United States Half Cent Identifier

United States half cent identifier is an article that will help you identify the different types of US half cents that were produced by the United States Mint throughout the life of the series.

Starting in 1793 and running through the year 1857, these coins were minted by the United States. These coins from their inception were to weigh exactly half that of the US copper large cent. The first design introduced was the 1793 Liberty cap half cent facing left as pictured above.


1796 United States Half Cent


Issues from 1796 exist with pole and without pole and this year is extremely rare to start with the no pole example commands a premium and is virtually unheard of on the market today. Starting out in 1794 Liberty's head was turned to face right and the cap continued as on the prior years coin. This is known as the cap type facing right.

1805 Draped Bust Half Cent


The cap type coin continued until it was replaced in 1800 with the draped bust version of Liberty adorning the obverse. Draped bust coins were struck until the year 1808. Draped bust coins are widely collected and are extremely hard to find in high grades. Low end coins however can be collected by the average Joe without breaking the bank.

United States Classic Head Half Cent

The classic head coins made their debut in 1809 and the series ran with this design until 1836. Proofs were made of some years and all are extremely rare if obtainable at all. Classic head coins have several varieties that are very rare such as the 1811.

There is also an unofficial re-strike of this same year and this coin has no price listed because it never comes up for sale.

United States Coronet Half Cent

In 1840 the design was again altered and the obverse now depicted a bust of Liberty with a coronet and thus the name Coronet half cent. This type was struck from 1840 through the last year of production which was 1857.

Coronet type proofs from 1840 through 1844 come in both original and re strike versions and both command about $5,000 if you get lucky enough to locate one of these.

American half cents, the "little half sisters": A reference book on the United States half cent coined from 1793 to 1857
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This article can show you the different designs that are out there. The coins the mint produced. The advanced enthusiast will want more. This is a very good reference book available for collectors of this type of US coin.