US Seated Liberty Coin
The U.S. Seated Liberty Coins are another eye candy for coin collectors around the globe. This particular depiction of the goddess Liberty, draped in a flowing robe and seated on a rock, was better favored by the general public than the unattractive Liberty bust designs of the 18th century. The Seated Liberty design was so much more artistic and more pleasing to the eye than its 18th-century predecessor. Its accompanying symbolic elements were more appropriate and meaningful.
Minted on the obverse side of the coin is the goddess Liberty, depicted sitting on a rock in her smoothly flowing robe and holding a Liberty Pole with the symbolic Liberty cap on top. Also featured on the obverse is a striped shield resting at the foot of the goddess with a diagonal sash bearing the inscription “LIBERTY”. The sashed shield symbolizes the vigilance of the country against any threat to freedom. Around the upper half of the coin’s rim, are 13 stars, which represent the original 13 colonies of the United States. On the lower part is the date year of the coin’s mintage. Meanwhile, there were two designs for the reverse side of the Seated Liberty Coins for different denominations. One design was the wreath of laurel leaves and other agricultural crops such as wheat and corn. The wreath was used as a symbol for eternity; laurel leaves for victory and achievement; and the agricultural crops for prosperity. The coin’s denomination is inscribed inside the wreath.
The other design bore the image of an eagle bearing a shield similar to Liberty on its breast. The eagle is clutching an olive branch with leaves, which is a symbol of peace. And clutched in its other talons are arrows, a symbol for defense. Under the eagle is the coin’s denomination. In both designs, the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” were inscribed around the rim. The wreath design was used on a dime and half-dime coins while the central eagle design was used on the silver dollar, a half dollar and quarter coins.
This iconic design of Seated Liberty was featured on several U.S. dollar regular issues from the mid of 19th century until towards its end. From 1836 until 1891, this coin design was struck on the following U.S. coins: the dime, the half dime, the silver dollar, the half dollar, and the quarter dollar. It also appeared on the twenty cent coin for three years (1875-78). Aside from Philadelphia Mint (the main mint of the U.S.), other branch mints that minted the Seated Liberty issues were Carson City, New Orleans, and San Francisco.