Coins of Character: The Art and Artists Behind America's Ten Most Iconic Coin Designs

Saint-Gaudens Twenty Dollar Gold Piece (1907-1933):

Designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, this coin is often hailed as the most beautiful American coin ever made, showcasing a full-length figure of Liberty with a torch and olive branch​​.

Liberty Walking Half Dollar (1916-1947)

Sculpted by Adolph A. Weinman, featuring a full-figure Liberty in stride, this design symbolizes America's ideals and aspirations, encapsulating the spirit of national pride and freedom​​.

Mercury Dime (1916-1945)

Adolph A. Weinman also created this design, mistakenly named for depicting Mercury; it actually shows Liberty with a winged cap, symbolizing freedom of thought​​.

Buffalo Nickel (1913-1938)

James Earle Fraser, a student of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, designed this coin featuring a Native American and a bison, aiming for a purely American theme​​.

Standing Liberty Quarter (1916-1930)

Hermon Atkins MacNeil designed this coin, initially controversial for its depiction of Liberty, which included a bare breast that was later covered in subsequent mintings​​.

Morgan Dollar (1878-1921)

George T. Morgan, a British engraver, created this iconic coin featuring a profile of Liberty and an eagle, embodying the spirit of the Old West​​.

Peace Dollar (1921-1935)

Anthony de Francisci's design was selected to commemorate peace after World War I, featuring Liberty with radiant crown and a bald eagle at rest​​.

Lincoln Cent (1909-present)

Victor D. Brenner's design was the first to feature a real person, Abraham Lincoln, symbolizing honesty and humility, and marking a departure from allegorical figures​​.

Eisenhower Dollar (1971-1978)

Designed by Frank Gasparro, this coin was meant to honor both President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Apollo 11 moon landing, featuring the Liberty Bell and an eagle landing on the moon on its reverse​​.

Susan B. Anthony Dollar (1979-1981, 1999)

Also designed by Frank Gasparro, this coin was notable for being the first to feature a real woman, Susan B. Anthony, an advocate for women's rights​​.