10 history-making US coins

One of the things I love about collecting coins is the fact that they teach you about history too. This article discusses 10 coins and the role the played in the history of the United States. I’ll provide a teaser of the first two coins.

Coins are history lessons.

One of the exciting things about coins is the story behind them, collectors say.

Here are the stories behind 10 well-known U.S. coins.

The 1793 Chain Cent

It was the first regularly-issued American coin.

The new nation would be enthused about its first-ever coin. Right?

Wrong.

The public greeted it with scorn, the designer was fired from the Philadelphia Mint and it was withdrawn after just one year.

The chain of 15 links on the back side was supposed to represent the strength of the 15 states of the union. But the public thought it represented slavery.

Americans also were offended by the woman representing Liberty on the front side. With her flowing hair the public thought she appeared disheveled, unrefined and “in a fright” according to one newspaper.

1864 2-Cent Piece

The nation was war-weary three years into the Civil War.

At this dark time some prominent clergy members wrote letters to the government asking it to summon the help of a higher power.

Putting on the motto “In God We Trust” was a call for God to end the war for some. For others it was a sign God was on the side of the Union in the fight against slavery.

But whatever the reason, this was the first coin to include the now famous phrase so associated with U.S. currency.

Read the full article.

Category - Coin collecting
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