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Image of United States, 50 Dollars, 1877 (Pattern)
 
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Materials: Gold
Measurement: Dia. 51.1 mm, Wt. 83.580 g
Source: Transfer from U.S. Mint
Note: Judd 1546
 


United States, 50 Dollars, 1877 (Pattern)

Some twenty years after the private sector had abandoned the idea of a fifty-dollar gold piece in the mid-1850s, the Philadelphia Mint considered the possibility of a federal coin of this denomination. There was even talk of a "union," or hundred-dollar coin, and a drawing or two has survived to suggest what the Mint had in mind. But in the end, no such coin was ever produced.

The project went a bit farther in the case of the "half union." Dies were prepared, the work of William Barber (father of the eventual Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber).

Barber’s obverse and reverse designs look vaguely akin to Longacre’s work for the double eagle. A few patterns were struck in copper and two in gold; the latter share a reverse die but each has a slightly different obverse die. The project was abandoned soon afterwards, as it became apparent that the new coin simply wasn’t needed.
 
Related Events
1861: The U.S. Civil War begins when Confederate forces attack Fort Sumter, South Carolina.
1869: The first transcontinental railroad is completed with golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah.
1876: The United States celebrates its Centennial with an international exhibition in Philadelphia.
1877: Federal troops are withdrawn from the Southern states, effectively ending Reconstruction.
1881: President James Garfield is assassinated and Vice President Chester A. Arthur becomes president.
 
Golden Legends The following objects are in this section.
Templeton Reid, 10 Dollars, 1830United States, 5 Dollars, 1838Oregon Exchange Company, 5 Dollars, 1849Clark, Gruber & Co., 20 Dollars, 1860
Templeton Reid, 5 Dollars, 1830United States, 2 1/2 Dollars, 1848U.S. Assay Office, 50 Dollars, 1851 
Templeton Reid, 2 1/2 Dollars, 1830United States, 20 Dollars, 1849 (Pattern)Kellogg & Co., 50 Dollars, 1855 
Bechtlers, 5 Dollars, 1834Oregon Exchange Company, 10 Dollars, 1849United States, 50 Dollars, 1877 (Pattern) 
 
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