The History of the 1792 Half Disme, America’s First Coin

December 27th, 2012 by


The 1792 silver Half Disme (pronounced “deem”) was the first coin minted in the United States Mint. This coin has been in the numismatic news lately due to recent and upcoming auctions of surviving pieces. This article in CoinWeek by Greg Reynolds covers the little-known history behind the half disme, and the purpose behind the short run of only 1500 pieces under the order of George Washington.

The half disme was used as a demonstration that the United States was a viable nation and would be minting its own coinage instead of using European coinage, and furthermore would be using a decimal system of currency to set itself apart from the European powers.