• Creator
  • Illinois Heritage Association
  • Created Date
  • 02/04/03
  • Description
  • The 1864 dime has a wreath and says "United States of America." The other two coins just have the wreath. All three say "One Dime." The earliest dimes were called "dismes. The Seated Liberty dime was minted from 1837-1891. The design was similar to the seated Liberty found on other coins. Typically the allegorical figure was depicted with a profile face, front-faced torso, and profile legs. This convention, which presents the most telling aspe... more
    The 1864 dime has a wreath and says "United States of America." The other two coins just have the wreath. All three say "One Dime." The earliest dimes were called "dismes. The Seated Liberty dime was minted from 1837-1891. The design was similar to the seated Liberty found on other coins. Typically the allegorical figure was depicted with a profile face, front-faced torso, and profile legs. This convention, which presents the most telling aspects of a figure, was used in Egyptian relief carvings. It was adopted by the Greeks and presented in a more naturalistic manner. It is particularly appropriate for coins, in which the design is reduced, yet must still carry well. The seated Liberty is shown here accompanied by a shield and by a staff on which is placed a soft cap. The pileus and the Phrygian cap were both symbols of liberty and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, they have somewhat differing origins. Pileus is Latin for skull-cap. It was a soft cap given to a slave upon emancipation to cover his shaved head. Roman coins show Libertas and a pileus and a scepter. The Phrygian cap or bonnet was an ancient cone-shaped cap worn in Phrygia. It was adopted by the Greeks. It was made of felt, woolen cloth, or leather, with a soft point that fell forward if made of felt or wool, but remained erect if made of leather. Both the pileus and the Phrygian cap were called liberty caps. During the French Revolution, the red wool cap or "le Bonnet Rouge" was worn by French revolutionists. One account tells of it being presented to Louis XVI on the end of a pole, when the revolutionists broke into the Tuileries in 1792. The king was executed in January 1793. The liberty cap was worn as a sign of patriotism. There are also stories that in the colonies the Sons of Liberty wore similar caps as early as 1765, and prior to the Revolution erected liberty poles, topped by such a cap. The cap was traditional in the Northeast, especially among the French and became very popular during the American Revolution. One might compare the cap with the red wool caps worn by the French Voyageurs. One other interesting note about the Phrygian cap and its depiction on coins is that the most famous king of Phrygia was King Midas. Legend has it that he was given the power to turn everything he touched into gold. He had to rescind the power when he found he could not eat or drink. Source: Embassy of France in Australia - About France Fact Sheets. How We Learn About Communities; Communities and Geography; History of Money. 15 Economics; 16 History. less