U.S. Coins Photos & History

1876 Twenty Cents Obverse   1876 Twenty Cents Reverse
Twenty Cent (1875-1878)


The Twenty-Cent Piece was an unusual denomination struck between 1875 and 1878.  Because the size of the coin and the design elements were  so similar to those on the Quarter Dollar, these coins caused a lot of confusion with the general public (similar to the situation that occurred over 100 years later with the Susan B. Anthony Dollar).  For this reason, Twenty Cent Pieces were struck for circulation only in 1875 and 1876.  In 1877 and 1878, they were available only as Proofs.  Click on any the images or link at right to learn more about this unusual denomination.



Click on any the images or links at right to learn more about the different design types.

The first United States Quarter Dollars were struck in 1796, despite having been authorized in 1792.  Demand for the denomination was low - in 1796, only 6,146 Quarter Dollars were struck, then no more were struck until 1804, when the mintage was again tiny.  The Draped Bust design was used from 1796 to 1807, with a change in the reverse design beginning in 1804.  No Quarter Dollars were struck from 1808-1814.  Minting of the denomination resumed in 1815, with the introduction of the Capped Bust design.  In 1831, the diameter of the Quarter Dollars was reduced and standardized through the use of a close collar (a collar that restricted the outward flow of metal when the blank planchets were struck).  

The Seated Liberty design debuted in mid-1838 and lasted until 1891.  From 1853 to 1855, arrowheads were placed on either side of the date to signify a reduction in the weight of the coin.  In 1866, the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST" was added to the reverse of the Quarter Dollar.  From 1873 to 1874, arrowheads reappeared on the obverse, this time to signify the adoption of the metric system by Mint officials.

In 1892, Charles Barber created a new design using a head of Liberty wearing a freedman's cap.  This became known as the Barber type, one of the few American types that took the name of the designer, rather than the name of the main design elements (other notable examples are the Gobrecht and Morgan Silver Dollars).

The Standing Liberty design appeared in 1916, featuring a classic figure in a long, flowing dress, carrying a shield in one hand and an olive branch in the other.  In 1916 and 1917, Liberty appeared bare-breasted; from 1917 to 1930, she was given cover-up of chain mail.

A special Quarter Dollar appeared in 1932, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington.  The Washington type became so popular that it replaced the Standing Liberty design, even though the latter design had not been in place for the statutory 25 year minimum.  In 1965, a "sandwich" alloy of copper-nickel layers around a pure copper core replaced the old 90% silver alloy.  In 1976, a special "Drummer Boy" reverse was created for the bicentennial of American independence.  In 1999, the Mint began an ambitious, ten year program intended to produce a unique design for each of the 50 States, with five new designs appearing each year.  The 50 States Quarters and The America The Beautiful programs is credited with creating millions of new coin collectors.

     Reverse of 2004 Wisconsin 50 States Quarter Dollar

Draped Bust (1796-1807)

1821 Quarter Dollar Obverse   1821 Quarter Dollar Reverse
Capped Bust (1815-1837)

   1859 Seated Liberty Quarter Dollar Reverse
Seated Liberty (1838-1891)

 Barber Quarter Dollar Obverse   Barber Quarter Dollar Reverse
Barber (1892-1916)

1917 Quarter Dollar Obverse   1917 Quarter Dollar Reverse
Standing Liberty (1916-1930)

1932-D Washington Quarter Dollar Obverse   1932-D Washington Quarter Dollar Reverse
Washington (1932-Date)

Rarities in the denomination include:
1822 25 over 50
1827 Original
1827 Restrike
1842 Small Date
1866 No Motto
1873-CC No Arrows
1916 Standing Liberty



1794 Half Dollar Obverse   1794 Half Dollar Reverse
Flowing Hair Half Dollars (1794-1795) 

1806 Half Dollar Obverse   1806 Half Dollar Reverse
Draped Bust (1796-1807)

1825 Half Dollar Obverse   1825 Half Dollar Reverse
Capped Bust (1807-1839)

Seated Liberty Half Dollar Obverse   Seated Liberty Half Dollar Reverse
Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)

Barber (1892-1915)

Walking Liberty (1916-1947)

Fanklin Half Dollar Obverse  Fanklin Half Dollar Reverse
Franklin (1948-1963)

Kennedy (1964-Date)



Flowing Hair Dollar Obverse   Flowing Hair Dollar Reverse
Flowing Hair Type (1794-1795) 


Draped Bust Silver Dollar Obverse  Draped Bust Silver Dollar Reverse
Draped Bust Type (1795-1804)

Obverse of 1850 Seated Liberty DollarReverse of 1850 Seated Liberty Dollar   
Seated Liberty Type (1840-1873)


Obverse of 1874 Trade Dollar  Reverse of 1874 Trade Dollar
Trade Dollar (1873-1885)

Morgan Silver Dollar ObverseMorgan Silver Dollar Reverse  
Morgan Type (1878-1921)


Peace Dollar Obverse   Peace Dollar Reverse
Peace Type (1921-1935)

Obverse of Eisenhower DollarReverse of Eisenhower Dollar

Eisenhower (1971-1978)

  Obverse of 1980-S Susan B. Anthony One DollarReverse of 1980-S Susan B. Anthony One Dollar

Susan B. Anthony (1979-1999)

Sacagawea Dollar (2000-Date)


Presidential Dollar (2007-2017)