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You Can Own a Complete Set of 1816 Coinage!

You Can Own a Complete Set of 1816 Coinage!

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

Author: Q. David Bowers / Friday, October 02, 2020 / Categories: From the Desk of Q. David Bowers

​Yes you can! And quite inexpensively as well! 

There is, of course, a good reason why this is so easy to do. That’s because the year 1816 is the only one in the history of United States coinage from 1793 to date when just one denomination was struck, the copper one-cent piece. Despite being the only 1816-dated coins struck, examples are plentiful today and are affordable, even including in higher grades.

For a number of other years, a complete set of coins is relatively small and can also be acquired, although not quite as inexpensively. In 1793 the copper cent and half cent were struck, and nothing else. However, examples of these 1793 coins run into the thousands of dollars, even in lower grades. In 1815 just the quarter dollar, half dollar, and gold half eagle were produced. While you can probably get an 1815 quarter fairly inexpensively, even a low-grade 1815 half dollar will run into the thousands of dollars and the 1815 half eagle is a classic rarity with fewer than a dozen known. In the Guide Book, only six figure prices are even listed for this issue. 

Among later years you can find some with restricted mintages – 1922 and 1931 come to mind. In our own generation 1975 is interesting, for although cents, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars were struck in that year, the quarters, halves, and dollars all bore the date 1976, as they were prestruck for the Bicentennial.