for large financial transactions in the early stages of the United States. It was first minted in 89.2% fine silver in 1795.
  • Gold Coins – The first gold coin established by the United States was a $10 gold piece known as an “eagle”. These are the following gold coins that were produced by the United States Mint: $1.00, $2.50 quarter eagles, $3 gold, $4 gold (proof only), $5 half eagles, $10 eagles, $20 double eagles.
  • Commemorative US Coins – The first commemorative coins were issued in 1892 to commemorate the World’s Columbian Exposition. The issuance of commemorative coins ceased in 1954 due to abuses of the coining program from influential congressmen. In 1982, the United States Mint began issuing commemorative coins again but in 1984 the abuses started again. Since then, the Congress has passed a law that only two commemorative coin series per year can be issued.

These are the different US coins that we buy. Send us a message and we will give you a fair deal with any official US coins you have.

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