There are many different types of copper and nickel coins, so in this article, we will be narrowing down to just five major types of Half Cents. In the next article we will be going over the Large Cents. Now, let us begin our discussion about these copper coins.
Half Cents appeared in five major types, which are discussed below:
Liberty Cap, Head Facing Left (1793 only):
When Congress first discussed new designs for its coins, they wanted to honor George Washington, but he objected. The Congressmen decided on representation of liberty and freedom. Because you canâ€™t really depict a sensation like freedom
or an idea like liberty, they drew liberty as a young woman with flowing hair. This woman carried a cap on a pole- but not just any cap. It was the cap of a freedman- someone who once was in bondage but now is free.
2. Liberty Cap, Head Facing Right (1794-1797):
In 1794, Liberty began to face right instead of left. In 1795, the weight of the coins was reduced, so you can find both heavy coins with lettered edges and lighter coins with plain edges in the year of 1795.The edges on on later
dates were supposed to be plain, but in 1797, you have the choice between edges that are plain or edges that are gripped(displaying weird, irregular markings on the outer rim).
3. Draped Bust (1800-1808):
In 1800, Half Cents finally displayed the Draped Bust design, which had already been used by other coins since 1796. Liberty appears to have grown into quite a sophisticated young maiden, with a new hairstyle and a new dress.
4. Capped Bust or Classic Head (1809-1836}: On this design, Liberty appears to have grown even more- into a stern looking, middle aged hausfrau, meaning a woman regarded as overly sophisticated or efficient. One of the more interesting strikes is the 1811 restrike, made many years later outside the U.S. Mint by combining an old, scrapped front from 1811 with a back from 1802. Most reference books include a privately minted 1837 Half Cent just to give them something from that year, because no Half Cents were minted in that year.
5. Braided Hair or Coronet Type (1840-1857): In 1840, Liberty regained a younger appearance- her hair was in braids and she wore a coronet instead of a headband. Unfortunately, most people did not see this design until 1849- for the first nine years, the coins bearing this design were only struck as Proofs and were made available only to a small group of people who visited the Mint. 1857 brought the end to this design and, unfortunately, to all Half Cents.
In conclusion, there are many types of Half Cents, and they are all valuable. But in my opinion, these precious coins should all be preserved safely and kept. Thank you for reading my article and I hope I gave you a little bit of insight about Half Cents.