James B. Longacre designed the Liberty Head Type Gold dollar shortly after coinage of the gold dollar was authorized by Congressional act on March 3, 1849. The $1 Liberty (Type 1) gold coin is the smallest coin in United States Mint history with a diameter of only 13mm, making it even smaller than the 14mm silver three-cent piece.
Design of the $1 Liberty Gold Coin - Several different variations of the $1 Liberty Head coins were minted. The differences of these variations include the size of Liberty's head as well as the openness/enclosure of the wreath on the reverse. However, the basic design, detailed below, did not change. Like the $20 Liberty, the obverse (front) of the coin features Lady Liberty with her hair tightly curled above her neck, crowned by a coronet. The surrounding 13 stars represent the 13 original colonies. The gold coin's reverse (back) features a wreath encircling the denomination and date. The Mint Mark is located between the wreath and the words "United States of America."
$1 Liberty Coin Minting Information - The $1 Liberty Head (Type 1) gold coin was minted from 1849 until the introduction of the $1 Indian Head (Type 2) gold coin in 1854. Although the design on the obverse completely changed, many numismatists refer to the Liberty Head and the two versions of the $1 Indian Head gold coins as Types I, II and III. These gold dollars were minted primarily at the Philadelphia Mint, but also at Charlotte, Dahlonega, New Orleans, and in its last year, 1854, at the newly opened San Francisco Mint.