I just finished watching the fifth episodeof Spare Change. Another informative and entertaining watch! Episode 5 is about the U.S. gold coins the half eagle ($5) and the quarter eagle ($2.50).
A few interesting facts:
Half eagles and quarter eagles are 90% gold and 10% copper. The coins weigh 8.35 and 4.18 grams respectively. The coins also have a reeded edge which you probably know was added to many coins to prevent shaving or clipping coins as well as an anti-counterfeiting measure. If you were not already aware shaving and clipping coins is when a person takes off part of the coin by either shaving or clipping the edge. They then spend the coin. The shavings and clippings collected from many coins could then be melted and used. Suddenly a coin with $50 in gold weight would only have $49.50 worth of gold or in some cases even less. Both coins were made using an incusive design. An incusive design is when the design is carved into the coin instead of bulging out from the coin. These coins are the only U.S. coins minted that have a completely incusive design.