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The Story of 1815 Coinage

The Story of 1815 Coinage

The year of 1815 was indeed a monumental year in United States history. The infamous Battle of New Orleans concluded in January and The War of 1812 finally came to an end in February.

1815 was also quite an interesting year when it came to the minting of coins. The only denominations the United States Mint produced with the date 1815, were the Quarter, Half Dollar, and $5 Half Eagle. All three coins have significantly small mintages compared to prior years because of high gold and silver bullion prices.

Pictured below is a U.S. Mint Record from 1815:

1815 was the first year of the Capped Bust Quarter design, this would be the first time since 1807 that quarters were being struck. There were no plans to resume the production of the quarter, until when in 1815, Planters Bank in New Orleans had deposited a large sum of silver to the United States Mint and requested that their silver be made into quarters only. The only reason the 1815 quarter exists today is because of Planters Bank special order. 69,232 quarters were minted in 1815 and an additional 20,003 were minted in 1816 with dies from 1815. A total of 89,235 coins were struck using just one die pair. If it weren't for Planters Bank, who knows how long the United States would have gone without minting quarters! As a Bust Quarter collector, I am grateful for Planters Bank, haha! An 1815 quarter is the most budget friendly coin of the three. You can buy a well circulated 1815 quarter for roughly $200-$300.

The 1815 U.S. Mint records do not report any 1815 halves minted, but 1816 records show that 47,150 half dollars were produced in 1816, which is quite odd since there are no 1816 Capped Bust Halves. These coins must have been struck with 1815 dies. All 1815 half dollars were struck with one die pairing and have an 1815/2 overdate, which is also quite peculiar that they reused a die that was 3 years old, instead of using an 1814 die. A well circulated example can be purchased for roughly $3,500.

Pictured below is a U.S. Mint record from 1816:

The 1815 $5 Half Eagle is an exclusively rare coin with only 635 minted. PCGS and NGC each have 3 coins in their population reports. The most recent auction sale for a problem free example was an NGC MS64 that sold for $460,000 on Heritage Auctions on January 8th, 2009.

1815 is also the only year that one cent pieces weren't made, so if you see a large cent dated 1815, it must be counterfeit.

Thanks for reading!

Frank Sawin
18 Year Old Numismatist
@coinz900 on Instagram

U.S. Mint Records are from Newman Numismatic Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/51?Year=1817&displayAmt=50

Frank Sawin
18 Year Old Numismatist


  • edwardjulioedwardjulio Posts: 988 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 28, 2021 9:20AM


    End Systemic Elitism

  • coinz900coinz900 Posts: 22 ✭✭✭

    @edwardjulio said:
    You might want to post this on the US Forum.

    Thanks Edward, didn't realize that I had posted this in the Q&A.

    Still learning the ropes here ;)

    Frank Sawin
    18 Year Old Numismatist

  • JWPJWP Posts: 14,689 ✭✭✭✭✭

    WOW - I did not know any of this information. this is why I like collecting coins -- FOR THE HISTORY.

    USN & USAF retired 1971-1993
    Successful Transactions with more than 100 Members

  • WAYNEASWAYNEAS Posts: 6,123 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A very nice and informative posting.

    Kennedys are my quest...

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