US Silver Half Dollars (1796-1807)

Numismatic Information, Coin Values, Mintage Records and Images, page 1

This page describes all types of the US Silver Half Dollars minted from 1796 through 1807, and includes their specifics, mintage records, key dates, coin values (in 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.

How To Distinguish a Silver Half Dollar from a Clad One

In 1965 silver Half Dollars were replaced by the silver-clad coinage (1965-1970) and by clad coinage (composition consists of the outer layers of copper-nickel bonded to inner core of pure copper) in 1971. If you are not sure whether you have a silver or a clad coin, look at the coin's edge.

If you do not see it half-colored in tones from red to dark brown, your coin is silver. Dug silver coins always remain uncorroded.

The Clad Coin is on Left

Distinguishing Silver Coin From Clad Coin By Its Edge Color

The half dollar, authorized by the Act of April 2, 1792, was not minted until December, 1794. The weight of the half dollar was 208 grains (13.48 grams) and its fineness .8924 when first issued. This standard was not changed until 1837 when the law of January 18, 1837 specified 206-1/4 grains, .900 fine. This fineness continued in use until 1965.

FLOWING HAIR TYPE 1794-1795


Half Dollar Flowing Hair

Specifics:

Diameter: 32.5 mm
Weight: 13.48 grams
Edge: FIFTY CENTS OR HALF DOLLAR with decorations between words
Composition: .8924 silver, .1076 copper
Quantity minted: 323,144
Mint: Philadelphia
Designer: Robert Scot

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1794 ; AG-3: $775.00, EF-40: $12,550
• 1795 3 leaves under each wing ; AG-3: $455.00, EF-40: $4,550
Average coin values of other dates: AG-3 - $230.00, EF-40 - $1,850

Varieties of 1795 are known with final S in STATES over D, with A in States over E, and with Y in LIBERTY over a star. All are scarce. Some 1795 half dollars were weight-adjusted by inserting a silver plug in the center of the blank planchet before striking the coin.

DRAPED BUST TYPE, Small Eagle Reverse, 1796-1797


Half Dollar Draped Bust Small Eagle

Specifics:

Diameter: 32.5 mm
Weight: 13.48 grams
Edge: FIFTY CENTS OR HALF DOLLAR with decorations between words
Composition: .8924 silver, .1076 copper
Quantity minted: 3,918
Mint: Philadelphia
Designer: Robert Scot
• Average coin values: AG-3 - $7,500, EF-40 - $45,500

DRAPED BUST TYPE, Heraldic Eagle Reverse, 1798-1807


Half Dollar Draped Bust Heraldic Eagle

Specifics:

Diameter: 32.5 mm
Weight: 13.48 grams
Edge: FIFTY CENTS OR HALF DOLLAR with decorations between words
Composition: .8924 silver, .1076 copper
Quantity minted: 1,600,787
Mint: Philadelphia
Designer: Robert Scot

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1801; G-4: $225.00, EF-40: $2,250
• 1802; G-4: $185.00, EF-40: $2,000
• 1803 Small 3; G-4: $155.00, EF-40: $1,250
• 1805, 5 over 4; G-4: $165.00, EF-40: $2,150
• 1806, 6 over inverted 6; G-4: $165.00, EF-40: $1,700
• 1806 Knobbed 6, stem not through claw: Rare
• 1806, stem through claw*; G-4: $135.00.00, EF-40: $675.00
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $140.00, EF-40 - $625.00
*One variety shows E in STATES over A.


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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.