- The Twenty Cent Piece is one of the most intriguing of America's short-lived coins. In production from 1875 through 1878, the denomination quickly proved to be a flop. Yet, in only four years of production, the coin saw nearly a dozen different issues minted at the Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Carson City Mints and went on to captivate generations of numismatists. Now largely regarded as a type coin, one often collected as a single specimen to represent this enigmatic denomination, the Twenty Cent Piece has revealed itself to also be one of the most challenging of 19th-century coins.
1877 20C, DCAM, PCGS PR66DCAM
1878 20C, DCAM, PCGS PR66DCAM
Designed by William Barber, the plain-edged silver coin weighs 5 grams and measures 22 millimeters in diameter - physical dimensions and appearances roughly similar to a modern-day nickel. It carries an obverse inspired by Christian Gobrecht
's Liberty Seated motif of the 1830s and a reverse showcasing an eagle regally spreading its wings, similar to that seen on the concurrently struck Trade dollar
. The only circulation issues struck are the 1875, 1875-CC, 1875-S, 1876, and 1876-CC. Proofs were struck alongside the business strikes in 1875 (including both Philadelphia and branch-mint San Francisco proofs that year) and 1876, while these numismatic-only pieces constitute the only issues struck to represent the last two years of the series in 1877 and 1878.Read the Entire Article