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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.

1825 Half Cent LIBERTY Some Hair Details Leaves are Worn But Seperated
1825 Half Cent LIBERTY Some Hair Details Leaves are Worn But Seperated
$14.50
1828 Classic Head Half Cent XF Vintage Better Grade 1 2 Penny coin 091756K
1828 Classic Head Half Cent XF Vintage Better Grade 1 2 Penny coin 091756K
$67.12
1809 Circle Inside O Classic Head Half Cent Free Shipping
1809 Circle Inside O Classic Head Half Cent Free Shipping
$73.00
1808 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
1808 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
$35.33
1833 Classic Head Copper US Half Cent Coin
1833 Classic Head Copper US Half Cent Coin
$18.50
1805 Draped Bust Half Cent VF Early Date Better Grade 1 2 Penny coin 091740K
1805 Draped Bust Half Cent VF Early Date Better Grade 1 2 Penny coin 091740K
$39.00
1835 HALF CENT VF XF
1835 HALF CENT VF XF
$51.51
1853 Braided Hair Half Cent Free Shipping
1853 Braided Hair Half Cent Free Shipping
$36.99
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
$31.00
1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT Plain 4 Stemless Wreath Nice Coin
1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT Plain 4 Stemless Wreath Nice Coin
$30.00
1809 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT
1809 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT
$18.50
1832 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT Impaired High Grade Example
1832 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT Impaired High Grade Example
$33.01
1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT COIN GREAT COIN
1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT COIN GREAT COIN
$41.00
USA 1833 NGC Graded VF 20 BN Classic Head Half Cent Coin Scarce
USA 1833 NGC Graded VF 20 BN Classic Head Half Cent Coin Scarce
$63.67
USA 1851 NGC Graded AU53BN Braided Hair Half Cent Coin Scarce
USA 1851 NGC Graded AU53BN Braided Hair Half Cent Coin Scarce
$124.50
1826 Half Cent low mintage
1826 Half Cent low mintage
$27.00
1804 CROSSLET 4 STEMS HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
1804 CROSSLET 4 STEMS HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
$77.00
1805 MEDIUM 5 NO STEMS HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
1805 MEDIUM 5 NO STEMS HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
$86.00
1806 SMALL 6 NO STEMS ULTRA HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
1806 SMALL 6 NO STEMS ULTRA HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
$167.50
1806 LARGE 6 WITH STEMS HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
1806 LARGE 6 WITH STEMS HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
$60.95
1809 RARE FULL LIBERTY HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
1809 RARE FULL LIBERTY HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
$60.95
1833 R B ULTRA HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
1833 R B ULTRA HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
$89.95
1834 ULTRA HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
1834 ULTRA HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
$89.00
1855 ULTRA HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
1855 ULTRA HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
$134.45
1856 HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
1856 HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION
$30.00
1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT CROSSLET 4 WITH STEMS 210 YEARS OLD
1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT CROSSLET 4 WITH STEMS 210 YEARS OLD
$21.50
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Vintage Early Date 1 2 Penny coin 091745K
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Vintage Early Date 1 2 Penny coin 091745K
$9.00
Cull Draped Bust 1 2 Half Cent  Classic Head Large Cent Lot
Cull Draped Bust 1 2 Half Cent Classic Head Large Cent Lot
$26.01
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping
$26.00
1809 Classic Head Half Cent Free Shipping
1809 Classic Head Half Cent Free Shipping
$13.75

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




1825 Half Cent LIBERTY Some Hair Details Leaves are Worn But Seperated,  1828 Classic Head Half Cent XF Vintage Better Grade 1 2 Penny coin 091756K,  1809 Circle Inside O Classic Head Half Cent Free Shipping,  1808 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping,  1833 Classic Head Copper US Half Cent Coin,  1805 Draped Bust Half Cent VF Early Date Better Grade 1 2 Penny coin 091740K,  1835 HALF CENT VF XF,  1853 Braided Hair Half Cent Free Shipping,  1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping,  1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT Plain 4 Stemless Wreath Nice Coin,  1809 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT,  1832 CLASSIC HEAD HALF CENT Impaired High Grade Example,  1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT COIN GREAT COIN,  USA 1833 NGC Graded VF 20 BN Classic Head Half Cent Coin Scarce ,  USA 1851 NGC Graded AU53BN Braided Hair Half Cent Coin Scarce ,  1826 Half Cent low mintage,  1804 CROSSLET 4 STEMS HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION,  1805 MEDIUM 5 NO STEMS HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION,  1806 SMALL 6 NO STEMS ULTRA HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION,  1806 LARGE 6 WITH STEMS HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION,  1809 RARE FULL LIBERTY HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION,  1833 R B ULTRA HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION,  1834 ULTRA HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION,  1855 ULTRA HIGH GRADE HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION,  1856 HALF CENT FROM BIG COLLECTION,  1804 DRAPED BUST HALF CENT CROSSLET 4 WITH STEMS 210 YEARS OLD,  1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Vintage Early Date 1 2 Penny coin 091745K,  Cull Draped Bust 1 2 Half Cent Classic Head Large Cent Lot,  1828 Classic Head Half Cent Free Shipping,  1804 Draped Bust Half Cent Free Shipping,  

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