Libertas Americana in Legal Tender Coin Album

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1793 1/2C Cohen 3 MS62BN PCGS #35009

With the 1793 half cent, we see the obvious influence of the Libertas Americana medal flowing through the 1792 Disme, including Miss Liberty's cap and pole. In fact, when the design of the 1793 half cent is overlayed on top of the Disme, we see that the die punch for Miss Liberty's profile is precisely the same, and just Liberty's flowing tresses were remodeled. In describing Liberty's flowing hair, some have written that it was Miss Liberty facing the wind with her hair freely flowing behind her. The left-facing profile with flowing hair is shared only between the Libertas Americana medal, the 1792 Disme, and the 1793 Half Cent. Perhaps Benjamin Franklin thought it proper to have Miss Liberty facing left, as his position in France would have him looking leftward to face the newborn country America. All of the remaining Flowing Hair coinages depict Miss Liberty facing to the right, perhaps facing into the future.

1794 1/2C C-1a Lg Edge Letters AU58BN PCGS #35018

With all the denominations of 1794 and later, Miss Liberty's flowing hair is at the left, with Miss Liberty facing to the right. The 1794 Half Cents present an interesting group. Again, the die punch for the profile of Miss Liberty is the same; however, certain varieties show her flowing hair in a low level of relief (as seen here), and other varieties depict her hair in a noticeably higher level of relief. All of the half cents of 1794 use a large portrait of Miss Liberty, taking up most of the space on the obverse.

1793 Chain 1C S-3 AMERICA AU55BN PCGS #35438

The so-called "Chain Cent," is an early oddity, designed based on elements of the Fugio Cent and the Birch Cent, yet retaining Miss Liberty's flowing hair. Of course, the Fugio Cent depicted just the 13 original colonies in circles on the reverse. By 1793, there were then 15 states, not 13, and so there should be 15 links to the design instead of 13. As nicely as the 13 interlinked circles fit on the 1787 Fugio cent, the 15 linked circles would have been quite cramped on the new cent. Recognizing how cramped the design might look, the designer might have wished to unclutter the design, by flattening the circles into oblong ovals, to open up the fields. Unfortunately, the resulting appearance of the Chain, quickly found public disfavor. The March 18, 1793 edition of Claypoole’s Daily Advertiser stated the opinion, “The chain on the reverse is but a bad omen for liberty.” The ill-fated chain cent design was promptly discontinued, and soon replaced by the wreath cent. While the chain reverse gains all the attention, the obverse of the Chain Cent is interesting in its own right. It would appear that the portrait of Liberty was either by Bob Birch, or after his design, for her eye, nose, mouth, chin and hair outline are quite similar to the Birch Cent pattern. Alas, lacking in certain of the refinements of the Birch design, she came to be called by William Sheldon as the "wild squaw with the heebie jeebies."

1793 Chain 1C S-3 AMERICA AU55BN PCGS #35438

The so-called "Chain Cent," is an early oddity, designed based on elements of the Fugio Cent and the Birch Cent, yet retaining Miss Liberty's flowing hair. Of course, the Fugio Cent depicted just the 13 original colonies in circles on the reverse. By 1793, there were then 15 states, not 13, and so there should be 15 links to the design instead of 13. As nicely as the 13 interlinked circles fit on the 1787 Fugio cent, the 15 linked circles would have been quite cramped on the new cent. Recognizing how cramped the design might look, the designer might have wished to unclutter the design, by flattening the circles into oblong ovals, to open up the fields. Unfortunately, the resulting appearance of the Chain, quickly found public disfavor. The March 18, 1793 edition of Claypoole’s Daily Advertiser stated the opinion, “The chain on the reverse is but a bad omen for liberty.” The ill-fated chain cent design was promptly discontinued, and soon replaced by the wreath cent. While the chain reverse gains all the attention, the obverse of the Chain Cent is interesting in its own right. It would appear that the portrait of Liberty was either by Bob Birch, or after his design, for her eye, nose, mouth, chin and hair outline are quite similar to the Birch Cent pattern. Alas, lacking in certain of the refinements of the Birch design, she came to be called by William Sheldon as the "wild squaw with the heebie jeebies."

1795 H10C MS61 PCGS #4251

The so-called "half dimes" of 1794 and 1795 were struck in silver, and measured just 16.5mm. With just that small size, the design needed to be thrifty. Miss Liberty still retains her flowing hair, but no longer has her Liberty Cap or pole.

1795 50C Overton 115 AU55 PCGS #39231

The half dollars of 1794 and 1795 were large enough for an attractive artistic version of Miss Liberty. Indeed, as the small half dime design was more akin to the obverse of the Wreath Cent, the half dollar was much refined and certainly not "too unkempt." Alas, as with the half dime, however, Miss Liberty no longer has her Liberty Cap or pole.

1795 $1 3 Leaves AU55 PCGS #6852

Like the half dollars of 1794 and 1795, the dollars of 1794 and 1795 provided a canvas for artistic designs. While the dollars of 1794 were all struck from one set of dies, the flowing hair dollars of 1795 were struck in much larger quantities, using multiple dies with multiple nuances of their designs. Alas, as with the other silver denominations, Miss Liberty no longer has her Liberty Cap or pole.