Twenty Cent Pieces
The brainchild behind the creation of the twenty cent coin was none other than Nevada Senator John P. Jones. Senator Jones believed that a coin slightly larger than the dime would be the perfect solution to the small change problem. In a time when dimes and quarters were the primary denominations in use, introducing a new coin with a distinctive value seemed like a reasonable approach. The idea was to make a coin that could fill the gap between the dime and the quarter and provide more flexibility in everyday transactions.
The twenty cent coin was minted with a composition of 90% silver and 10% copper, making it consistent with other silver coins of the era. It had a diameter of 22 millimeters, making it slightly larger than a quarter, which had a diameter of 24.3 millimeters. The coin’s obverse, or front, featured the image of Liberty, while the reverse displayed an eagle with outstretched wings, a design that was common on many U.S. coins of the time.
The introduction of the twenty cent coin in 1875 marked an interesting departure from the usual progression of coinage in the United States. While dimes and quarters were well-established denominations, the creation of a coin with a face value of twenty cents was a unique experiment. This denomination aimed to provide a more convenient option for consumers and businesses in their daily transactions.