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.

1795 half cent strong full date
1795 half cent strong full date
$235.00
1804 half cent extremely high grade beautiful color
1804 half cent extremely high grade beautiful color
$151.04
2 British Straits Settlements 1 2 half cent copper coins 1908 1916 KEVII
2 British Straits Settlements 1 2 half cent copper coins 1908 1916 KEVII
$4.25
1828 Half Cent Classic Head  Free Shipping
1828 Half Cent Classic Head Free Shipping
$78.00
1828 Classic Half Cent 13 Star Very Good
1828 Classic Half Cent 13 Star Very Good
$22.00
1828 Classic Half Cent 12 Star Good
1828 Classic Half Cent 12 Star Good
$20.75
1832 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT XF AU
1832 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT XF AU
$32.00
1832 Half Cent Classic Head  Free Shipping
1832 Half Cent Classic Head Free Shipping
$70.00
1857 Half Cent Braided Hair Tough AU+ Early Copper  Free Shipping
1857 Half Cent Braided Hair Tough AU+ Early Copper Free Shipping
$80.00
1849 Braided Hair Half Cent
1849 Braided Hair Half Cent
$20.50
1808 Draped Bust Half Cent 1977
1808 Draped Bust Half Cent 1977
$18.56
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent 1 2c Plain 4 Stemless GRADE it Yourself NO RESERVE
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent 1 2c Plain 4 Stemless GRADE it Yourself NO RESERVE
$71.00
1828 Classic Half Cent 23 Stars Nice Original Very Fine
1828 Classic Half Cent 23 Stars Nice Original Very Fine
$44.00
1855 1 2C Classic Head Half Cent PCGS AU58 H16458
1855 1 2C Classic Head Half Cent PCGS AU58 H16458
$103.51
1829 Half Cent Classic Head  Free Shipping
1829 Half Cent Classic Head Free Shipping
$49.00
1854 Half Cent Braided Hair Very Nice Choice BU++ Early Copper  Free S H
1854 Half Cent Braided Hair Very Nice Choice BU++ Early Copper Free S H
$59.00
Exceptional Chocolate Brown 1833 Classic Head Half Cent PCGS AU58 Gorgeous
Exceptional Chocolate Brown 1833 Classic Head Half Cent PCGS AU58 Gorgeous
$100.00
Exceptional Chocolate Brown 1853 Braided Hair Half Cent PCGS MS62 BN Gorgeous
Exceptional Chocolate Brown 1853 Braided Hair Half Cent PCGS MS62 BN Gorgeous
$187.50
Terrific Looking 1809 Classic Head Half Cent F+ with Folder MUST SEE NR
Terrific Looking 1809 Classic Head Half Cent F+ with Folder MUST SEE NR
$19.80
1835 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT VERY GOOD DETAILS
1835 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT VERY GOOD DETAILS
$12.50
1855 Half Cent Braided Hair Sought After Date Nice Chocolate Brown  Free S H
1855 Half Cent Braided Hair Sought After Date Nice Chocolate Brown Free S H
$46.00
1806 Half Cent United States Coin Draped Bust NR
1806 Half Cent United States Coin Draped Bust NR
$50.00
1854 Half Cent PCGS XF45
1854 Half Cent PCGS XF45
$68.00
1853 Half Cent Braided Hair  Free Shipping
1853 Half Cent Braided Hair Free Shipping
$40.00
1833 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT ONLY 103000 MINTED 184 YEARS OLD
1833 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT ONLY 103000 MINTED 184 YEARS OLD
$12.61
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Crosslet 4 With Stems Circulated NR 24
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Crosslet 4 With Stems Circulated NR 24
$9.50
1849 Braided Hair Half Cent Beautiful Coin Rare Date
1849 Braided Hair Half Cent Beautiful Coin Rare Date
$11.62
1826 Classic Head Copper Half Cent NGC VF30
1826 Classic Head Copper Half Cent NGC VF30
$50.88
1828 Half Cent Classic Head 13 Stars Variety Nice Choice AU Early Copper
1828 Half Cent Classic Head 13 Stars Variety Nice Choice AU Early Copper
$76.00
1804 half cent spiked chin very high grade
1804 half cent spiked chin very high grade
$103.50

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




1795 half cent strong full date,  1804 half cent extremely high grade beautiful color,  2 British Straits Settlements 1 2 half cent copper coins 1908 1916 KEVII,  1828 Half Cent Classic Head Free Shipping,  1828 Classic Half Cent 13 Star Very Good,  1828 Classic Half Cent 12 Star Good,  1832 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT XF AU,  1832 Half Cent Classic Head Free Shipping,  1857 Half Cent Braided Hair Tough AU+ Early Copper Free Shipping,  1849 Braided Hair Half Cent,  1808 Draped Bust Half Cent 1977,  1804 Draped Bust Half Cent 1 2c Plain 4 Stemless GRADE it Yourself NO RESERVE,  1828 Classic Half Cent 23 Stars Nice Original Very Fine,  1855 1 2C Classic Head Half Cent PCGS AU58 H16458,  1829 Half Cent Classic Head Free Shipping,  1854 Half Cent Braided Hair Very Nice Choice BU++ Early Copper Free S H,  Exceptional Chocolate Brown 1833 Classic Head Half Cent PCGS AU58 Gorgeous,  Exceptional Chocolate Brown 1853 Braided Hair Half Cent PCGS MS62 BN Gorgeous,  Terrific Looking 1809 Classic Head Half Cent F+ with Folder MUST SEE NR,  1828 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT FINE DETAILS BENT,  1835 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT VERY GOOD DETAILS,  1855 Half Cent Braided Hair Sought After Date Nice Chocolate Brown Free S H,  1806 Half Cent United States Coin Draped Bust NR,  1854 Half Cent PCGS XF45,  1795 FLOWING HAIR HALF CENT LETTERED EDGE AG G RARE,  1853 Half Cent Braided Hair Free Shipping,  1833 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT ONLY 103000 MINTED 184 YEARS OLD,  1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Crosslet 4 With Stems Circulated NR 24,  1849 Braided Hair Half Cent Beautiful Coin Rare Date,  1826 Classic Head Copper Half Cent NGC VF30,  

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

Comments are closed.

© Copyright 2017 Rare U.S. Coins - Looknooks