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Image of First United States Silver Dollar, 1794
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First United States Silver Dollar, 1794


The olive branches - often used to symbolize peace - formed a key element of this first American silver dollar.


As on the other side of this coin, the faint letters here indicate a light strike was used when the coin was made.


Eagles, familiar design features on American coins, fall into two broad categories of style: the naturalistic eagle and the heraldic eagle. The naturalistic eagle shown here was later thought to convey an unclear visual message. A good example of the heraldic eagle is the reverse of the 1838 ten dollar piece.


Legendary Firsts The following objects are in this section.
Massachusetts Pine Tree Shilling, "1652" (struck 1667-1674)First United States Silver Dollar, 1794Great Britain, Sovereign, 1838
Massachusetts, "twenty shillings," 1690Brasher Doubloon, 1787United States, 5 Dollars, 1838
Pewter Continental Dollar, 1776United States, 20 Dollars, 1854United States, 10 Dollars, 1838
Copper Pattern Dollar, 1794Portrait Medal of James Smithson, 1817 
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Learning Resources Flash Exhibition
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