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.

1825 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT RAW GRADE UNKNOWN
1825 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT RAW GRADE UNKNOWN
$52.02
1864 Nova Scotia Half Cent Choice XF  FREE SHIPPING
1864 Nova Scotia Half Cent Choice XF FREE SHIPPING
$9.53
1809 6 Classic Half Cent Nice Fine Grade
1809 6 Classic Half Cent Nice Fine Grade
$37.00
1809 Clasic Head Half Cent AU Unc Details Environmental damage
1809 Clasic Head Half Cent AU Unc Details Environmental damage
$32.55
1804 Draped Bust Copper US Half Cent Coin Plain 4 No Stem
1804 Draped Bust Copper US Half Cent Coin Plain 4 No Stem
$28.04
1800 1 2C Cohen 1 RD Draped Bust Half Cent low mintage of 202908 very scarc
1800 1 2C Cohen 1 RD Draped Bust Half Cent low mintage of 202908 very scarc
$26.00
1835 1 2C BN Classic Head Half Cent VF low mintage 398000 rare
1835 1 2C BN Classic Head Half Cent VF low mintage 398000 rare
$28.09
1855 1 2C RB Braided Hair Half Cent F VF very low mintage of 56500 rare
1855 1 2C RB Braided Hair Half Cent F VF very low mintage of 56500 rare
$30.55
1851 Braided Hair Half Cent Tough This Nice  Free Shipping
1851 Braided Hair Half Cent Tough This Nice Free Shipping
$90.00
1828 Classic Head Half Cent 13 Stars Free Shipping
1828 Classic Head Half Cent 13 Stars Free Shipping
$11.02
1809 Classic Head Half Cent Free Shipping
1809 Classic Head Half Cent Free Shipping
$17.00
1802 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
1802 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
$20.50
1809 1 2C BN Classic Head Half Cent with rotated die
1809 1 2C BN Classic Head Half Cent with rotated die
$8.50
1854 1 2C Braided Hair Half Cent No Reserve free shipping usa only
1854 1 2C Braided Hair Half Cent No Reserve free shipping usa only
$50.00
1853 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT NGC C 1 Variety XF Details
1853 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT NGC C 1 Variety XF Details
$18.50
BRITISH NORTH BORNEO HALF CENT 1907 H VERY NICE
BRITISH NORTH BORNEO HALF CENT 1907 H VERY NICE
$63.00
1829 Classic Head Half Cent EF AU Details
1829 Classic Head Half Cent EF AU Details
$41.00
1828 Classic Half Cent Nice Looking Original F VF
1828 Classic Half Cent Nice Looking Original F VF
$26.11
1809 Half Cent
1809 Half Cent
$17.95
1828 13 stars Classic Head Half Cent Free Shipping
1828 13 stars Classic Head Half Cent Free Shipping
$9.50
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Crosslet with Stems VF XF
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Crosslet with Stems VF XF
$22.22
1828 Classic Half Cent Nice Very Fine
1828 Classic Half Cent Nice Very Fine
$38.00
1829 Classic Half Cent Attracative Fine
1829 Classic Half Cent Attracative Fine
$22.50
1832 Classic Half Cent Sharp Very Fine
1832 Classic Half Cent Sharp Very Fine
$20.00
1855 Braided Half Cent Sharp Very Fine
1855 Braided Half Cent Sharp Very Fine
$33.00
LOW MINTAGE 1832 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT NICE AU COIN ONLY 51 THOUSAND MINTED
LOW MINTAGE 1832 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT NICE AU COIN ONLY 51 THOUSAND MINTED
$54.70
1826 FULL LIBERTY VERY HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
1826 FULL LIBERTY VERY HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
$31.00
1809 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT APPEALIN BEAUTIFUL VERY SCARCE MAJOR REVERS ROTATION
1809 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT APPEALIN BEAUTIFUL VERY SCARCE MAJOR REVERS ROTATION
$23.50
1807 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT 207 YEARS OLD
1807 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT 207 YEARS OLD
$11.08
1853 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT CH AU US COIN RARE
1853 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT CH AU US COIN RARE
$67.00

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




1825 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT RAW GRADE UNKNOWN,  1864 Nova Scotia Half Cent Choice XF FREE SHIPPING ,  1809 6 Classic Half Cent Nice Fine Grade,  1809 Clasic Head Half Cent AU Unc Details Environmental damage,  1804 Draped Bust Copper US Half Cent Coin Plain 4 No Stem,  1800 1 2C Cohen 1 RD Draped Bust Half Cent low mintage of 202908 very scarc,  1835 1 2C BN Classic Head Half Cent VF low mintage 398000 rare,  1855 1 2C RB Braided Hair Half Cent F VF very low mintage of 56500 rare,  1851 Braided Hair Half Cent Tough This Nice Free Shipping,  1828 Classic Head Half Cent 13 Stars Free Shipping,  1809 Classic Head Half Cent Free Shipping,  1802 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping,  1809 1 2C BN Classic Head Half Cent with rotated die,  1854 1 2C Braided Hair Half Cent No Reserve free shipping usa only,  1853 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT NGC C 1 Variety XF Details,  BRITISH NORTH BORNEO HALF CENT 1907 H VERY NICE,  1829 Classic Head Half Cent EF AU Details,  1828 Classic Half Cent Nice Looking Original F VF,  coinsu s coins US Coins 1851 Liberty Briaded Hair Half Cent LOOK,  1809 Half Cent,  1828 13 stars Classic Head Half Cent Free Shipping,  1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Crosslet with Stems VF XF,  1828 Classic Half Cent Nice Very Fine,  1829 Classic Half Cent Attracative Fine,  1832 Classic Half Cent Sharp Very Fine,  1855 Braided Half Cent Sharp Very Fine,  LOW MINTAGE 1832 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT NICE AU COIN ONLY 51 THOUSAND MINTED,  1826 FULL LIBERTY VERY HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION,  1854 ULTRA HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION,  1809 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT APPEALIN BEAUTIFUL VERY SCARCE MAJOR REVERS ROTATION,  

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

Comments are closed.

© Copyright 2014 Rare U.S. Coins - Looknooks