Liberty's Legacy: Celebrating America's Bicentennial Coins

Introduction of Bicentennial Coinage

In 1975 and 1976, the U.S. Mint released quarters, half dollars, and dollars commemorating the 200th anniversary of American independence, all bearing the dual date 1776–1976​​.

Legislative Background

The coin designs were authorized by legislation signed by President Richard Nixon on October 18, 1973, which allowed for special bicentennial reverses on the quarter, half dollar, and dollar​​.

Design Competition

A national competition was held for the reverse designs of the three coins, open to all U.S. citizens, with winners announced in March 1974​​​​.

Quarter Design

Jack L. Ahr's design of a colonial drummer boy was selected for the quarter, symbolizing the spirit of the American Revolution​​.

Half Dollar Design

Seth Huntington's rendering of Independence Hall was chosen for the half dollar, representing the birthplace of American independence​​.

Dollar Design

Dennis R. Williams' image of the Liberty Bell superimposed on the moon was used for the dollar, linking American independence with the nation's achievements in space exploration​​.

Minting and Composition

Hundreds of millions of Bicentennial coins were minted in copper-nickel for circulation and 40% silver for collectors​​.

Coin Varieties

The bicentennial dollar coins featured a "Type I" and "Type II" variation, with the latter having refined reverse lettering​​.

Collectible Value

Circulated Bicentennial coins are generally worth face value, though uncirculated and special mint sets can be more valuable​​.

Legacy and Circulation

Bicentennial quarters remain in circulation, but half dollars and dollars from the series are now mostly found through collectors​​.