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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.

1855 Braided Hair Half Cent Coin 1 2 Rare only 56500 Minted Uncirculated
1855 Braided Hair Half Cent Coin 1 2 Rare only 56500 Minted Uncirculated
$66.55
1835 Classic Head Half Cent Full Liberty Great Rims
1835 Classic Head Half Cent Full Liberty Great Rims
$22.50
1832 Classic Head half cent EF 40 details circulated business strike
1832 Classic Head half cent EF 40 details circulated business strike
$38.55
1835 1 2C BN Classic Head Half Cent NGC XF 40 BN Great Coin
1835 1 2C BN Classic Head Half Cent NGC XF 40 BN Great Coin
$91.00
1849 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT
1849 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT
$72.00
BEAUTIFUL 1835 US Classic Head Half Cent EXTRA SHARP ROTATED DIE
BEAUTIFUL 1835 US Classic Head Half Cent EXTRA SHARP ROTATED DIE
$92.89
1828 1 2C 13 Stars BN Classic Head Half Cent PCGS VF 30
1828 1 2C 13 Stars BN Classic Head Half Cent PCGS VF 30
$67.50
1809 Classic Head Half Cent Lot2
1809 Classic Head Half Cent Lot2
$33.00
1851 Half Cent 1 2 VF
1851 Half Cent 1 2 VF
$38.01
1805 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot3
1805 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot3
$20.55
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot7
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot7
$8.50
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot8
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot8
$18.49
1803 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot9
1803 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot9
$12.03
1803 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot15
1803 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot15
$14.49
1828 Classic Head Half Cent  13 Stars  AC0522
1828 Classic Head Half Cent 13 Stars AC0522
$20.59
1856 Braided Hair Half Cent HIGH GRADE Free Shipping
1856 Braided Hair Half Cent HIGH GRADE Free Shipping
$93.89
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent 200+ years old
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent 200+ years old
$28.00
1851 US BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT 4383
1851 US BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT 4383
$23.76
1853 US BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT 4384
1853 US BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT 4384
$17.50
1854 US BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT 4385
1854 US BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT 4385
$38.00
1828 Classic Half Cent Very Good Condition
1828 Classic Half Cent Very Good Condition
$15.50
1826 1 2C Classic Head Half Cent
1826 1 2C Classic Head Half Cent
$40.00
1804 Half Cent
1804 Half Cent
$7.96
1828 Half Cent Classic Head 13 Stars Variety  Free Shipping
1828 Half Cent Classic Head 13 Stars Variety Free Shipping
$16.00
1856 Braided Hair US Large Half Cent Coin
1856 Braided Hair US Large Half Cent Coin
$32.00
1804 Draped Bust half cent Plain 4 Stemless reverse must see
1804 Draped Bust half cent Plain 4 Stemless reverse must see
$38.00
1833 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT VERY FINE DETAILS
1833 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT VERY FINE DETAILS
$23.50
1835 Classic Head Half Cent PCGS Genuine Cleaning XF Details NICE US COIN
1835 Classic Head Half Cent PCGS Genuine Cleaning XF Details NICE US COIN
$22.50
1804 1 2C Plain 4 No Stems PCGS Genuine Cleaning G Details Draped Bust Half Cent
1804 1 2C Plain 4 No Stems PCGS Genuine Cleaning G Details Draped Bust Half Cent
$10.13
1810 Genuine Env Damage PCGS VF Details Classic Head Half Cent Coin 1 2c
1810 Genuine Env Damage PCGS VF Details Classic Head Half Cent Coin 1 2c
$12.00

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




1855 Braided Hair Half Cent Coin 1 2 Rare only 56500 Minted Uncirculated,  1835 Classic Head Half Cent Full Liberty Great Rims,  1832 Classic Head half cent EF 40 details circulated business strike,  1835 1 2C BN Classic Head Half Cent NGC XF 40 BN Great Coin,  1849 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT,  BEAUTIFUL 1835 US Classic Head Half Cent EXTRA SHARP ROTATED DIE,  1828 1 2C 13 Stars BN Classic Head Half Cent PCGS VF 30,  1809 Classic Head Half Cent Lot2,  1851 Half Cent 1 2 VF,  1805 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot3,  1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot7,  1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot8,  1803 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot9,  1803 Draped Bust Half Cent Lot15,  1828 Classic Head Half Cent 13 Stars AC0522,  1856 Braided Hair Half Cent HIGH GRADE Free Shipping,  1804 Draped Bust Half Cent 200+ years old,  1851 US BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT 4383,  1853 US BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT 4384,  1854 US BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT 4385,  1828 Classic Half Cent Very Good Condition,  1826 1 2C Classic Head Half Cent,  1804 Half Cent,  1828 Half Cent Classic Head 13 Stars Variety Free Shipping,  1803 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT LOW MINTAGE REVERSE ROTATED 213 YRS OLD,  1856 Braided Hair US Large Half Cent Coin,  1804 Draped Bust half cent Plain 4 Stemless reverse must see,  1833 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT VERY FINE DETAILS,  1835 Classic Head Half Cent PCGS Genuine Cleaning XF Details NICE US COIN,  1804 1 2C Plain 4 No Stems PCGS Genuine Cleaning G Details Draped Bust Half Cent,  

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