TheHobbyist's Blog

16 Mar 2021

A little bit of information on half cents

Coins-United States | TheHobbyist

A little bit of information on half cents

Hello everyone,

Today, in this article we are going to talk about a more scarce US coin, the half cents. So, let us get started!

Basic Info

U.S. half cents were made between the years 1793-1857. They were originally worth half a cent but today their face value is about 14 cents. The half cents are the size of today’s quarter coins and were made of copper metal. So, those are the basic info.

A few fun facts…Did you know….

· The half cents weigh around 5.1 grams.

· Half cents were made during the presidency of Washington, Jefferson, Maddison, Adams

· Over half of the half cents were made during Jefferson presidency

· The half cents were needed to exchange as change.

· There were a lot of varieties of half cents.

Half cent varieties

· Between 1793-1857, 8 million half cents were made. All half dollars are scarce.

· Here is a tit bid information: The most common half cent is the 1804 Liberty Half Cent

· One of the rare varieties if the 1794 half cent. It sold for 1 million dollars in an auction.

· There is one variety with 12 stars. I am not aware of much detail on this.

· From a collector’s view point, half cents are available for few hundred dollar to some rare ones worth a million dollar in great condition. Certain half cents are even priced less than fifty dollars in eBay. It is a piece of history.

· There are also certain varieties of half cents, that have a hole. One example would be the 1856 half cents with braided hair.

· Half cents also had some mint error such as coins that were struck off the center, and various other errors making the coins more valuable.

· As with any other coins, there were counterfeits being made in half cents as well. When lots of counterfeits were made, people eventually lost trust in copper coins causing concerns.

How to maintain copper coins

· Keep copper coins away from water and hydroxide iron. Both substances will bind into copper.

· Keep copper coins away from Nitric acid as copper metal seems to dissolve in them.

· Keep copper coins away from heat. If you heat the copper coins, it will turn black.

· We need to store copper coins in an airtight storage. This is help protect the coins from oxidizing.


I shared with you some interesting information on half cents and how to maintain copper coins. When there is an opportunity, we can collect few half cents which are part of history. See you next time. Happy collecting! Just remember, learn, learn, learn!!


Guide book for United States Coin By R.S.Yeoman

Also looked up on google to learn



Level 4

Thanks for the advice.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Good blog! Stay away from that Nitric acid! I leaned in Chemistry class in college that it will give you a nasty burn and put nice neat holes in clothing!


Level 5

I have always been fascinated by the half-cent. Nice blog!


Level 6

I like the way you formatted this blog. Nice job. Thanks.


Level 6

Great advise for copper. Thanks for a good informative blog! ; )


Level 6

Good advice for any Copper coin, thanks for sharing your research.


Level 5

Nice post on half cents. I don't have any half cents collected. Might inspire me to acquire 1 or 2 to have the type. Thanks


Level 7

Also keep your copper cents away from the environment. My coins and tokens. The tokens go back to the middle of the 1700's they are red or red brown. They were kept from heat and cold and air. And today they look like they were made yesterday. The grade from MS 63 to MS 66. Thanks for the info.

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