Twenty Cents 1876, Coin from United States - detailed information

Twenty Cents 1876, Coin from United States (withdrawn 1878)
CoinTwenty Cents 1876

The American twenty-cent piece is a coin struck from 1875 to 1878, but only for collectors in the final two years. Proposed by Nevada Senator John P. Jones, it proved a failure due to confusion with the quarter dollar, to which it was close in both size and value.

Although the coins have a smooth edge, rather than reeded (milled) as with other silver coins, the new piece was close to the size of, and immediately confused with, the quarter dollar. Adding to the bewilderment, the obverse, or "heads", sides of both coins were almost identical. After the first year, in which over a million were minted, there was little demand, and the denomination was abolished in 1878. At least a third of the total mintage was later melted by the government.

MintMint markTotal Mintage
Philadelphia Mint No mint mark 15,900
Carson City Mint Letters CC 10,000, Rarity: R5 (9 to 14 examples known)
United States / Twenty Cents 1876 - obverse photo

Within a toothed rim, the obverse of the coin shows the symbolic figure of Liberty clad in a flowing dress and seated upon a rock. In her left hand, she holds a Liberty pole surmounted by a Phrygian cap (a type of cap which in Ancient Rome was worn by freed slaves). With her right hand, she supports the Union Shield, which has thirteen vertical stripes, white and red, with a blue horizontal bar on top. The colours are represented by heraldic hatching (thin lines indicating the colour - horizontal stripes for blue, vertical for red, no stripes for white). Across the shield, a diagonal banner inscribed with the word LIBERTY.

Around above, thirteen stars representing the 13 original states in the Union.

In the exergue below the figure, the date of issue: 1876.

Obverse Inscription ************* 1876
United States / Twenty Cents 1876 - reverse photo

The main device on the reverse is an eagle, standing, with open wings, looking to right. From the eagle's perspective, it holds a bundle of three arrows in its right (dominant) talon, and an olive branch in its left talon - indicating a preference of war over peace.

Around above, the name of the country: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Separated from that by two six-pointed stars, around below the value and denomination in words: * TWENTY CENTS *.

Coins struck by the Philadelphia Mint have no mint mark. Coins struck by the Carson City Mint have a CC mint mark below the eagle and above the value.

EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone

The Philadelphia Mint struck 14,640 circulation coins and 1,260 proofs.
Most of the Carson City mintage was destroyed. Only about 10 to 15 examples are known to have survived.

Twenty Cents 1876: Known varieties
Variety Proof (Philadelphia Mint)
Mintage Issued: 1,260 (included in total)
Royal Mint
Royal Mint
Twenty Cents 1876: Details
CountryUnited States
CurrencyUS Dollar
Coin TypeTwenty Cents
SymbolLiberty, Seated
ReverseAmerican Eagle
Face Value20 (x Cent)
Circulation Mintage24,640
Total Mintage25,900
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1878
Material0.900 Silver
DesignerChristian Gobrecht, William Barber
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size22.000 mm
Mass5.000 g
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Twenty Cents 1876: Photos
1876-CC 20C (Regular Strike)
Copyright: PCGS
Notes: Carson City Mint (CC mint mark).
1876-CC 20C (Regular Strike)
Copyright: PCGS
1876 20C, PL (Regular Strike)
Copyright: PCGS
Notes: Philadelphia Mint (no mint mark).
1876 20C, PL (Regular Strike)
Copyright: PCGS
Twenty Cents 1876: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsUnited States KM# 109