US Half Dimes (1794-1873)

Numismatic Information, Coin Values and Images

This page describes all types of the US Half Dimes minted from 1794 through 1873, and includes their specifics, mintage records, key dates with coin values (for AG-3, or G-4, and EF-40 conditions) and images of a few types (not all) that were recovered at various locations in the North-East USA.

The half-dime types were authorized by the Act of April 2, 1792, but were not minted until February, 1795, although some were dated 1794. At first the weight was 20.8 grains, and fineness .8924. By the Act of January 18, 1837, the weight was slightly reduced to 20 5/8 grains and the fineness changed to .900. Finally the weight was reduced to 19.2 grains by the Act of February 21, 1853. Half dimes present the same general characteristics and offer many varieties in the early dates as larger US silver coins.

FLOWING HAIR, 1794-1795

Specifics:

Diameter: 16.5 mm
Weight: 1.35 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .8924 silver, .1076 copper
Quantity minted: 86,416
Mint: Philadelphia
Designer: Robert Scot
• Average coin values: AG-3 - $350.00, EF-40 - $2,500

DRAPED BUST TYPE, Small Eagle Reverse, 1796-1797

Specifics:

Diameter: 16.5 mm
Weight: 1.35 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .8924 silver, .1076 copper
Quantity minted: 54,757
Mint: Philadelphia
Designer: Robert Scot

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1796 6 over 5; AG-3 - $425.00, EF-40 - $4,300
Average coin values of other dates: AG-3 - $350.00, EF-40 - $3,500

DRAPED BUST TYPE, Heraldic Eagle Reverse, 1800-1805


Half Dime Draped Bust

Specifics:

Diameter: 16.5 mm
Weight: 1.35 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .8924 silver, .1076 copper
Quantity minted: 124,270
Mint: Philadelphia
Designer: Robert Scot

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1802; AG-3: $5,000, EF-40: $60,000
• 1805; AG-3: $280.00, EF-40: $3,250
Average coin values of other dates: AG-3 - $225.00, EF-40 - $2,250

CAPPED BUST TYPE, 1829 - 1837


Capped Bust Half Dime

Specifics:

Diameter: 15.5 mm
Weight: 1.35 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .8924 silver, .1076 copper
Quantity minted: 13,058,700
Mint: Philadelphia
Designers: William Kneases

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1834, 3 over inverted 3; G-4: $25.00, EF-40: $200.00
• 1836, 3 over inverted 3; G-4: $25.00, EF-40: $200.00
• 1837 Small 5c; G-4: $25.00, EF-40: $180.00
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $18.00, EF-40 - $115.00

LIBERTY SEATED TYPE, 1837-1873

Variety 1 - No Stars on Obverse 1837-1838

Specifics:

Diameter: 15.5 mm
Weight: 1.34 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Quantity minted: 1,475,000
Mints: Philadelphia, New Orleans
Designers: Christian Gobrecht

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1838 O, No Stars; G-4: $70.00, EF-40: $525.00
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $25.00, EF-40 - $190.00

From 1838 through 1859 mint mark is located above bow on reverse. Large, medium or small mint mark varieties occur for several dates.

Variety 2 - Stars on Obverse 1838-1853

Liberty Seated Half Dime

Specifics:

Diameter: 15.5 mm
Weight: 1.34 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Quantity minted: 21,975,774
Mints: Philadelphia, New Orleans
Designers: Christian Gobrecht

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1838 Small stars; G-4: $18.00, EF-40: $155.00
• 1840 Drapery; G-4: $16.00, EF-40: $155.00
• 1840o Drapery; G-4: $25.00, EF-40: $350.00
• 1842o; G-4: $22.00, EF-40: $425.00
• 1844o; G-4: $65.00, EF-40: $950.00
• 1846; G-4: $165.00, EF-40: $1,400
• 1849o; G-4: $28.00, EF-40: $475.00
• 1852o; G-4: $22.00, EF-40: $275.00
• 1853 No arrows; G-4: $28.00, EF-40: $250.00
• 1853o, No Arrows; G-4: $145.00, EF-40: $1,100
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $10.00, EF-40 - $65.00

Variety 3 - Arrows at Date 1853-1855

Specifics:

Diameter: 15.5 mm
Weight: 1.24 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Quantity minted: 25,060,020
Mints: Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco
Designers: Christian Gobrecht

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1855o; G-4: $18.00, EF-40: $125.00
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $10.00, EF-40 - $55.00


Variety 2 Resumed 1856-1859

Specifics:

Diameter: 15.5 mm
Weight: 1.34 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Quantity minted: 20,700,000
Mints: Philadelphia, New Orleans
Designers: Christian Gobrecht

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1856o; G-4: $12.00, EF-40: $75.00
• 1858 Repunched high date; G-4: $22.00, EF-40: $250.00
• 1858 over inverted date; G-4: $25.00, EF-40: $225.00
• 1859o; G-4: $12.00, EF-40: $90.00
• 1859; G-4: $12.00, EF-40: $90.00
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $9.00, EF-40 - $55.00

A new die was utilized in 1859 at the Philadelphia Mint, in which the stars are hollow in the center and the arms of Liberty are slimmer.


Variety 4 - Legend on Obverse 1860-1873

Specifics:

Diameter: 15.5 mm
Weight: 1.34 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Quantity minted: 15,562,640
Mints: Philadelphia, New Orleans
Designers: Christian Gobrecht


Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1861, 1 over 0; G-4: $22.00, EF-40: $250.00
• 1863; G-4: $125.00, EF-40: $400.00
• 1864; G-4: $275.00, EF-40: $675.00
• 1864S; G-4: $35.00, EF-40: $225.00
• 1865; G-4: $250.00, EF-40: $675.00
• 1866; G-4: $225.00, EF-40: $550.00
• 1867; G-4: $285.00, EF-40: $675.00
• 1868; G-4: $40.00, EF-40: $255.00
• 1870S - Unique; Bowers Auction Sale 1986: $253,000
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $10.00, EF-40 - $100.00


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Sources: Encyclopedia Of U.S. Coins by Mort Reed and The Official Red Book of United States Coins by R.S. Yeoman.