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.

1797 Liberty Cap Half Cent Rare Key Date Type Coin
1797 Liberty Cap Half Cent Rare Key Date Type Coin
$511.01
1828 Classic Head Half Cent 13 Stars
1828 Classic Head Half Cent 13 Stars
$21.62
1835 Classic Head Half Cent
1835 Classic Head Half Cent
$17.05
1826 Classic Head Half Cent About XF  FREE SHIPPING
1826 Classic Head Half Cent About XF FREE SHIPPING
$86.01
1829 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT HIGH GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
1829 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT HIGH GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
$41.00
1828 13 STARS CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT XF GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
1828 13 STARS CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT XF GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
$62.00
1832 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT XF GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
1832 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT XF GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
$58.01
1853 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT AU GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
1853 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT AU GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
$86.00
1833 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT NICE GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
1833 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT NICE GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
$23.50
1828 US Half Cent 13 Stars No Reserve Price Free Shipping
1828 US Half Cent 13 Stars No Reserve Price Free Shipping
$8.50
1835 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT NICE GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
1835 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT NICE GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
$31.11
1809 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT XF GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
1809 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT XF GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
$63.52
1834 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT AU + OR UNC GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
1834 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT AU + OR UNC GRADE GREAT RARE COIN
$86.99
1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT SPIKED CHIN VARIETY C 8 in HIGH GRADE
1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT SPIKED CHIN VARIETY C 8 in HIGH GRADE
$78.77
1809 1 2c Classic Head Half Cent
1809 1 2c Classic Head Half Cent
$21.50
1805 Half Cent Draped Bust Stems
1805 Half Cent Draped Bust Stems
$19.75
1806 Half Cent Draped Bust Small 6 No Stems  Scarce Early Date
1806 Half Cent Draped Bust Small 6 No Stems Scarce Early Date
$122.50
1829 1 2C BN Classic Head Half Cent
1829 1 2C BN Classic Head Half Cent
$46.00
1809 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT
1809 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT
$33.00
Superb Glossy Brown  Problem Free 1853 Coronet Half Cent Graded AU55 by PCGS
Superb Glossy Brown Problem Free 1853 Coronet Half Cent Graded AU55 by PCGS
$96.00
1808 Draped Bust Half Cent
1808 Draped Bust Half Cent
$51.00
1853 Half Cent with Counter Stamp No Reserve
1853 Half Cent with Counter Stamp No Reserve
$20.05
1805 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT C 1 SMALL 5 NO STEMS ATTRACTIVE VERY FINE
1805 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT C 1 SMALL 5 NO STEMS ATTRACTIVE VERY FINE
$45.00
1834 US Half Cent of CLASSIC HEAD design GREAT DETAILS  NO RESERVE
1834 US Half Cent of CLASSIC HEAD design GREAT DETAILS NO RESERVE
$26.67
1853 Braided Hair Half Cent
1853 Braided Hair Half Cent
$20.50
1800 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
1800 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
$56.00
1853 Half Cent Braided Hair  Free Shipping
1853 Half Cent Braided Hair Free Shipping
$80.07
 1828 Half Cent F VF
1828 Half Cent F VF
$24.50
1803 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT HIGH GRADE GREAT ORIGINAL RARE COIN
1803 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT HIGH GRADE GREAT ORIGINAL RARE COIN
$57.00
1800 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT NICE GRADE GREAT ORIGINAL RARE COIN
1800 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT NICE GRADE GREAT ORIGINAL RARE COIN
$45.00

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




1797 Liberty Cap Half Cent Rare Key Date Type Coin,  1828 Classic Head Half Cent 13 Stars,  1835 Classic Head Half Cent,  1826 Classic Head Half Cent About XF FREE SHIPPING ,  1829 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT HIGH GRADE GREAT RARE COIN,  1828 13 STARS CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT XF GRADE GREAT RARE COIN,  1832 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT XF GRADE GREAT RARE COIN,  1853 BRAIDED HAIR HALF CENT AU GRADE GREAT RARE COIN,  1833 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT NICE GRADE GREAT RARE COIN,  1828 US Half Cent 13 Stars No Reserve Price Free Shipping,  1835 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT NICE GRADE GREAT RARE COIN,  1809 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT XF GRADE GREAT RARE COIN,  1834 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT AU + OR UNC GRADE GREAT RARE COIN,  1828 13 STARS CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT XF OR AU HOLED FOR CHARM GREAT RARE COIN,  1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT SPIKED CHIN VARIETY C 8 in HIGH GRADE,  1809 1 2c Classic Head Half Cent,  1805 Half Cent Draped Bust Stems,  1806 Half Cent Draped Bust Small 6 No Stems Scarce Early Date,  1829 1 2C BN Classic Head Half Cent,  1809 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT,  Superb Glossy Brown Problem Free 1853 Coronet Half Cent Graded AU55 by PCGS,  1808 Draped Bust Half Cent,  1853 Half Cent with Counter Stamp No Reserve,  1805 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT C 1 SMALL 5 NO STEMS ATTRACTIVE VERY FINE,  1825 US Half Cent of CLASSIC HEAD design GREAT DETAILS NO RESERVE ,  1834 US Half Cent of CLASSIC HEAD design GREAT DETAILS NO RESERVE,  1853 Braided Hair Half Cent,  1800 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping,  1853 Half Cent Braided Hair Free Shipping,  1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT 1835 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT EARLY US COPPER TYPE,  

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

Comments are closed.

© Copyright 2014 Rare U.S. Coins - Looknooks