Godless Exile is 1860 Half Dime


The answer to last week’s Silver Eagle Giveaway was the Seated Liberty Half Dime, 1860 TRANSITION J-267.

Last week Liberty Shops Auctions sponsored an Eagle giveaway for the first person to familiarize himself with the background of a coin and then answer this question below:

Background: In 2007, the public’s ire arose at the suggestion that the US Mint was producing a “Godless Dollar.” Click here to read a CBS News story about that. The public outcry was so intense that the Congress passed a bill mandating that “In God We Trust” no longer appear on edge lettering but on the face of the coin, which the government began minting in that manner in 2009. Turns out that as many as 50,000 2007 Washington Presidential dollars, out of a mintage of more than 300 million, lacked edge lettering that stated “In God We Trust,” a motto appearing on US circulating coinage since the two-cent 1864 coin. But around this date the United States considered a transitional pattern coin that not only preceded and therefore lacked the motto, but also lacked the name of the country.


Question: What transitional pattern coin, which hobbyists still collect as part of a series, not only lacks “In God We Trust” but also “The United States of America,” making it a Godless Exile coin?

While there are many transitional patterns, and a few without the legend, the key to correctly answering this question was in the phrase: “which hobbyists still collect as part of a series.”

NGC writes about this coin: “This is a popular pattern issue that is collected by many Seated Liberty aficionados alongside the regular-issue series. The usual mintage given is 100 pieces.”

For the full commentary, click here.

There was no winner of the Silver Eagle, although D****7 came close, writing: “”Thanks to Sean and Michael for these contests. I always learn so much. Really had to wrack brain on this one, but I believe it was the 1856 Flying Eagle transitional pattern coin. It transitioned between the large cent an the small cent. It had the Flying Eagle on the obverse, but has no date, no motto and no ‘ United States of America’ minted on it. Really enjoy seeing Proxiblog in my mailbox, always a good read. And thanks Sean for making Silver buying reasonable again, with quality and low premiums.”

Sean Cook decided to give this viewer an Eagle for coming so close. The difference was, the half-dime is typically collected as part of the series.

This was an important coin because an example was seen last year in a Proxibid auction. If you are an auctioneer, or a sharp-eyed bidder, you might want to keep on the lookout for sleeper coins. See this article for more information.

Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s