Assembling a United States Type Coin Collection- Major Types Only

The Inexpensive Way to a U.S. Type Coin Collection

Assembling a type set of United States coins can be a fun, challenging and profitable adventure. Additionally, you can be flexible with regards to the type of coins you would want to collect. One way to collect coins is to collect them by the principal coin types focusing on the coin's composition (copper, silver, gold, etc.). 

If your coin collecting budget does not allow for gold coins, you can skip that section. While this strategy only includes the major types of United States coins, some...MORE collectors will assemble a set that consists of the minor design types. For example, the Liberty Seated dime minted from 1837 until 1891 has seven minor types for the design which are not included a collection of major coin types.

  • 01 of 07

    Assembling a Type Set of United States Coins

    A Type Set of United States Nickels
    James Bucki

    Use this list to keep track of your progress as you strive to assemble a type set of every major design ever made by the United States Mint.  

    In specific instances, where it can be reasonably predicted that a coin series will continue over the next few years, future dates have been provided. A favorite way to organize your collection is by significant divisions such as "Copper," "Silver, Nickel & Clad" or "Gold."  Within each division, every U.S. major coin type is covered and subdivided by design type where appropriate.   

  • 02 of 07

    Copper Type Coins

    Lincoln Wheat Penny
    Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com

    Copper coins provide an affordable entry point into the hobby of coin collecting. By starting with the issues of the twentieth and twenty-first century, you can become acquainted with strategies for acquiring these coins.

    Half Cents

    • Liberty Cap; 1793 - 1797
    • Draped Bust; 1800 - 1808 
    • Classic Head; 1809 - 1836 
    • Braided Hair (or Coronet); 1840 - 1857 

    Large Cents

    • Flowing Hair; 1793
    • Liberty Cap; 1793 - 1796
    • Draped Bust; 1796 - 1807 
    • Classic Head; 1808 - 1814 
    • Matron Head (or Coronet); 1816 - 1839
    • Braided Hair; 1839 - 1857 
    • Flying Eagle; 1856 - 1858 
    • Indian Head; 1859 - 1909
    • Lincoln Wheat; 1909 - 1958
    • Lincoln Memorial; 1959 - 2008
    • Lincoln Bicentennial; 2009
    • Lincoln Shield Reverse; 2010 - Date   

    Two Cents

    • Shield Two Cents; 1864 - 1872 
  • 03 of 07

    Silver, Nickel and Clad Type Coins

    1876 Trade Silver Dollar
    Heritage Auction Galleries, Ha.com

    Large silver coins, such as the Morgan and Peace silver dollars, can hold most of their value in the silver content of the coin. Modern issues such as the Jefferson nickel (1938-today) are an affordable entry point for the beginning coin collector. 

    Three Cents - Silver

    • Star; 1851 - 1873
    • Three Cents - Nickel
    • Liberty Head; 1865 - 1889 

    Half Dimes

    • Half Disme; 1792 (Usually considered a pattern coin)
    • Flowing Hair; 1794 - 1795 
    • Draped Bust; 1796 - 1805
    • Capped Bust; 1829 - 1837 
    • Seated Liberty; 1837 - 1873
    • Shield; 1866 - 1883
    • Liberty Head; 1883 - 1913
    • Indian Head (or Buffalo);  1913 - 1938
    • Jefferson; 1938 - Date
    • Draped Bust; 1796 - 1807
    • Capped Bust; 1809 - 1837
    • Seated Liberty; 1837 - 1891
    • Barber; 1892 - 1916 
    • Winged Liberty (Mercury); 1916 - 1945 
    • Roosevelt; 1946 - Date

    Twenty Cents

    • Liberty Seated; 1875 - 1878 

    Quarters

    • Draped Bust; 1796 - 1807
    • Capped Bust; 1815 - 1838
    • Seated Liberty; 1838 - 1891
    • Barber; 1892 - 1916 
    • Standing Liberty; 1916 - 1930
    • Washington; 1932 - 1998
    • Washington Bicentennial; 1976
    • 50 State Quarters; 1999 - 2008
    • D.C. and U.S. Territories; 2009
    • America the Beautiful; 2010 - 2019

    Half Dollars

    • Flowing Hair; 1794 - 1795 
    • Draped Bust; 1796 - 1807
    • Capped Bust; 1807 - 1839
    • Seated Liberty; 1839 - 1891
    • Barber; 1892 - 1915 
    • Walking Liberty; 1916 - 1947 
    • Franklin; 1948 - 1963 
    • Kennedy; 1964 - Date
    • Kennedy Bicentennial; 1976

    Silver Dollars 

    • Flowing Hair; 1794 - 1795 
    • Draped Bust; 1795 - 1804
    • Gobrecht; 1836 - 1839
    • Seated Liberty; 1804 - 1873
    • Trade Dollar; 1873 - 1885 
    • Morgan; 1878 - 1904 & 1921 
    • Peace; 1921 - 1935

    Clad and a Base Metal Dollars

    • Eisenhower; 1971 - 1978
    • Eisenhower Bicentennial; 1976 
    • Susan B. Anthony (SBA); 1979 - 1981 & 1999
    • Sacagawea; 2000 - 2008 
    • Native American; 2009 - Date
    • Presidents; 2007 - 2016
  • 04 of 07

    Gold Type Coins

    A 1927-D Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle twenty dollar gold coin.
    Heritage Auctions, HA.com

    Gold coins can be collected for both their numismatic value and their intrinsic bullion value. However, you should do some careful research ​before you decide which ​gold coins to invest in.

    One Dollar - Gold

    • Liberty Head; 1849 - 1854 
    • Liberty/Indian Princess; 1854 - 1889

    $2.50 - Quarter Eagles

    • Liberty Cap (or Draped Bust); 1796 - 1807
    • Turban Head (or Capped Bust); 1808 - 1834     
    • Classic Head; 1834 - 1839 
    • Liberty Head (Coronet Head); 1840 - 1907 
    • Indian Head; 1908 - 1929 

    $3 Gold

    • Three Dollar Gold; 1854 - 1889 

    $4 Gold (Proof Only)

    • Stella; 1879 - 1880 (Usually considered a pattern coin)

    $5 - Half Eagles

    • Liberty Cap (Draped Bust); 1795 - 1807
    • Turban Head (Capped Bust); 1807 - 1834
    • Classic Head; 1834 - 1838 
    • Liberty Head (Coronet Head); 1839 - 1908
    • Indian Head; 1908 - 1929 

    $10 - Eagles

    • Liberty Cap (Capped Bust or Turban Head); 1795 - 1804
    • Liberty Head (Coronet Head); 1838 - 1907
    • Indian Head; 1907 - 1933

    $20 - Double Eagles

    • Liberty Head; 1846 - 1907
    • Saint Gaudens (Standing Liberty); 1907 - 1933
    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Commemorative Type Coins

    2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Program
    The United States Mint, www.usmint.gov

    Assembling a collection of commemorative coins from the United States Mint can be a very satisfying endeavor along your coin collecting journey. You can purchase early commemorative coins that were issued between 1892 in 1954. The beginning coin collector will want to focus on the modern issues that are currently being issued by the United States Mint.

    Early Commemorative Coinage; 1892-1954

    • Quarter Dollar; 1893
    • Half Dollar; 1892 - 1954
    • One Dollar - Silver; 1900
    • One Dollar - Gold; 1903 - 1922
    • Quarter Eagle - $2.50 Gold; 1915 & 1926
    • Fifty Dollar - Gold; 1915

    Modern Commemorative Coinage; 1982-Date

    • Half Dollar; 1982 - Date 
    • One Dollar - Silver; 1983 - Date
    • Half Eagle - $5 Gold; 1986 - Date
    • Eagle - $10 Gold; 1984 - Date
    • Double Eagle - $20 Gold; 2009 (Ultra High Relief Double Eagle)
  • 06 of 07

    Bullion Coins

    American Eagle Silver Proof Bullion Coin obverse and reverse
    The United States Mint, www.usmint.gov

    Beginning in 1986, the United States Mint started to produce and market bullion coins directly to the public. A majority of these coins are sold at a slight premium above the spot price. Additionally, the mint produces beautiful collector coins in Proof or special uncirculated finishes.

    Silver

    • American Eagle Silver Dollar; 1986 - Date   
    • America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Quarter; 2010 - 2021

    Gold

    • American Eagle Gold $5; 1986 - Date
    • American Eagle Gold $10; 1986 - Date
    • American Eagle Gold $25; 1986 - Date
    • American Eagle Gold $50; 1986 - Date
    • Gold Buffalo (Bison) $5; 2008
    • Gold Buffalo (Bison) $10; 2008
    • Gold Buffalo (Bison) $25; 2008
    • Gold Buffalo (Bison) $50; 2008
    • First Spouse Gold $10; 2007 - 2016
    • 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar; 2014

    Platinum

    • American Eagle Platinum $10; 1997 - Date
    • American Eagle Platinum $25; 1997 - Date
    • American Eagle Platinum $50; 1997 - Date
    • American Eagle Platinum $100; 1997 - Date
  • 07 of 07

    Downloadable and Printable US Type Coin Checklist

    The Complete Checklist of United States Type Coins - Major Types Only
    The Complete Checklist of United States Type Coins - Major Types Only. Image Copyright: © 2015 James Bucki; All rights reserved.

    Click on the link below to download and print a complete checklist that you can take with you to coin shows and coin dealers to track your progress while you build your type set of United States coins.