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IN Half Cents

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Half Cents


The U.S. Half Cent was authorized by the Coinage Act of April 2, 1792, and first issued in 1793 with the Flowing Hair design. Half Cents are one of the most fascinating and coveted of all American coin series’, offering collector’s five different and interesting designs. These coins were struck at the United States Mint until 1857 and each type is considered scarce, regardless of grade. No Half Cents have mintmarks because they were produced at the Philadelphia Mint, the only existing official mint in the country at the time.

When the Half Cent was discontinued in 1857, merchants and the public had fallen out of love with the coin that was once an essential part of America’s monetary system. Although no longer used today, the Half Cent composed of copper has become very popular among investors and collectors, especially the issues and varieties that are difficult to locate.

Rare Half Cent Dates

There are a number of rare Half Cents that are worth a mention, all of which are listed below. Please feel free to read the information we’ve shared on each of the scarce dates, and don’t hesitate to contact us for further advice about any of the coins featured on this page. Capital Gold Group can also help you to acquire Half Cents, whether it is those that we have listed or any other rare or common dates.

1804 Half Cent Crosslet

In 1804, the Half Cent featured the Draped Bust design. A major yet rare variety of the 1804 Half Cent is the Crosslet 4, with Stems. The coin features a crosslet 4 in the date on the obverse, as well as stems on the wreath displayed on the reverse. Some 1804 Half Cent Crosslet 4 issues are without the stems on the reverse, so there are actually two varieties that show a tiny vertical bar at the end of the number 4 (the side furthest right) in 1804.

1804 Half Cent

As previously mentioned, the 1804 Half Cent is an interesting coin that was struck in the major “Crosslet 4, with Stems” and “Crosslet 4, without Stems” varieties. However, there are also three other varieties including the “Plain 4, with Stems”, “Plain 4, without Stems”, and the “Spiked Chin” type. Both the “Plain 4” issues do not feature the crosslet 4. The 1804 Spiked Chin Half Cent features Liberty with a spike protruding from her chin on the obverse.

1807 Half Cent

The 1807 Draped Bust Half Cent is a rare coin, as only 4,000 specimens are known to exist, all of which come from one die pair. Uncirculated and mint state examples are extremely rare, and a limited number are known to have survived in good condition.

1809/6 Half Cent

Although known as the 1809/6 Half Cent, this coin should be called the 1809/9. This is because the digit 9 in the date has been punched upside down; making it appear as though it’s really a 6. The coin features the Classic Head design and is the only overdate variety from that particular series. Because of this, the 1809/6 Half Cent is a rare and highly desirable piece.

1811 Half Cent

Another rare and sought-after coin from the Classic Head series is the 1811 Half Cent. The issue comes in three different varieties, two of which can be identified by looking at the date on the obverse. One variety is known as the “Wide-Date” and the other is the “Close-Date.” Both types are scarce, however, the “Wide-Date” issue is considered to be the rarest. The third and rarest variety is called the “Unofficial Restrike” and has been minted using an 1802 die.

1832 Half Cent

The 1832 Half Cent followed a 3-year gap in the Classic Head series and has the second lowest mintage of all circulation strikes. Having said that, there are no records to show precisely how many 1832 Half Cent coins were made by the United States Mint. We do, however, know that the estimated mintage is 51,000 pieces. The coin comes in three different varieties, all of which deal with the reverse.

1833 Half Cent

All 1833 Half Cents have the Classic Head design and were minted using a single pair of dies. While scarce, more specimens did become available when the Guttag Bros. coin dealership in New York sold its hoard of several thousand examples. This particular hoard was distributed over the years and made collecting the 1833 Half Cent a reality for many coin enthusiasts.

1853 Half Cent

Featuring the Braided Hair design, the 1853 Half Cent is actually fairly easy to locate. The real challenge is finding a specimen with its full red color. 1853 Half Cents with their original red coloration are considered exceptionally rare, which is explains why they are highly sought after by numismatists.

1854 Half Cent

The 1854 Braided Hair Half Cent is considered a must-have coin with a low mintage of just over 55,000 pieces. As with most dates in the series, 1854 Half Cents with Mint red coloration are rare. Having said that, many examples showing accents of their original red color were discovered in a hoard nearly 100 years after they were released, giving collectors the opportunity to own attractive specimens.

1855 Half Cents

For those who yearn to possess scarce coins with their full red color, the 1855 Half Cent is a must-have issue. It is the most commonly found date in Mint red condition from the entire Braided Hair Half Cent series, however, many specimens display weakness with regards to strike.

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