facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The half cent was among the first coin strikes authorized by the U.S. Congress on April 2, 1792. Designed by Adam Eckfeldt and first released in 1793, it was minted at the Philadelphia Mint periodically until 1857. Its metal composition was of copper and weighed of 6.74 grams. It is the smallest-denomination coin ever minted in the United States. Its small buying power and large size 22mm, led to its unpopularity at that time in history. Production of the Half Cent discontinued production on February 21, 1857.

Though it may appear strange nowadays, the U.S. government once issued a coin worth less than one cent: the half cent. The copper Half Cent started in production on April 2, 1792. During its 64-years in circulation the Government stuck five basic design types of the tiny (0.93-in) coin. The Philadelphia Mint was the choice of location for striking the first batch of Half Cent coins. A mint Mark was not forged on the coins. The Half Cent's designers and engravers are amongst the most renowned in U.S. Mint history: Adam Eckfeldt, Robert Scot, John Gardner, Gilbert Stuart, John Reich and Christian Gobrecht. Designs for the Half Cent were also translated for use other coin denominations throughout the years. Below is a brief summary of the Half Cent coinage designs.

Liberty Cap

The 1793 Liberty Cap was the first half cent struck and as a result, is a highly coveted coin for today's coin collectors. The obverse design, is believed to be based on sketches made by Mint Director David Rittenhouse, although it is not known for certain who actually finalized the design and the dies for the first Half Cents strike. The obverse features a portrait of “Liberty” facing left. Her hair is flowing behind her, and ascending from the back of her head is a pole that supports a liberty cap. The reverse features a laurel wreath of leaves and berries which circle the value, “HALF CENT”. In 1794 the “Liberty Cap” half cent saw its first design change after only one year of circulation. This design, “Liberty” is facing to the right. While there were many different forms of this design type, the most famed change, other than the direction of “Liberty”, is that she now is wearing her liberty cap. There are varieties which do place the cap held upright by a pole. The reverse remained the same as the previous designs, with a wreath circling the value, “HALF CENT”.

Draped Burst

Starting in 1800, the Half Cents design changed with the introduction of the "Draped Bust" form. The obverse featured a larger version of “Liberty” facing right. The reverse was graced with the existing wreath already in use. The laurel wreath is a close copy of that seen on 1797 Cents. It displays 16 leaves on the left branch and 19 on the right. “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” surrounds the border and the value “HALF CENT” is centered on the coin with the fraction, 1/200 at the coin's lower edge.

Braided Hair

The last design variety in the “Half Cent” series is the “Braided Hair”. The designer, Christian Gobrecht, used the same Braided Hair conception he used on the cent of 1839. A bust of “Liberty”, facing left, graces the obverse. Her hair is braided into a bun. She wears a tiara inscribed with the word "liberty". The reverse side was a re-introduction of that used on the 1809 rendition. The denomination, “HALF CENT”, is bordered by a wreath, tied at the bottom with a bow, and circled by the legend “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”.

Here is a sample of popular U.S. half cent coins selling on eBay right now.

1834 Matron Head Half Cent
1834 Matron Head Half Cent
$51.00
Outstanding 1833 Classic Head Half Cent ITEMT100
Outstanding 1833 Classic Head Half Cent ITEMT100
$58.00
1833 Classic Head Half Cent Extra Fine XF US Type Coin Original Tone Damaged A1
1833 Classic Head Half Cent Extra Fine XF US Type Coin Original Tone Damaged A1
$16.50
1854 1 2C BN Braided Hair Half Cent
1854 1 2C BN Braided Hair Half Cent
$19.30
1806 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
1806 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
$20.49
1832 Half Cent Classic Head VF Hole
1832 Half Cent Classic Head VF Hole
$8.80
1828 Classic Head Half Cent NO Reserve Auction
1828 Classic Head Half Cent NO Reserve Auction
$15.00
1807 US Half Cent Certified PCGS VF30
1807 US Half Cent Certified PCGS VF30
$216.00
1808 Half Cent Very Good Grade slightly bent a Bargain Coming YOUR Way
1808 Half Cent Very Good Grade slightly bent a Bargain Coming YOUR Way
$6.50
1825 Half Cent a pleasing Good grade
1825 Half Cent a pleasing Good grade
$9.95
1835 Half Cent Fine a nice coin
1835 Half Cent Fine a nice coin
$8.00
1835 Classic Head Half Cent XF cond damage free
1835 Classic Head Half Cent XF cond damage free
$45.00
1832 Classic Head Half Cent Only 51000 Minted 14 Day Satisfaction Guarantee
1832 Classic Head Half Cent Only 51000 Minted 14 Day Satisfaction Guarantee
$41.00
1794 Liberty Cap Half Cent Solid Fine
1794 Liberty Cap Half Cent Solid Fine
$147.50
Half cent penny 1807 collector coin
Half cent penny 1807 collector coin
$33.05
1834 Classic Head Half Cent NICE GRADE rare old type coin 1 2c
1834 Classic Head Half Cent NICE GRADE rare old type coin 1 2c
$46.77
1807 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT PCGS F 12 UNDERGRADED
1807 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT PCGS F 12 UNDERGRADED
$81.00
1793 LIBERTY CAP HALF CENT 1 2C PCGS PO 01 PHOTOGRADE FR02 TYPE COIN
1793 LIBERTY CAP HALF CENT 1 2C PCGS PO 01 PHOTOGRADE FR02 TYPE COIN
$485.05
1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT VF
1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT VF
$65.00
1853 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT CHOICE AU+++
1853 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT CHOICE AU+++
$61.77
1806 Draped Bust Half Cent  Small 6 Stemless  Early Copper  FREE SHIPPING
1806 Draped Bust Half Cent Small 6 Stemless Early Copper FREE SHIPPING
$17.89
1809 Classic Head Half Cent Choice AU NGC
1809 Classic Head Half Cent Choice AU NGC
$150.53
1850 Half Cent
1850 Half Cent
$116.50
1800 Draped Bust Half Cent Good Details True Auction No Reserve
1800 Draped Bust Half Cent Good Details True Auction No Reserve
$73.50
1853 Braided Hair Half Cent PCGS AU graffiti Nice
1853 Braided Hair Half Cent PCGS AU graffiti Nice
$37.00
1835 Classic Head Half Cent PCGS AU53
1835 Classic Head Half Cent PCGS AU53
$56.00
1803 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
1803 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
$35.55
1828 Half Cent Classic Head 13 Stars  Free Shipping
1828 Half Cent Classic Head 13 Stars Free Shipping
$122.50
1855 Braided Hair Half Cent PCGS AU55
1855 Braided Hair Half Cent PCGS AU55
$102.51
1891 H NGC MS62BN BRITISH NORTH BORNEO 1 2 HALF CENT
1891 H NGC MS62BN BRITISH NORTH BORNEO 1 2 HALF CENT
$52.00

Use this search tool, find Rare and Certified U.S. Coins:




1834 Matron Head Half Cent,  1864 NOVA SCOTIA 1 2 HALF CENT PENNY COPPER VICTORIA COIN NICE,  Outstanding 1833 Classic Head Half Cent ITEMT100,  1833 Classic Head Half Cent Extra Fine XF US Type Coin Original Tone Damaged A1,  1854 1 2C BN Braided Hair Half Cent,  1806 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping,  1832 Half Cent Classic Head VF Hole,  1833 Classic Head Half Cent Coin,  1828 Classic Head Half Cent NO Reserve Auction,  1807 US Half Cent Certified PCGS VF30,  1808 Half Cent Very Good Grade slightly bent a Bargain Coming YOUR Way,  1825 Half Cent a pleasing Good grade,  1835 Half Cent Fine a nice coin,  1835 Classic Head Half Cent XF cond damage free,  1832 Classic Head Half Cent Only 51000 Minted 14 Day Satisfaction Guarantee,  1794 Liberty Cap Half Cent Solid Fine,  Half cent penny 1807 collector coin,  1834 Classic Head Half Cent NICE GRADE rare old type coin 1 2c,  1807 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT PCGS F 12 UNDERGRADED,  1793 LIBERTY CAP HALF CENT 1 2C PCGS PO 01 PHOTOGRADE FR02 TYPE COIN,  1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT VF,  1853 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT CHOICE AU+++,  1806 Draped Bust Half Cent Small 6 Stemless Early Copper FREE SHIPPING,  1809 Classic Head Half Cent Choice AU NGC,  1850 Half Cent,  1800 Draped Bust Half Cent Good Details True Auction No Reserve,  1853 Braided Hair Half Cent PCGS AU graffiti Nice,  1835 Classic Head Half Cent PCGS AU53,  1803 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping,  1828 Half Cent Classic Head 13 Stars Free Shipping,  

\\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

© Copyright 2014 Rare U.S. Coins - Looknooks