Pattern coins are coins not intended to go into circulation but are intended to serve as guides in designing coins for a nation's economy. Best examples of pattern coinage is the 1792 US pattern coins and the rare 1977 "Gasparro" dollar coin.
America's early coins name are shown below:
The proposed coinage of that year was of course never actually adopted.
In 1977 the U.S. Mint was looking for a small, quarter-sized dollar coin that would replace the big and cumbersome Eisenhower dollar. Various designs were reviewed by the Mint until this coin came in: the 1977 Gasparro dollar coin.
Designed by Frank Gasparro, the coin had Liberty with flowing hair and an eagle on the reverse of the coin.
America's first coins never got the designs of the pattern ones, but they were closely related.