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Reich was born in Furth, Bavaria during 1768. Here, he learned to engrave from his father, Johann Christian Reich, and assisted him in making medals. During 1800, John Reich immigrated to the United States, settling in Philadelphia. A year later, in 1801, President Thomas Jefferson recommended Reich to be hired as an engraver for the Philadelphia Mint. Though he was unable to gain a full-time position of engraver, Reich was hired for other duties.
In 1807, Chief Engraver Robert Scot hired Reich as assistant engraver. After being given the position, Robert M. Patterson, the mint's director, assigned Reich to redesigning most of the coins that were then in circulation. On the coins, he replaced the Draped Bust design of Scot's with his own design: the Capped Bust. In 1817, after ten years of no promotion or pay raise, as well as little praise from Scot, Reich resigned from working at the mint. Afterward, he lived in Albany, New York until his death around 1833.
- Sculptors Engravers of the United States Mint – CoinFacts Wiki
- Capped Bust Left Large 1808 Quarter Eagle – CoinLink