Lot Number:73
Start Time:5/23/2024 4:00:00 AM
End Time:6/9/2024 10:41:38 PM
Bid Count:34
Winning Bidder:R****d
Starting Bid:$1.00
Bid Increment:$4.50
Current Bid:$75.50
Bidding complete

The copper half cent, minted from 1793 to 1857, was the smallest denomination coin ever produced by the United States Mint. Here's a comprehensive look at this piece of American coinage history:

History and Significance:

  • Early American Coinage: Introduced alongside the large cent in 1793, the half cent served as a necessary denomination for small transactions in the young nation's developing economy.
  • Material and Size: Minted entirely from copper, the half cent was nearly the size of a modern-day U.S. quarter (approximately 22-23 mm in diameter).
  • Shifting Needs and Demise: As the economy grew and the value of copper fluctuated, the production of half cents became less practical. The Coinage Act of 1857 discontinued the half cent, replaced by the smaller and less expensive nickel-copper cent.

Design Variations:

There were five distinct design variations for the copper half cent throughout its production:

  • Liberty Head (Radiant Hair) (1793-1796): Features Lady Liberty facing right with flowing hair radiating outward.
  • Draped Bust (Liberty Cap) (1796-1800): Depicts Liberty facing left with a draped bust and a cap inscribed "LIBERTY."
  • Draped Bust (Stars) (1800-1805): Similar to the previous design but with stars added around Liberty's bust.
  • Classic Head (1805-1814): Showcases a mature Liberty facing left with a headband.
  • Liberty Head (Coronet Head) (1816-1857): Features Liberty facing left with flowing hair crowned by a band of pearls (coronet).

Collecting Copper Half Cents:

  • Condition: As with all coins, condition is paramount. Higher grades (MS63 and above) from reputable grading services like PCGS or NGC command a premium.
  • Type and Variety: Identifying the specific design type (refer to the five variations mentioned above) can influence value. Certain varieties within each type, like die errors, can be especially sought-after.
  • Rarity: Earlier types and specific dates within each type can be scarcer and hold a higher premium.

Where to Find Copper Half Cents:

  • You can find copper half cents at coin shops, online marketplaces like eBay, or through auctions.
  • When considering a purchase, ensure the coin is authentic and has been graded by a reputable service if it's in potentially higher condition.

The copper half cent, though no longer part of everyday circulation, represents an important chapter in American coinage history. Its various designs and historical context continue to interest collectors and enthusiasts alike.

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