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United States Copper Half Cents

By Edited Sep 17, 2016 1 0

1793 Half Cent (32016)

United States Half Cents are very popular issues with numismatic collectors today.

Their limited mintages, and short runs for certain designs, make them a challenge to find. Collecting them is no easy task and, financially, it can be an extravagant hobby.

These beloved copper coins made their debut along side the one cent coin that carried similar logos and design.

1793 was the year of introduction and they circulated widely throughout the country. They were preferred over and above foreign cents and those quickly began to disappear.

An infant in its own right, the US had just realized the need for its own circulating coins, because foreign coins were inconsistent in value and limited in quantity.

Commerce cried out for a coinage supply to fill the need of trades. Prior to this, the barter system was firmly in place. Wampum was expected for trade and the use of whatever you had to trade was employed to get the necessities of life.

People would trade chickens for wagons and pigs for horses, blacksmiths would shoe your horses for pulling their teeth if you happened to be the local dentist. Whatever you had was your money.

There were several design changes through the life of the half cent, and for a while only proofs were struck. These years are not considered part of a set of half cents.

They are seen in such limited quantities the values have soared and most are unavailable. Collections can be completed, however, as the regular strike coins can all be found.

From the first year these coins were struck, they were a welcome addition to the circulating coins of the time. Mintage continued through 1857.

1794 Large Cent (32018)
There are lapses within these dates. Various years found no need for more half cents, as enough were in circulation. During these years all the copper was used to produce large cents.

Trade became much easier to keep track of once these coins, as well as the new large cent, were introduced.

All of a sudden foreign coins started to drop in value, as the new American replacements started to circulate.

Highly graded examples have easily reached 6 figures at auction for some years now. The collector, as well as the savvy investor, are starting to realize that this very limited, irreplaceable, commodity can only go up in price.

Its great hindsight, to be able to see how these items were available for several hundred dollars just a few years ago. How many collectors look back and say to themselves if I only knew?

Collecting United States half cents is a very rewarding hobby however it may be best to find another type of coin to collect, if you are financially unable to complete the set.

Some of the years in this set make it impossible for the average coin collector to complete even a low grade collection.



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