Coins of Change: 10 Historic U.S. Coinage Acts and Their Lasting Legacy in Numismatics

Coinage Act of 1792

Established the U.S. Mint and the bimetallic monetary system, creating denominations from half cents to eagles and introducing the iconic design of Liberty​​.

Coinage Act of 1834

Adjusted the gold-to-silver value ratio to 1:16, reducing the gold content in coins and inadvertently pushing silver out of circulation as gold became overvalued​​.

Coinage Act of 1849

Introduced amid the California Gold Rush, it authorized the creation of the Gold Dollar and the Double Eagle, influencing the gold supply and coin denominations​​.

Coinage Act of 1857

Ended the legal tender status of foreign coins in the U.S., ceased production of the half-cent, and modified the penny's composition to include nickel​​.

Coinage Act of 1864

Introduced the motto "In God We Trust" on coins and authorized the two-cent coin, marking the first appearance of this phrase on U.S. currency​​.

Coinage Act of 1873

Ended the free coinage of silver, leading to the demonetization of silver and the adoption of the gold standard, known as the "Crime of '73"​​.

Coinage Act of 1965

Addressed the silver shortage by eliminating silver from dimes and quarters and reducing it in half dollars, leading to the creation of clad coins​​.

Gold Standard Act of 1900

Officially placed the United States on the gold standard, emphasizing gold as the sole standard for redeeming paper money​​.

Silver Purchase Act of 1934

Increased the government's silver reserves and required the Treasury to purchase domestically produced silver, impacting silver prices and availability​​.

Coinage Act of 1972

Authorized the Eisenhower dollar, the first large-size dollar coin issued since the Peace dollar, commemorating President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Apollo 11 moon landing​​.