The Beginning of United States Coinage
The Years of 1793-1796
I call these four years, 'The Beginning Series,' because in these years, official US coins were begun:
1793: The first US coin to be struck officially was the 1793 Chain Flowing Hair Large Cent, followed by the Liberty Cap Half Cent. This year is the 'Beginning of US coinage,' and the 'Beginning of Copper Coinage,' as only copper Half Cents and Large Cents were struck in 1793.
1794: A few thousand half-dimes are dated 1794, but weren't struck until February of 1795. Only 23,464 Half Dollars were struck in 1794, followed by 299,680 in 1795. Why the difference? Half Dollars weren't struck until December 1794, and the 1795 dies were replaced in time. 1,759 Silver Dollars were struck (including the unique Silver Plug). This year is the 'Beginning of Silver Coinage,' however, not all silver denominations were struck yet.
1795: This is the year of the true beginning of Half Dimes. The Half Eagle started in 1795 with the small eagle. The rare 1795 Heraldic Eagle was thought to have been struck in 1798. $10 Eagles were begun in 1795 with the small eagle; however, all small eagle Eagles are rare, so in three years, there were less than 15,000 struck in total. This year is the 'Beginning of Gold Coinage,' however, not all gold denominations were struck yet.
1796: The 'Last of the First,' No flowing hair dimes or quarter dollars were minted, for they weren't begun until 1796, the first year of draped bust coinage. In 1796, the gold $2.50 Quarter Eagle was begun. This year is the 'Beginning of Draped Bust Coinage.'
These years are the 'Beginning Years' in American Coinage.