SPECIAL ADVISORY: In accordance with Yale University’s revised COVID-19 protocols, the Yale University Art Gallery is closed to the public until further notice. Learn More

Numismatics
Mint: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Designer: Bela Lyon Pratt, American, 1867–1917, Art School Certificate of Completion, 1888, B.F.A. 1899
Engraver: Charles E. Barber, American, born England, 1840–1917

5 Dollars from Philadelphia

1908

Gold

8.34 g, 6:00, 21.5 mm
Transfer from the Yale University Library, Numismatic Collection, 2001, Gift of Millicent Todd Bingham
2001.87.3437

Bela Lyon Pratt’s design for the half-eagle ($5 gold piece) was also used for the quarter-eagle ($2.50), and it represents his response to President Roosevelt’s call for a radical redesign of American coinage. (The larger denominations, predictably, were given to Augustus Saint-Gaudens.) Pratt’s design immediately proved controversial: its incuse surface, for example, was said to harbor germs. Still, the design was maintained until the end of American gold coinage in 1932.

Geography: 
Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
American
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Numismatics
Provenance: 

Millicent Todd Bingham, to 1969; Yale University Library, New Haven, Conn., 1969–2001; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.