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The reverse side of this Type boasts a scroll positioned above the eagle, bearing the raised motto IN GOD WE TRUST. With the exception of this added scroll, it maintains an identical appearance to the No Motto Type.
The incorporation of the motto into our coinage was prompted by Reverend Mark R. Watkinson from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania. The turbulence and horrors of the Civil War stirred profound religious sentiments among the populace, prompting Rev. Watkinson's suggestion for its inclusion. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase concurred with this sentiment. Exercising his authority over coin inscriptions, Chase oversaw the addition of the motto to the 2-cent piece in 1864. Initially, the motto was intended to read as "In God Our Trust," but Chase's ties to his alma mater possibly influenced the final rendition. Having graduated from Brown University, Chase may have drawn inspiration from the university's motto, IN DEO SPERAMUS, translating to "IN GOD WE HOPE." It is speculated that this played a role in Chase's decision regarding the precise wording of the motto. The Coin Act of March 3, 1865 granted the Treasury discretionary power to include the motto "on all coins able to accommodate it," signifying coins with sufficient space for it. The Mint interpreted this to include all silver coins larger than a dime, half eagles, eagles, and double eagles. Congress mandated the motto's presence on gold and silver coins in 1908. In 1955, Congress passed a law stipulating the motto's inclusion on all coins.
Except for 1873, all With Motto Half Eagles dated before 1878 possess limited mintages, rendering them rare and valuable. This phenomenon can be attributed to the circumstances of the Civil War. During the war, gold coins were hoarded, and banks ceased specie payments. This led to a dual pricing structure where goods purchased with paper currency were priced higher than those bought with gold. Minted gold coins were predominantly employed for international trade, bank reserves, and specific contracts mandating payment solely in gold. An exception is 1873, when the Treasury deposited considerable quantities of old, worn, and obsolete gold coins for re-minting. In 1878, banks resumed specie payments, followed by a considerable surge in mintages and a substantial influx of half eagles into circulation.
Collectors typically acquire this coin as a Type, encompassing various sets. Beyond collecting sets by date or date and mintmark, one popular collection involves obtaining a single coin from each of the seven Mints that produced half eagles. Half eagles stand as the sole coin type minted at all seven U.S. Mints.
A LITTLE STICKER MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE.
Within each number of the coin grading scale is a small range of condition from low-end to high-end. Certified coins of the same grade can be of varying quality. Many of today’s collectors want coins that are solid or premium quality for their assigned grade. CAC holds coins to a higher standard so you can be confident in the value of yours. We verify previously graded coins … and award our sticker only to those coins that meet the standard for today’s selective buyer.
WHAT THE CAC STICKER MEANS:
Verified. Your coin has been verified as meeting the standard for strict quality within its grade.
Guaranteed. CAC stands behind our verification.
THE CAC STICKER IS BACKED BY EXPERIENCE.
CAC was founded by leading members of the numismatic community, including John Albanese, a respected authority on coin grading and the rare coin market.
The pricing quoted on this page is based on the current market price for this precious metal, which constantly fluctuates and we continuously update from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday.
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