Capping Liberty

The Invention of Numismatic Iconography for the New American Republic

The New Federal Coinage

After the legislation to establish a national mint in Philadelphia was signed on April 2, 1792, it took the better part of a year to acquire the property (at Seventh and Filbert), appoint the directors, identify trained engravers, hire the workers, import or build the equipment, and acquire the bullion for minting. An initial issue of silver half dismes was struck outside the Mint in 1792; thereafter, copper cents and half cents were introduced in 1793, silver dollars and half dollars in 1794, silver quarters and dimes in 1796, gold eagles (ten dollars) and half eagles in 1795, and quarter eagles in 1796, all with some version of a female head as a representation of Liberty.