Coin Collection 〉 Middle Modern Times 〉 North America 〉 USA 〉 United States of America, Dollar 1799, Philadelphia
United States of America, Dollar 1799, Philadelphia
|Mint Authority:||United States of America|
|Year of Issue:||1799 A.D.|
The first silver dollars were minted in 1794. The device on the coin was always a variation of the same pattern – the Liberty and the eagle. Miss Liberty was the personified representation of freedom, deliberately chosen in distinction to the royal portraits on monarchic coins. Just as Marianne is the personification of the French Republic, Liberty is the republican symbol on US coins.
The first image of Liberty on US coins was the type of "Liberty Flowing Hair." On some coins, Liberty also wore a Phrygian cap – an ancient symbol for freedom, dating back to antique Phrygia in Asia Minor, where freed slaves used to wear red caps with a buckled front tip. Similar to American coins, some French and Swiss coins show a Phrygian cap as well; in France, people had begun to wear those symbols of liberty during the French Revolution of 1789.
The eagle on US coins dates from ancient archetypes, also. It crouches on a laurel wreath or carries a coat of arms on its breast. Occasionally it also holds a bundle of arrows and an olive branch in its claws – antique symbols for solidarity and peace.