$tarCollector's Blog

03 May 2022

The Complete US Coinage Era(not Error)Encyclopedia, Part 1: The Flowing Era

Young Numismatists Exchange | $tarCollector

The Complete US Coinage Era(not Error)Encyclopedia, Part 1: The Flowing Era

I was thinking, of a new series, and well, why not start here with it. This series will go through most of the facts of all of the eras(excluding colonials and some gold) of US coinage. The first part is about the first era of US coinage, what I call the "Flowing Era".

The Flowing Era

I named this after most of the coins of this time(Flowing Half Cents, Cents, Half Dimes, Dimes, Quarters, Halves, and Dollars).

The Half Cents of this era were designed after the famous Libertas Americana Medal, showing relation in both the hair detail on Liberty and the cap on a pole. This coin also had edge lettering, a common practice at the time. Wreathes were first employed here for the reverse, and were used many years later on it and the Cent. The designer of this coin is unknown as records were not very accurate or sometimes didn't exist for these coins. The first design in 1793 showed Liberty facing left, but was changed in 1794 by Robert Scot to face right. This design continued until 1797, and no Half Cents were minted until 1800 when the "Bust Craze"(that'll be my next blog) was in full gear.

The Large Cents were very varietous(is that even a word?) during the time period of 1793-1795. They were actually the very first coins struck by the US Mint on February 27, 1793. They had multiple different reverses, different reliefs/designs on the heads, lettering and edge engravings of all types, so I won't go into too much detail, but they did adopt the Wreath reverse for the Cent in 1793, after using the Chain reverse for a while. The first designs showed flowing hair in many different ways. The designer for any of these Flowing Cents is unknown. In 1793, like the Half Cent, it added the cap on pole to the design. But, the Flowing Hair design on the Cent only lasted 3 years until the Busts took over, about 4 years sooner than the Half Cents.

The Half Dimes were similiar to the Large Cent, as they both submitted to the Busts in 1796, only the Half Dimes weren't minted until 1794. The most significant difference between it and the Cent, would most likely be the reverse, which has an eagle on it, a common design for the silver coins of that time, while all copper had wreathes.

The Dimes were first minted in 1796, with the Busts in charge, so you'll have to wait until my next blog for the information on those, as this is a Flowing only blog.

The Quarters started in '96 as well, so my next blog will detail them better.

The Half Dollars lasted two short years with a Flowing obverse and an Eagle reverse. At this time, US coins were uniform. Most designs looked alike, which was carried on until 1909. Eventually the Busts took over in 1796 and most coins submitted(except for the Half Cent, which fought valiantly, but still became a Bust in 1800) to their rule.

The $s had their Flowing obverse and Eagle reverse for a measly two years. The Busts soon were on most coinage, there was nothing the Flow-ers could do. These early Flow-ers are valuable, as the 1794 silver center dollar sold for $12 million dollars, holding its place as the second most expensive US coin sold at auction. They also contain edge lettering like many other coins of this time. These are the first dollars made by the Mint, so they have much significance in the monetary system.
This may have been a short blog, but the Flowing series is one of the shortest series of US coins. Be here soon for Part 2: The Bust Craze. There will be no pictures. I am very sorry for this inconvenience. Thank you for reading and be here soon for my next blog,



Yeoman, R. S. A Guide Book of United States Coins 75th Edition(2022)



P.S. Check out my NGC Registry Set, I will provide a link soon. My username is $tarCollector there too. Link: https://www.ngccoin.com/profile/672998/



Level 2

Cool coins! It's hard to find older coins in modern day money!


Level 5

Great information! I checked out your registry set. Should be coming along! Thanks for sharing!

AC coin$

Level 6

Aweson ! Great blog .


Level 7

Very good. I enjoyed your writing and hard work. I think I need to read this again. I do that with good blogs . Your getting better every day. Keep it up. . Anyone who reads this will enjoy it!!


Level 4

Great informational blog, I've always wanted a flowing hair coin too 😉

Long Beard

Level 5

Excellent topic to continue on with. Your off to an outstanding start!


Level 6

This era of coinage is classic and so beautiful! Really enjoyed your blog! Thanks for all the information. ; )


Level 6

Well done $tar. Excellent work here. I love that it is in your words and well sourced. I also love this "Era" of coins as well. Maybe someday. It will make a fantastic gift for my wife. Don't tell her. Thanks.


Level 6

Too late! haha ; )


Level 4

You might want to tell her not to look at the comments section then...

It's Mokie

Level 6

The 1795 Flowing Hair Half Dollar or Dollar are two of my most wanted coins. Maybe someday, but a little out of reach right now. Thanks for your interesting blog. The Flowing Era, I like that title.


Level 4


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