United States half dimes

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Numismatic Notes and Monographs
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American Numismatic Society
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New York
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THE UNITED STATES HALF DIMES

by D. W. Valentine

The initial coin of the series with which this monograph is concerned, has a very strong claim to having been the first official issue of the United States Mint. The evidence for this comes from no less an authority than “the Father of his country.” In his fourth annual address, November 6th, 1792, President Washington stated:

“ In execution of the authority given by the legislature, measures have been taken for engaging some artists from abroad to aid in the establishment of our Mint. Others have been employed at home. Provisions have been made for the requisite buildings, and these are now putting into proper condition for the purposes of the establishment. There has been a small beginning in the coinage of half dismes, the want of small coins in circulation calling the first attention to them.”

In the light of this testimony, we may question the conclusion of Crosby and those who have followed him in classifying the half disme as a pattern coin. Compared with the disme of 1792 which, to judge from the small number of specimens known, never passed beyond the pattern stage, the half disme is common.

There is a tradition that Washington had a further interest in these coins. The metal of which they were struck is said to have been obtained by melting some of his private plate, and the head on the obverse is thought by some to be the portrait of Martha Washington. The design was probably made and cut by Joseph Wright who died of yellow fever in 1793.

The derivation of the word “Disme” is none too clear. The Oxford Dictionary and Frey are agreed that it comes from the French Dixieme. “Disme” was used by Steven de Bruges in the 16th century— that he originated that word is not at all certain. Simon Stevinus was a noted mathematician who practically originated the decimal system. He wrote a seven page pamphlet “La Disme” in 1586. His system was cumbersome but it was the start and it was probably where the term “Disme” was popularized for the tenth part. We do not know how “Disme” was originally pronounced, but the traditional rendering in two syllables with a shortnnn i and a long e presents objections which are hard to reconcile with the pronunciation of the French word. If the word was pronounced in one syllable with a long I, and the s silent as it would have been in French,—i. e. just as we pronounce dime, we could then more easily understand the evolution. The form “Dime” appears in the report of the Committee of the Continental Congress under date of April 8, 1786,1 and there is little cause for thinking that this word was ever pronounced other than it is now. Unfortunately we have no direct evidence that this was the original pronunciation for the term.

For the benefit of the collector starting this series, we refer to Mr. H. P. Newlin’s work on “Early Half Dimes,”1 especially for the history of the half dimes of 1802. Except for a few unlisted varieties, there have been no facts discovered or additions made to the known and recorded history of the early half dimes since Mr. Newlin’s work in 1883. C. Steigerwalt discovered an unmentioned variety of the 1795 issue. There are several other new finds described herein, and some of the descriptions differ from those of Mr. Newlin. We refer also to Snowden’s “Description of Coins in the Cabinet of the U. S. Mint.”2 This collection, formerly in the mint at Philadelphia, is now in the National Museum at Washington, D. C. The Half Dimes from 1829 have also been treated by Will W. Neil 3 who described 187 varieties.

If a specimen is worn or dirty, it is difficult and often impossible to count the leaves, the berries, etc. Having made a list of the “Paper Fractional Currency” of the U. S., and having found unknown specimens after the list was supposedly finished, it would be vain to believe that this list is complete. My hope is that it may stimulate others to “carry on.” Credit is due to the assistance of F. C. C. Boyd in obtaining some of the scarce specimens, to the late Mr. David Prosky who gave aid and information as to distinctive varieties, and to Mr. Howland Wood for getting notes together, obtaining information, showing where improvements could be made, assisting and checking up the varieties, and for the illustrations.

It has been impossible to find a classification of the later series that is without some drawback. The classification of the die varieties of the same type is a difficult matter. Comparison of the obverses is usually the first step. This was done with the issues previous to 1829. The issues of 1829 and the types of later issues have a remarkable similarity of the obverse. There has been no difference in the die work of the bust itself noted in the issue of 1829-37. The difference in the die work of the reverse is much more readily recognizable, the reason being that a hub or punch was made for the head and sometimes for the eagle, prior to 1800, and certainly for the eagle after that date. Punches were made for the stars, letters and figures. It is by the position of the stars, letters and numerals relative to one another or to the bust or eagle or motto, that the varieties can best be detected.

Alterations are recut portions of the design.

Die breaks are listed as sub-varieties, being accidents, and are of interest as they are the later impressions of a particular die, as well as evidence of identity of dies found on more than one specimen.

The size of the numerals of the dates and their position in relation to the bust and to each other, and the size of the stars and their positions with relation to the bust and to each other, have been the criterion in classifying the obverses of the 1829-37 issue.

On the reverse, the principal features are the position of the S’s in the legend and motto; the size of the 5 C. and its relative position; the position of arrows—close or distant from the second a of America, and the relation of the letters in the legend to each other.

From 1837-52, the classification is based on the relative position of the date—high or low. The size and position of the numerals are also used, as are the size and relative position of all mint marks on the reverse.

Arrow-heads, one at each side of the date, appear in the issues of 1853-55. The relative position of the date—high or low—is first considered; then the size of the date, the position of the arrow-heads with respect to the date and the base of the seated figure, and finally, the size of the arrow-heads.

The arrow-heads do not appear on the issues of 1856-60. The method used for the 1837-52 applies to these issues, also to the obverse of the issues 1860-72. The relation of the ends of ribbon to the wreath on the reverse, and the size and position of mint mark letters are also significant.

Because of the difficulties that would have attended comparisons of reproductions of the coins in their actual size, it has seemed desirable to enlarge them to two diameters.

Silver half dimes were struck at the Philadelphia mint in 1792, 1794-1797, 1800-1803, 1805, 1829-1873; at New Orleans in 1838-1842, 1844, 1848-1860; at San Francisco 1863-1869, 1871-1873.

The sizes are as follows:

1792: 11/16 in. or 17 mm.

1794-1805: 10/16 in. to 11/16 in. or 16-17 mm. 1829-1873: 19/32 in. or 15 mm.

The weights are as follows:

1792-1853: 20.8 grains.

1853-1873: 19.2 grains.

1792

The Half Disme

Obv. Undraped bust of Liberty facing left, with rather short curly hair. Beneath the bust is the date, 1792. Legend:—lib. par. of science & industry.

Rev. uni. states of america . Small eagle flying towards the left, below in two lines; half disme; in exergue, a five pointed star.

Edge, reeded. Size 11/16 in.; wt. 20.8 grs.

1794 REGULAR SERIES

The Half Dime

1 Obv. Undraped bust of Liberty facing right with flowing hair which ends in seven curls. Eight stars to the left and seven to the right; below, is date 1794, near the lower edge. At the top is liberty. The base of the e is slightly higher than the base of the other letters. The stars are six pointed, the lowest touches the two lowest curls and the next higher star is merged in the curl next above. The date is widely spaced and starts near the hair.

Rev. An eagle with open wings, standing on conventionalized clouds. These rest on the stems of a wreath formed by two sprays of laurel which do not quite meet above the eagle’s head. The left spray ends with one leaf; the right with two. The left has 13 leaves and 6 berries; the right spray, 14 leaves and 7 berries, united states of america encircles the wreath. The base of the r does not touch the base of the i of america , and the leaf nearest that i does not touch it. Two berries, both inside the wreath, are under the left wing of the eagle, one under the right. The u of united and the last a of america touch the lowest left and right leaves respectively.

2 Obv. The two lowest curls touch four points of the lowest star, cutting two points shorter. The next higher curl does not touch the point of the star. The numerals of the date are evenly spaced. Compact date, the figure 4 is the only figure near the edge.

Rev. Die of No. 1.

3 Obv. Die of No. 2.

Rev. The left spray ends with one leaf, the right with three. There are three berries under the left wing, two are inside the wreath and one outside. The left spray has 7 berries, the right 6 berries. The lower leaf at right does not overlap the final a in america.

3a Obv. Die of No. 3.

Rev. Die of No. 3 but a crack extends under both wings and also through tail to lower edge.

4. Obv. The base of the e is slightly higher than the base of the other letters. The lowest star at the right near point of bust. The two inner points of the lowest one at the left touches the two lowest curls; the inner point of the star next above is evenly placed between the next two higher curls. The head is placed higher leaving more room between truncation of bust and edge of coin, consequently the date is farther from bust than on the other varieties.

Rev. Similar to No. 3. The left spray has 7 berries, the right spray 5 berries. There are 3 berries all within wreath under left wing.

This reverse die was originally used combined with the 1795 obverse No. 1,—it shows the die sharp and unbroken, while the several specimens of the 1794 examined (both No. 4 and No. 4a), show slight die breaks. One of these runs from d of united through the wing, and another from the edge through wreath into the eagle’s tail. This leaves no alternative to a decision that the 1794 pieces from this die must have been struck in 1795, despite the date. Other similar instances occur later on.

4a Obv. Die of No. 4, but die crack runs from second star from the top at right through head to opposite rim touching the next to the lowest star at the left.

Rev. Die of No. 4. Struck in 1795.

1795

The obverse and reverse of this year are of the same type as that for 1794.

1 Obv. The curls terminate in seven ends, the second lowest touches point of lowest star. The 1 and 5 of date are not close to bust, nor is the lowest star on the right. A die crack extends from right edge between t and y of liberty, through the forehead and into the hair.

Rev. Die of 1794.4, but shows no die breaks. See the remarks under the above coin.

1 Obv. There are 7 curls that end in points—the two lower touch the two inner points of the lowest star. The lowest star at right is very close to the bust, liberty is better spaced. The figure 1 in date does not touch the hair; the 5 merges into the bust.

Rev. Two branches almost touch at the top. There are 13 leaves and 7 berries on the left spray, and 13 leaves and 7 berries on the right; 4 berries below the eagle’s wings—3 on the inside and 1 on the outside of the wreath. This die has a similarity to the 1794 dies.

2a Obv. Die of No. 2, but a die crack at the top edge extends through r of liberty and the hair below.

Rev. Die of No. 2.

2 Obv. The end of the lowest of the 6 curls touches the third point of the lowest star; the second point of same star is very close to the second lowest curl. The date is similar to that of No. 2, but the last numeral touches without merging. A bad die break at right edge involves four of the stars.

Rev. Die of No. 2.

3 Obv. The next to the lowest curl touches the second point of lowest star. The lowest star at the right touches the point of the bust. The date is high; the numerals are evenly spaced; the figure 1 touches the hair; the 5 touches the bust. There is more space between the b and e in liberty than on other dies of this year.

Rev. The wreath has 14 leaves and 5 berries on the left, and 14 leaves and 5 berries on the right. One of the leaves on the left is superimposed on another and does not show on worn specimens. There is a berry between the u and n of united, and a very small berry between the t and e, and two berries under the first t of states.

4a Obv. Die of No. 4, but there is a die-crack at edge over ty of liberty and the nearest star.

Rev. Die of No. 4.

5 Obv. The lowest star almost touches the second lowest curl. The 1 is very close to the hair; the 5 does not touch, nor does the lowest star at the right. The b and e of liberty are close together, and the base of the e is above the line of the bases of the other letters. The lib is widely spaced.

Rev. The wreath has 10 leaves and 3 berries on the left, and 15 leaves and 4 berries on the right. Two of the leaves under the eagle’s wing barely show. There is no berry under either wing of the eagle.

5a Die of No. 5, but a die crack shows from y of liberty to nose.

6 Obv. Die of No. 5a, but with the crack extending through cheek, bust and 7 to edge.

Rev. The spray at left has 13 leaves and 4 berries, the berry under the eagle’s wing is inside the wreath and at base of u of united, and there are two berries under the first s of states. The spray at right has 13 berries and 5 berries.

7 Obv. There are six curls; the point of lowest one touches but does not pass point of lowest star; the point of the second curl above touches the point of lowest star. The 1 and 5 of date touch bust, and the lowest star on right does not touch. A die crack at three lowest stars on right runs through the point of bust and 9 and 5 of date.

Rev. Die of No. 5.

8 Obv. The hair almost touches the e of liberty —the only variety showing this characteristic. There are seven curls, the lowest two touch three points of lowest star. The next higher curl almost touches the point of the next higher star. The 1 and 5 of date do not touch bust, nor does the lowest star on the right. A die crack shows at edge between rt of liberty, and extends through forehead and hair to opposite edge.

Rev. Die of No. 5.

9 Obv. The 1 of date touches bust; the top of 5 differs from No. 3; star at right close to bust; last curl meets points of last star, but does not pass through it.

Rev. Same as No. 5.

This description is based on Newlin’s No. 6, who states that only one specimen has been noticed.

10 Obv. There are seven curls. The lowest left star touches points of the two lowest curls. The next higher star touches point of the fifth curl counting from above. The date is clear of bust though close.

Rev. Same as No. 1, or 1794.4.

1796

1 Obv. Draped bust of Liberty, facing to the right, the hair tied with ribbon at back of head. At right, seven stars. At left, back of the bust, eight stars. Above, liberty. Below, 1796. The numeral 1 touches the lowest curl. The 6 has a knob and is near bust. The lowest star at left touches hair, and the lowest star at right touches the bust.

Rev. An eagle with open wings standing on clouds, enclosed by a wreath—a spray of laurel on the left and a palm branch on the right, tied at the bottom with a bow knotted ribbon.1 The laurel has 15 leaves and 4 berries. The palm has 11 leaves. Legend:— united states of america . A berry is just under d of united. A slight die crack between t and a of states.

2 Obv. The 1 of date does not touch curl, nor does the star on right touch bust; the 6 in date is pointed.

Rev. The n of united merges with leaf. The point of eagle’s left wing touches a leaf, and the other wing is under two sprigs.

1797

1 Obv. The type is very similar to that of previous year. There are but 13 stars—7 on the left and six on the right. The lowest left star is not near the hair; the lowest right star is close to the bust. The 1 in the date is very close to lowest curl; the two 7’s are longer than the other numerals.

Rev. The spray of laurel has 19 leaves and 11 berries. The palm has 17 leaves; the sprays touch at top. The e of united, second t and second s of states, o of of, and m and second a of america , touch leaves or stem of wreath.

2 Obv. The obverse has 15 stars—eight on the left, seven on the right. The upper right star touches y of liberty; the lowest on the right touches bust. The lowest star on left does not touch hair. The 1 of date does not touch curl. The 7’s are short, the second 7 being a trifle the shorter.

Rev. The spray of laurel has 15 leaves and 3 berries, one outside, two within. The palm branch has 11 leaves. The e of united, the first t of states, and the m, e and c of america touch leaves of the wreath.

2a Obv. A die crack runs from lower right edge through drapery and bust.

Rev. Crack at edge over me of america .

2b Same cracks, but on obverse greatly extended, going through 9 of date, face, and t of liberty.

3 Obv. There are 16 stars—9 at left and 7 at right. The first and second, third and fourth, and fifth and sixth stars at right touch each other. Counting from the top, as before, the second, third, fourth and fifth, and the sixth and seventh stars at left touch each other. The second 7 of date is the longer. A slight die crack between second and third star to edge, at left.

Rev. The spray of laurel has 16 leaves and 3 berries—two outside and one inside the wreath, the uppermost berry being outside the wreath and opposite d of united. The palm branch has 11 leaves. None of the leaves touch the letters of the legend.

4 Obv. Die of No. 3.

Rev. Die of No. 2a.

No half-dimes were issued in the years 1798 and 1799.

End Notes

1
This wreath is often described as composed of olive and lily sprays.

1800

1 Obv. Draped bust of Liberty, with filleted hair, facing to right. Seven stars at the left; six at right, liberty, with a heavy I, at the top, and the date 1800 below the bust. The figure 8 is larger and lower than the other numerals; the second o is near bust, as is the lowest star at the right.

Rev. A heraldic eagle with the shield of the United States covering the body, the upper third is made up of eight horizontal lines (azure), the lower two-thirds has six groups of lines, three vertical (gules). The eagle holds in its beak a scroll or ribbon, on which is e pluribus unum. The talon on the right holds a spray of olive with 10 leaves and 5 berries. Within an arch of clouds over the eagle, is a constellation of 13 stars. Legend:— united states of america . The first a of america touches the wing, and the i, c, and second a touch olive leaves.

1a As No. 1, but has a die break at reeding, below 00 of date.

2 Obv. The r in liberty is defective and resembles a k. The stars appear larger and closer than in No. 1.

Rev. Die of No. 1.

1801

1 Obv. Very similar to No. 1 of 1800, but the first 1 of date touches curl, and the numerals are smaller.

Rev. The eagle’s beak touches the second point of the star, and the second a of america does not touch a leaf.

1a Obv. A flaw shows in field between face and second, third and fourth stars at right.

1b This flaw has now developed into a decided crack, extending from Y of liberty to sixth star at right.

2 Obv. Similar to No. 1, but die break under bust at 1 and 8 of date which almost obliterates these two figures.

Rev. Same as No. 1.

1802

1 Obv. Similar to above, but the 1 of the date does not touch curl; the 2 of date touches bust. The 8 is larger than in the previous eighteen hundreds.

Rev. Die of 1801.1.

1803

1 Obv. Very similar to 1801. The 8 of date is large; the 3 small.

Rev. Die of 1801.1. Leaf touches c of america .

2 Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Leaf touches second a of america , not c. Perfect dies.

3 Obv. Small 8 in date which is high, there appears die breaks at edge below bust, and at edge at top star at right.

Rev. Die of No. 1, and 1801.1. c of america touches leaf.

1805

1 Obv. Similar to 1801. The 1 of date is close to curl and not close to 8.

Rev. Die of 1803.2.

There were no half-dimes coined from 1805 to 1829. These early half-dimes bore no indication of the coin value. Until 1829 when the half-dime appeared in a smaller size but thicker, of an entirely different type, and with 5 c. on the reverse.

1829

The obverse has a draped bust of Liberty, facing to left, with flowing curls covered by a liberty cap, on the band of which is the word liberty. There are seven stars to the left and six at the right. Beneath the bust is the 1829.

The reverse bears an eagle with upraised wings, with the shield of the United States on breast, on the upper third of which are six horizontal lines (azure), and on the lower portion are six groups of three vertical lines (gules). The eagle's talon on the right clutches three arrows with their heads toward the right. The talon on the left clutches a spray of olive with four pairs of leaves and two berries. The stem crosses the feathered end of an arrow. The legend, united states of america starts near the eagle's wing at the left, and ends near the head of the uppermost arrow. The denomination 5 c. appears in the lower field below the feathers of the arrow and the olive stem on the field. Between the legend and the eagle is a curved ribbon with the ends curled beneath it, on which is the motto e pluribus unum. The end at the left starts under the t of united, and the right end is under the m of america .

CLASSIFICATION

The relative position of the second s of the word states in the legend with respect to the location of the s in pluribus of the motto, is the initial basis of the classification. The die having the lower s furthest to the left of the other, is listed first. When the two s’s are in almost the same relative position, the relation of the letters of of the legend with regard to UN of the motto, and with respect to the point at which the ribbon ends and the location of the m in america above it, are next to be considered. When two obverses share identical reverse dies, the obverse having the date in the higher position is listed first.

1829

1 Obv. Medium date, rather compact, and below the center of the field. The top of the 1 is recut. A faint vertical die crack runs from i of liberty, through cheek and neck.

Rev. The s is under the e and the space between e s. The un is to the left of of. In the legend, un and meri touch. One arrow-head touches a shaft of another. Arrow close to A. Large 5 C. near edge. Short top to 5. There is a flaw in field between eagle’s beak and ribbon, and the lower part of f in of is defective. This die is especially interesting as it is found combined with obverse dies of 1830, 1831 and 1832. For further information see 1831.2.

1a Obv. Same as No. 1, but crack between third and fourth star at left.

Rev. Same as No. 1.

2 Obv. Medium date, rather compact; below the center of the field. The lower part of 9 at knob double punched.

Rev. The s is under the space. The UN is slightly to the left of of. ca are the only letters in the legend which touch. Two arrow-heads touch shafts. Arrow close to a. Small 5; large c, compact and high. The c almost touches the olive stem.

3 Obv. Large open date, low. Left side of 8 and top partly double cut, which only shows under a powerful glass.

Rev. s under space! In the legend ni and er touch. One arrow-head touches. A not close. 5 and c spaced. Top of 5 long. Top of i double-cut.

4 Obv. The date is slightly low in the field. The 2 is lower than the other figures.

Rev. The s is to the left of s, which is double cut at the top. The un is slightly to the left of of. In the legend, un, te and eri touch. Two arrowheads touch shafts. Arrow close to a. Large open 5 c.

5 Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Die of No. 4, but the N in united and second s in states are defective; also die crack at e in america , which extends to the r.

6 Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. The s is slightly to the left of s. The un is under of. One arrow-head touches shaft. Arrow not close to A. Large open 5 c. well placed. Short top to 5.

7 Obv. Medium open date; low.

Rev. The s is under s. The un is under of. In the legend ed, te and meri touch. One arrowhead touches the shaft. Arrow not close to A. Large, open 5 c. well placed.

8 Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. The s is under s. The un is under of. All letters in legend are spaced, but te, am and Ri are close. Two arrow-heads touch shafts. Arrow not close to A. Large, open 5 c. slightly high. Short top to 5. For the further use of this die see 1830-9.

9 Obv. Similar to No. 4, but the date at right end is lower. Top of 9 double-cut.

Rev. Die of No. 8.

10 Obv. Die of No. 4.

Rev. The s is almost under s. un to right of of. In the legend, nit and ri touch. One arrowhead touches the shaft. Arrow close to A. Large 5 c. A small line shows between upper part of c and a in america . This reverse die was used again in 1831 No. 7.

11 Obv. Die of No. 2.

Rev. Die of No. 10.

12 Obv. Die of No. 9.

Rev. The s is directly under the s. A slight flaw above ribbon between the two s’s. The UN to right of of. In the legend, it and me touch. Two arrow-heads touch shafts. Arrow not close to A. Large, open 5 c. rather low. For further use of this die see 1830.10.

12a Similar to No. 12, but with cracks at ric on reverse.

The following obverses are the same:

Nos. 1, 5, 6, 8.

Nos. 2, 11.

Nos. 4, 10.

Nos. 9, 12.

1830

1 Obv. Medium, compact date; slightly low.

Rev. The s is under the E. In the legend, te

and Rl touch, and i very close to c. Two arrowheads touch shafts. Arrow touches A. Compact 5 c. slightly high, the 5 is higher than the c. This die was used again in 1832.1.

2 Obv. Small, compact date, near edge. A faint die break shows from sixth star through cap and between eighth and ninth stars.

Rev. Die of 1829 No. 1. The s is under the e, and space between es, the label ending under the left upright of M. F of of defective. In the legend, UN and meri touch. One arrow-head touches a shaft. Short top to 5.

3 Obv. Medium, evenly spaced date; rather low.

Rev. The s is under the e and the space between es. Center of UN is to the left of center of of. The label ends almost under the center of M. All letters in legend spaced, although the second te and ca are close. Two arrow-heads touch shafts. Arrow rather close to A. Large, close 5 c.; high. There is a defect at top of the upperstroke of 5.

3a Obv. Same as No. 3. A die crack runs through lower left star and on some impressions a break shows on cheek under curl.

Rev. Die of No. 3.

3b Obv. Same as No. 3a.

Rev. Same as No. 3, but the upper part of the second s in states shows a defect.

4 Obv. Small, compact date; low. The distinguishing feature of this variety is a small circle on neck under ear—the compass point in laying out the die.

Rev. Die of. No. 3b.

5 Obv. Die of No. 2.

Rev. The s is a little more under the s, the label ends under the right part of the first stroke of m, and the a is closer to arrow. The 5 c. is larger, with very short top to 5, more open and not as high. Second s in states and m in america are defective. This die was first used in 1831 in No. 6. 6a The same as No. 6, but both s’s in states are defective.

6 Obv. Die of No. 4.

Rev. The s is nearly under s. un under of. The letters in legend are spaced, but it, ed and ri are very close. Two arrow-heads touch shafts. Arrow not close to A. Large, open 5 c. well placed.

Small top to 5, the upright stroke of which is double cut.

7 Obv. Compact date low. The 1 in date is tall and curves to the right, the 8 low.

Rev. Die of No. 6.

7a Obv. A faint die crack runs from edge to 3 and 0 to curl.

8 Obv. Die of No. 3. Medium date, open, not close to edge.

Rev. s to left under center of s. Left base of a in states high and close to first t. Large open 5 with short top.

9 Obv. Medium irregular date. 8 and 3 too close; 0 too high.

Rev. Die of 1829 No. 8.

10 Obv. Die of No. 9.

Rev. Die of 1829 No. 10, but die crack shows at ric.

The following obverses are the same:

Nos. 2, 5.

Nos. 3, 8.

Nos. 4, 6.

Nos. 9, 10.

1831

1 Obv. Irregular date; rather low. The first 1 is rather large and not as close as the other numerals. The last 1 is also large.

Rev. The s is wholly under E. All letters except RI in the legend are spaced. One arrowhead touches shaft. Arrow fairly close to A. Large 5 c. with small top, well placed.

1a Same as No. 1, but the upper and lower sections of the second s in states are defective.

This reverse die was used again later. See 1833.1 and 1835.2.

2 Obv. A more compact date. A die crack connects most of the stars on left, and another connects some on right. No pupil to eye.

Rev. The die of 1829 No. 1, and 1830 No. 2, but the defects between the eagle’s beak and ribbon do not show and the die apparently seems sharp. The F in of is defective. It is very possible that those pieces combined with this die and bearing the dates of 1829 and 1830, were struck in 1831 or 1832.

3 Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. The die of 1829 No. 1, and 1830 No. 2, but the flaw at eagle’s beak not so distinct.

4 Obv. Very similar to No. 1. The date more evenly spaced and a little further to the right.

Rev. Die of No. 3.

5 Obv. Die of No. 4.

Rev. The center of the s is under the center of the space between es. The center of un to the left of the center of of. In the legend, the ri touch, and un are close. Two arrow-heads touch. Arrow not close to a. Widely spaced 5 c. with small top to 5. A die break runs from edge through a of states and ribbon to eagle’s beak.

5a Obv. Same as No. 5.

Rev. Same as No. 5, but the N in united and the first s in states are defective.

6 Obv. Die of No. 2, but none of the die breaks show.

Rev. Die later used in 1830 No. 5 In this instance the defects in the lettering have not occurred.

6a Obv. Same as No. 6.

Rev. Same as No. 6. The second s in states is defective at top loop and the m in america is defective.

6b Obv. Same as No. 6.

Rev. Same as No. 6, but both s’s defective.

6c Obv. Same as No. 6.

Rev. Die cracks show at nit in united, as well as at top loop of both s’s in states.

7 Obv. Same as No. 2, but die breaks barely show.

Rev. Same as 1829 No. 10.

7a Rev. Die break shows at edge to r of america ; otherwise the same as No. 7.

The following obverses are alike:

Nos. 1, 3.

Nos. 2, 6, 7.

Nos. 4, 5.

1832

1 Obv. Large open date; well placed. 1 and 2 high.

Rev. Die of 1830 No. 1. A defective crack in second t in states. two arrow-heads touch shafts. Arrow touches a.

2 Obv. Small, compact date; slight low.

Rev. The s is almost under E. The UN is to the left of of; both letters of of double cut. In the legend, ame touch. Large open 5 c. high. Top part of 5 defective. This die was used in 1833; see No. 2.

2a Obv. A die crack in the bottom loop of 8.

Rev. Same as No, 2.

3 Obv. Large, open date; low. 832 close.

Rev. The die of 1829 No. 1, 1830 No. 2 and 1831 No. 2; as noted under 1831, the flaws are nearly obliterated. The surface of the die has become so worn that the berries in the spray do not show. (Mr. Proskey saw but two thus.)

4 Obv. Die of No. 3. Crack, first star to edge.

Rev. The s is under the space between the es. The un is slightly to the left of of. o of of double cut. In the legend, ri touch. Two arrow-heads touch shafts. Arrow touches A. Large, compact

5 c. well placed. Small die break through a of america into ribbon. This die is found without the die break on No. 3 of 1833, showing that this piece was struck in 1833.

5 Obv. Large, open date; well placed, the 1 high.

Rev. The s is slightly to the left of s. The un is almost under of. All letters in the legend are spaced. One arrow-head touches shaft. Arrow not close to A. Large compact 5 c. high. For further use of this die see 1833.4.

5a Obv. Die of No. 5.

Rev. Both s’s in states defective and slight die breaks show especially about united. as we have this reverse in perfect shape combined with 1833 No. 4, this piece with defective s’s must have been struck in 1833.

6 Obv. Die of No. 2A, showing the defective 8.

Rev. The s is almost under the s. The un is under of. All letters in legend are spaced. One arrow-head touches, arrow rather close to a. Large, open 5 c. high. For further use of this die see 1833. 5 and 6.

7 Obv. Die of No. 2A.

Rev. The s is almost under s. The un is slightly to right of of. In the legend, ri touch. Arrow-heads are clear. Arrow not close to a. Large open 5 c. slightly high. For subsequent use of this die see 1834.3 and 1835.8.

8 Obv. Open date; slightly low.

Rev. The s is almost under s. The un is under of. All letters in the legend are spaced. The second s of states is defective at top loop. The n and f are also defective. One arrow-head touches, arrow close to a. Open 5 c. slightly high.

8a Obv. Die of No. 8.

Rev. Die of No. 8, but loop of first s and both loops of second s are defective.

8b Obv. Die of No. 8.

Rev. Die of No. 8, but both loops in both s’s are defective.

8c Obv. Die of No. 8.

Rev. Die of No. 8, but additional crack from ribbon to a of states to edge.

9 Obv. Die of No. 8.

Rev. The s is slightly to right of s. The un slightly to right of of. In the legend, ri very close. The upper loop of first s in states is defective. One arrow-head touches shaft. Arrow not close to a. Large, open 5 c. slightly high. For further use of this die see 1833.7.

9a Obv. Same as No. 9, but die crack connects several stars at left which runs through bust to 1 of date.

Rev. Same as No. 9, but 5 c. are both recut. The following obverses are alike.

Nos. 2, 6, 7.

Nos. 3, 4.

Nos. 8, 9.

1833

There seem to have been no new reverse dies made this year unless possibly the reverse of No. 3. This die is found combined with an 1832 obverse, but in this instance the reverse die is not in as good a state, as it is combined with the 1833 obverse. This again leads us to the conclusion that the coin No. 4 having date of 1832, was struck in 1833.

1 Obv. Large regular date, well placed. The 1 open, 83 close. A die break runs from cap through cheek, neck and bust.

Rev. The die of 1831 No. 1a. The s under e. The un to the left of of. All letters except ri spaced in the legend. The second s in states is defective in both loops. One arrow-head touches shaft. Large 5 c. well placed. This die was put into use again, see 1835.2.

2 Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. The die of 1832 No. 2. The s is almost under e. The un to left of of, both letters of of double cut. In the legend, ame touch. One arrowhead touches shaft. Arrow rather close to a. Large, open 5 c.; high.

3 Obv. Large, open date; well placed.

Rev. The die of 1832 No. 4. The s under space between es. The un is to the left of of. o of of double cut. In the legend ri touch. Two arrow-heads touch shafts. Arrow touches a. As this die is in much better condition when this was struck, than when the coin of the previous year was struck, we can come to the conclusion only that the coin dated 1832, No. 4, was struck in 1833.

4 Obv. Same as No. 3.

Rev. Die of 1832 No. 5. The s is slightly to the left of s. The un is almost under the of. All letters spaced in the legend. One arrow-head touches shaft. As 1832 No. 5a, shows a broken die, some if not all of those date 1832 must have been struck in 1833.

4a Obv. This die is beginning to show signs of wear and cracking, especially before face.

Rev. Same as No. 4.

4b Obv. Same as No. 4a.

Rev. Same as No. 5a of 1832, but the die cracks are not quite as far advanced. Defects in e and both s’s.

5 Obv. Die of No. 1, but before die cracked.

Rev. The die of 1832 No. 6. The s is slightly left under s. The un is under of. All letters spaced in the legend. One arrow-head touches shaft. Arrow close to a. Large, open 5 c.; rather high.

6 Obv. Same as No. 4 a, but 8 is defective in lower loop, and a crack runs from l of liberty through cap to edge.

Rev. Die of 1832 No. 6.

7 Obv. Large, open date; well placed. The two 3’s are closer together than the other numerals.

Rev. Same die as 1832 No. 9. The s slightly to right under s. The un is slightly to right of of. Top loop in first s in states is defective. One arrow-head touches shaft. Arrow not close to a. Large open 5 c. slightly high.

The following obverses are alike:

Nos. 1, 2, 5.

Nos. 3, 4, 6.

1834

1 Obv. Small, irregular, compact date, the 4 being large. Upper right hand star touches cap.

Rev. The s is under e and space between e and s. The un to left of of. In the legend, ame and ri touch. The top loop of second s in states is defective. Arrow-heads do not touch shafts. Arrow touches a. Large, rather close 5 c.; high, the 5 higher than the c.

1a Obv. Same as No. 1, but die crack shows from upper left-hand star into cap, and from nose into neck.

Rev. Same as No. 1.

2 Obv. Medium, irregular date; slightly low. The lower loop of 8 is defective.

Rev. Die of No. 1.

3 Obv. Same as No. 1a.

Rev. Die of 1832 No. 7. The un is under of. In the legend, ri touch. The n in united is defective at upper right. One arrow-head nearly touches shaft. Arrow not close to a. Large, open 5 c.; slightly high. For further use of this die see 1835.8.

4 Obv. Irregular date; rather low and compact. The 8 is high, the 3 low. There is a slight crack from throat to bust to edge. Upper lefthand star points to top of coronet.

Rev. Die of No. 3.

5 Obv. Die of No. 2 but flaw does not show in 8.

Rev. The s is to the right of s. The un is far to right of of. All letters of the legend are spaced, though close. Two arrow-heads touch shafts. Arrow not close to a. Large, rather close 5 c., high. The c touches the stem.

5a Obv. The same as No. 2, showing the defective 8.

Rev. Same as No. 5.

The following obverses are alike:

Nos. 1, 3.

Nos. 2, 5.

1835

In this year new punches were made for the numerals much smaller than those heretofore used so that we have for 1835, actually large and small dates. The pieces for 1836 and 1837 have only small dates. In 1836 and 1837 the denticulations around the edge are also much finer.

On the reverse the 5 c. comes both large and small and these two varieties are found on the next two years as well.

1 Obv. Small, compact rather low date. The 3 low. Long curved top to 5.

Rev. The s is under the e. The un is to the left of of. In the legend, te of united touch at tops. r double cut. Two arrow-heads touch shafts. Arrow touches a. Small, open 5 c.; well placed.

This die was used again in 1836.

2 Obv. Large, rather compact date; low. Small top to 5.

Rev. The die of 1831 No. 1a and 1833 No. 1. The s is under e. The un is to left of of. In the legend, ri touch. Die cracks starting from a to arrows, top of 5 to laurel, i of united to label. Both loops of second s in states defective.

2a Obv. Die of No. 2.

Rev. The die is now badly cracked—edge to eagle’s wing, edge to i to label to E, both loops in second s in states, a to points of two arrows, 5 to laurel.

3 Obv. Large, open date; well placed. Small flat top to 5.

Rev. The s is under space between es. The un is to the left of of. In the legend, ri touch. One arrow-head touches shaft. Arrow very close to a. Large 5 c. well placed. Large period.

3a Obv. Die of No. 3. Die crack from edge through 183 of date.

Rev. Die of No. 3, but a bad die break at ca in america .

4 Obv. Die of No. 2.

Rev. The s is under the space between the es. The un is to the left of of. In the legend, ed, me and ri touch. Two arrow-heads touch shafts. Arrow not close to a. Large 5 c., the 5 low, the c high.

4 a Same as No. 4. A faint die break runs through the four middle stars at right.

5 Obv. Small, compact date, low. The 1 higher than the other figures.

Rev. Die of No. 4, but a die break at left is just starting.

6 Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Die of No. 4.

6a Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Die of No. 4, but there is a bad die break from t to ribbon and to edge between d and s. For the subsequent use of this die see 1836.5.

7 Obv. Almost identical with die No. 1, but the 8 is higher and the 3 lower.

Rev. The s is under the space between the es. The un is under of. In the legend, all letters are spaced. The top loops in the two s’;s in states are defective. One arrow-head touches shaft. Arrow close to a. Small 5 c., high.

This die was used also in 1837.

7a Obv. Die of No. 7, but third star at left is defective.

Rev. Die of No. 7.

8 Obv. Die of No. 2.

Rev. Die of 1832 No. 7 and 1834 No. 3. The s is almost under s. The label ends under the center of m. In the legend, all letters are spaced. The n is defective. No arrow-head touches. Arrow not close to a. Large, open 5 c., slightly high.

9 Obv. Die of No. 2.

Rev. The s is under s. The un is slightly right of of. In the legend, me touch. One arrowhead touches shaft. Arrow distant from a. Small 5, larger c.

9a Obv. Die of No. 2.

Rev. Die of No. 9, but a faint die crack is beginning from edge through s.

10 Obv. Large, open irregular date. The 18 lower than the 35. Die break from top of cap to edge.

Rev. Die of No. 9, but the die crack shows from edge through second s of states to label.

The following obverses are alike:

Nos. 1, 6.

Nos. 2, 4, 8, 9.

1836

1 Obv. Small, open date, low.

Rev. Die of 1835 No. 1.

1a Obv. Same as No. 1, but a vertical die crack, running through cap, hair and left part of 6 in date.

Rev. Same as No. 1.

2 Obv. Small, open date; well placed, the 8 and 3a trifle lower than other figures. Lower right star close to hair. Several stars defective.

Rev. Die of No. 1.

3 Obv. Small, slightly compact, irregular date. Slightly low. The 3 lower than the 8 and 6, and close to 6. Upper right star distant from cap.

Rev. The s is to the right of e. The un is to left of of. In the legend, ed, meri are very close or touch. Large 5 c., high.

4 Obv. Similar to No. 1, but star close to cap.

Rev. The un is slightly to the left of of. The o in of is low. In the legend, me touch. The u is double cut. Two arrow-heads touch shafts. Arrow touches a. Large, open 5 c., slightly high. The 5 has a broad, curved top.

5 Obv. Die of No. 1a.

Rev. Die of 1835 No. 6, showing the bad break at left.

6 Obv. Die of No. 2.

Rev. The s is almost under s. The un is under of. In the legend, ted, me and ri touch. The u, n and d are double cut. Arrow close to a. The 5 small, the c larger.

The following obverses are alike:

Nos. 1, 5.

Nos. 2, 6.

1837

1 Obv. Small, open date, well centered.

Rev. The s is under e and space. The un is to the left of of. In the legend, eri touch. One arrow-head touches shaft. The first a in america is defective. Arrow rather close to a. Large, open 5 c., high.

2 Obv. Similar to No. 1, but date slightly lower. A faint die crack runs through cap, cheek and neck.

Rev. Die of 1835 No. 7. Small 5 c.

3 Obv. Similar to No. 2, but the figure 7 is recut at base.

Rev. The s is under s. The UN is under of. All letters in the legend are spaced. One arrow-head touches shaft. Arrow rather close to a. Large, open 5 c., high. Top of 5 long. There is a flaw in the field between 5 and c.

3a Obv. Same as No. 3, but a die crack runs through cap and hair.

Rev. Same as No. 3.

SEATED LIBERTY TYPE

The new design by Christian Gobrecht has a draped figure of Liberty, seated to the right but head turned to the left. Her upraised left hand holds a pole on which is a Liberty cap, and with her right hand, she holds the upper corner of a shield which rests on the base. On the upper third of the shield or chief, are horizontal lines, the heraldic method of representing azure or blue. On the lower part the required palewise of thirteen pieces, argent and gules, are rendered by vertical lines in six pairs. From Liberty’s hand holding the shield there is a band inscribed liberty which runs diagonally across the shield. Liberty’s right foot, sandalled, extends almost to the edge. In the field, below the base, is the date.

Reverse: within a wreath of two sprays of laurel, tied at the stems with a bow of knotted ribbon, are the words half dime, in two lines. Each of the sprays of laurel bears 14 leaves and 6 berries. Legend: united states of america , in small letters. The obverse dies were made from a hub, the date being omitted. The dates were then added to the dies made from this hub as occasion required. In 1838, thirteen stars were added to the design, seven to the left of Liberty, one between the head and cap, and five to the right of the figure. In 1840, an entirely new hub was made which is described in detail under that date. This hub was in use as late as 1859. During that year, on account of wear, a new hub was made, showing only the most minute differences. In 1860, another hub was made, the legend on the reverse being transferred to the obverse. The dies for the reverse were made from a single hub, which was in use as late as 1840, when another hub with slight changes was introduced. Consequently it is impossible to distinguish the dies used, as there is no variation in the spacing of the letters or their relation to the wreath. Only when some imperfection such as a die-break occurs, can the reverse dies be differentiated. Heavy, medium and thin lettering is the result of a heavier or lighter impress of the hub into the the die when being made, or sometimes is the result of a heavier or lighter striking of the coin. The type without stars was used in the Philadelphia mint in 1837 only. It was used in New Orleans in 1838 only.

1837

liberty seated, no stars

1 Obv. Curved date, the whole double punched at the bottom. Later impressions show little or none of the double punching, due to the surface of the die wearing down.

Rev. half dime within wreath; around, united states of america , in small letters. Perfect die. Proof.

2 Obv. Probably the die of No. 1, but the double punching of the date does not show. A die crack runs through Liberty cap to edge, in base under foot, and from shield to edge.

Rev. Heavy lettering. Right base of first t in states and a in america double punched. Tip of innermost leaf under d notched.

3 Obv. Same as No. 2, but an earlier stage of the die breaks.

Rev. Thin lettering. There is a die crack at o of of and at last a of america to rim.

4 Obv. Similar, but date in a straight line. Perfect die.

Rev. Die of No. 2.

4a Obv. Die of No. 4, but there is a die break from cap to edge.

Rev. Die of No. 2.

5 Obv. Die of No. 4, but there is a die break in raised edge at right.

Rev. Die of No. 1.

5a Obv. Die of No. 4, but with additional die crack just beginning from cap to edge, slanting to the left.

Rev. Die of No. 1.

5b Obv. Same as No. 4a.

Rev. Die of No. 1, but die cracks show at top of both a’s in america.

6 Obv. This die is characterized by a bad flaw to right of arm holding Liberty cap, and continuing downward from the knee. Date in straight line.

Rev. Die of No. 2, but die crack begins to show from a and r of america to edge.

This coin as well as No. 6a and No. 6b, must have been struck in 1838, as we find perfect examples of this die combined with obverses dated 1838.

6a Obv. Same as No. 6, but die crack now extends from heel to edge.

Rev. Same as No. 6, but the die cracks more pronounced.

6b Obv. Same as No. 6a, but a further die crack runs from Liberty cap to edge.

Rev. Same as No. 6a.

1838

liberty seated with stars

1 Obv. The whole figure is badly corroded. Reading clockwise the 3rd, 4th, 9th, 11th and 12th stars are imperfect. High, thin, open date; thin stars; lowest left star not low nor close.

Rev. Thin letters. Die break at first a and c of america .

1a Obv. Die of No. 1, but showing much wear, the stars are very thin and a die break runs from edge through 13th star.

Rev. Medium lettering.

2 Obv. Die of No. 1; a die break shows through lowest left star.

Rev. Thin letters. A flaw in background shows from m to e in dime, and from top of e to wreath.

3 Obv. Lowest left star close, and defective. Broken die at rim on lower right. There is a flaw in middle of right field.

Rev. Die similar to 1837 No. 2, showing nicked leaf, but there is a flaw in background under tes in states, and through of.

4 Obv. Lowest left star low and close. No defects in stars.

Rev. Die of No. 2.

5 Obv. Die of No. 4.

Rev. Die of 1837 No. 2.

6 Obv. The 1st, 3rd, and 8th stars defective. Lowest left star not low but close.

Rev. Die of 1837 No. 2.

7 Obv. Die of No. 6.

Rev. From another die. Crack runs through f of of into wreath.

8 Obv. Die of No. 6.

Rev. Similar, but die cracks at m and i of AMERICA.

9 Obv. The second star is defective. Lowest left star low and close.

Rev. Die of 1837 No. 2.

10 Obv. First star low and close, all of the points on this star defective.

Rev. Similar to die of 1837 No. 2, but die badly broken between America and wreath.

11 Obv. The 7th, 8th, 11th and 13th stars are defective, especially the 11th. Lowest left star not so low and rather close.

Rev. Die of No. 2.

12 Obv. First star defective and there is a die crack through lowest right star. Top of 1 in date double cut.

Rev. Die of No. 7.

13 Obv. The 2nd, 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th and 13th stars defective. Lowest left star low and close.

Rev. Die of No. 1, but only the faintest break at a shows.

14 Obv. Die of No. 13, but the defects show plainer.

Rev. Die of No. 7.

O Mint

1 Obv. Medium open date. No stars.

Rev. Medium lettering. Rather large o; slightly low. Die break through mint letter.

2 Obv. Low date, almost touches milling.

Rev. Medium lettering, no die breaks.

1839

1 Obv. Thick, compact, high date. Lowest left star well placed. A slight defect in the 11th.

Rev. Medium lettering.

2 Obv. Medium open low date, the 9 double cut. Slight defects show in 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, and 10th stars.

Rev. Slight die break at c.

O Mint

1 Obv. Open, medium date, slightly high, the 9 double cut at bottom. Left star slightly low and close.

Rev. Large o.

2 Obv. Open, high date. 1 and 9 recut at base. Left star well placed.

Rev. Die break through first t in states. Small o, slightly to left of center.

2a Obv. Die of No. 2.

Rev. Die of No. 2, but a second crack shows near the o of of.

2b Obv. Die of No. 2.

Rev. Die of No. 2, but the cracks have now spread throughout the central part to the lower edge.

3 Obv. Die of No. 2.

Rev. Small o in the center and well placed.

3a Same as No. 3, but the reverse die instead of being placed at a half turn, is placed at only a quarter turn.

4 Obv. Date medium placed. The 9th star defective.

Rev. Similar to No. 3, but the o is lower.

4a Obv. Die of No. 4, but die crack shows at 2nd star as well as die break on rim at left.

Rev. Die of No. 4, but die cracks show at d, m and wreath.

5 Obv. Date high. Left star low and close. Die breaks occur at 1st and 4th stars, top of head and from shield to 8 of date.

Rev. Similar to No. 3, but the o is lower.

6 Obv. Rusted die of No. 4. Die breaks at 2nd star, head, 9 of date and crack through base to edge.

Rev. Rusted die similar to No. 4; cracked in many places.

1840

During the year new hubs were made for both obverse and reverse. The entire figure was remodelled. A fold of drapery shows under the arm holding the Liberty cap which has been made smaller and less pointed. The shield is now upright and the rock behind the figure does not project as far. The legend on the reverse is composed of taller letters.

1 Obv. “No drapery” from left arm to knee. Compact, high date.

Rev. Small letters, a faint die break runs from d through e of united into wreath.

2 Obv. “No drapery.” The right hand part of date is lower then the left. The date is medium spaced.

Rev. Small letters, slight defects in the background show back of the m in America.

3 Obv. Similar to No. 2, but the date is a trifle lower.

Rev. Die of No. 1.

4 Obv. “No drapery.” Compact, even date; well placed. 8th star defective.

Rev. Small letters. There is a slight defect in background above right hand bow in knot.

5 Obv. “No drapery.” Open, large date; well placed. The 13th star defective.

Rev. Small letters. There is a flaw in the background between m and e of dime.

6 Obv. “No drapery.” Open large date; slightly high. Die crack from top edge through Liberty and 8 to bottom edge. The 6th star is defective.

Rev. Small letters.

7 Obv. New die, “drapery” from forearm to below knee. Heavy, close, high date. Lowest left star neither low nor close.

Rev. New die with larger lettering.

7a Obv. Die of No. 7.

Rev. Die of No. 7, but straight line scratches in die back of uni, and a and c of America.

O Mint

1 Obv. “No drapery.” Small, uneven date; rather high. Lowest left star close. The 1st, 8th, 11th and 13th stars defective.

Rev. Large, rather thin 0. Small letters.

2 Obv. “No drapery.” Small, open date; rather high. Lowest left star rather low and close. The 3rd and 9th stars defective.

Rev. Small letters. Crack at u of united and at bottom of wreath, o medium size, rather low and a little to the left.

3 Obv. “No drapery.” High date. Lowest left star not low. The 1st, 3rd, 5th and 10th stars defective.

Rev. Small letters. Small o, well placed. Die crack at a in states, and first and last a in America.

4 Obv. “No drapery.” Lowest left star not low but close. The 2nd, 5th, 6th and 12th stars defective. Date high.

Rev. Small o, well placed. A die crack runs from m of dime, through o and bow knot to edge.

5 Obv. New die with drapery. Compact date. Lowest left star not low nor close.

Rev. New die with large lettering. Small o, well placed. A die break shows from right hand stem to edge.

1841

1 Obv. The two l’s in date lower than the 8 and 4. A scratch in die shows below arm holding Liberty cap.

Rev. Heavy lettering. A slight flaw above d of united. Proof.

2 Obv. First 1 and 84 high, last 1 low. A slight flaw between 10th and 11th stars.

Rev. Thin lettering. Struck from a shallow die.

3 Obv. Date high; the 8 and 4 touch. They are slight flaws near 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th and 12th stars.

Rev. Die of No. 2.

O Mint

1 Obv. Open date, well placed, the last 1 low. Lowest left star not low nor close.

Rev. Small o to left of center. Medium lettering.

1a Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Die of No. 1, but die breaks begin and show at n of united, first t, a and last s of states and last a of America.

2 Obv. Even date, slightly high.

Rev. Die of No. 1, but cracked as in No. 1A.

3 Obv. Rather high date, the 8 and 4 double cut at bottom. The 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 10th stars defective.

Rev. Medium o well placed. Heavy lettering. A die break is beginning at r of America.

4 Obv. Tall, open date, not near base. The figure of Liberty is rough as if from a rusty die.

Rev. Medium o. Light lettering. Die cracks at u to leaf and edge, a and final s in states, and r and final a in America .

1842

1 Obv. Open, heavy date, high. The 2 is a little lower than the other figures. Defects near 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, and 11th stars.

Rev. Medium lettering. Perfect die. Proof.

1a Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Die of No. 1, but a crack shows from first t of states through h of half, to rim at bottom and from o of of through wreath, f and e to bottom. There are several other die cracks through center of coin.

2 Obv. Die of No. 1, but beginning to show wear, the defects around stars are not as pronounced.

Rev. The die of 1841 No. 2.

2a Obv. Die of No. 2, but die crack from edge through head, star, cap and the next two stars.

Rev. Die of No. 2.

3 Obv. Tall date, medium spaced. All stars perfect. The 84 closer together. Edge of rim broken at left and bottom.

Rev. Medium lettering. A slight break at c of AMERICA.

4 Obv. Heavy date, well placed, bases of 4 and 2 lower than the 1 and 8. 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th stars defective.

Rev. Heaving lettering. Die cracks at d of united and second τ in states, both of which run into wreath.

O Mint

1 Obv. Heavy, compact, rather high date. Slight defect between 10th and 11th star.

Rev. Small o to left of center. Heavy lettering.

2 Obv. Slender, open, medium date.

Rev. Small o, to left of center. Medium lettering.

3 Obv. Slender somewhat compact medium date.

Rev. Small o, thin lettering. Possibly the same die as No. 2.

1843

1 Obv. Heavy, high date. Heavy stars. Defects at 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th stars.

Rev. Medium lettering.

1a Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Die of No. 1, but a slight die crack at first t of states.

2 Obv. Date not as high, also thinner.

Rev. Medium lettering. Die crack starting at f of half, and runs through a of America, and another crack runs across field through A and M of value.

3 Obv. Large, not so high date. Figures 8 and 4 close together. Flaw between 10th and 11th stars.

Rev. Heavy lettering.

4 Obv. Similar to No. 3, but lighter numerals.

Rev. Badly cracked die of No. 2.

5 Obv. Slender, rather open date, not high. Stars not heavy. Die crack through e of liberty in shield to edge.

Rev. Thin lettering.

5a Obv. Die crack enlarged, running now to right edge.

Rev. Die of No. 5.

6 Obv. Compact, low date. 1 and 8 recut at bottom. Flaw shows between 10th and 11th stars.

Rev. Thin lettering.

1844

1 Obv. Heavy, compact date. Tall and 8 high. Medium stars.

Rev. Medium lettering. Proof.

2 Obv. Heavy, perfect date, medium spaced. The last 4 a trifle low. Medium stars.

Rev. Medium lettering. Proof.

3 Obv. Heavy, perfect date, medium spaced. The 1 lower than other figures, but the 1 at the top, and the 8 at the bottom show double impressions due to the fact that when the date was punched in a slight slipping occurred which was later rectified by smoothing off the surface of the die.

Rev. Medium lettering.

3a Obv. Die of No. 3, but the imperfections at date barely show.

Rev. A slight die break occurs at f in of.

O Mint

1 Obv. Rather high and even date.

Rev. Large o. Thin lettering.

2 Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Small round o, low. Rev. upset.

1845

1 Obv. Small, high date. The 1 tall and spaced, the 845 almost touch, the 4 is low and the 5 is high.

Rev. Medium lettering.

1a Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Die of No. 1. A die crack runs through u into wreath. Proof.

2 Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Heavy lettering. The ica is close to edge.

3 Obv. Heayy, compact date, well centered, the 5 high. Die cracks at 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th stars.

Rev. Medium lettering.

3a Obv. The die crack now extends through base into date.

Rev. The die of No. 3.

4 Obv. Date medium spaced. The 84 are lower than the 1 and 5.

Rev. Heavy lettering. Defect in background back of ate in states, and last a in America.

5 Obv. Small date, medium spaced. All numerals show they have been twice punched, and the 5 looks as if it had been made over from a 3.

Rev. Heavy lettering.

6 Obv. Heavy, low date. The 1 very close to milling, the 5 high. The 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th stars show defects around them.

Rev. Medium lettering.

1846

1 Obv. 1 high. Large date, 4 and 6 close. The openings in the figures are partly filled up.

Rev. Heavy lettering.

1847

1 Obv. Heavy date. All numerals touch base, bottoms of 1 and 7 near edge, 1 and 8 recut. Defects show at 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 10th stars.

Rev. Heavy lettering.

2 Obv. Thin date. All numerals touch base but not both points of the 7. The 4 and 7 are close. Defects show around every star.

Rev. Heavy lettering. Proof.

3 Obv. Medium date. 1 and 8 touch base. Date not close to edge. Defect shows only between 10th and 11th stars.

Rev. Heavy lettering.

4 Obv. High date. 1 heavier than on other varieties. 4 and 7 spaced. Defect between 5th and 6th star. There is a slight die crack at 184 of date, and at 7th star to head.

Rev. Heavy lettering.

5 Obv. Die of No. 4, showing die break more extended.

Rev. Medium lettering.

1848

1 Obv. Large date, overruns base. Large stars. 8th to 12th stars defective.

Rev. Heavy lettering.

2 Obv. Compact, small, high date. All figures touch base; all stars defective.

Rev. Medium lettering.

2a Same as above but the reverse is upset.

3 Obv. Tall, compact, high date. All numerals touch base. 5th, 7th, 8th, and 10th stars defective.

Rev. Medium lettering.

4 Obv. Small open date. All numerals touch. Defects show between 5th and 6th stars, and 10th and 11th stars.

Rev. Medium lettering. Upset reverse, proof.

5 Obv. Very similar to above but stars show no defects and the denticulations at milling are double struck.

Rev. Heavy lettering. Die cracks at me of dime to c of america , also e of united to h of half.

6 Obv. Similar to No. 4, but the numerals are lighter and do not lap over the base.

Rev. From another die. A bad crack through a of states through wreath to bottom branching off through t and n of united.

7 Obv. Small, compact date. 184 very close to base, last 8 clear.

Rev. Medium lettering.

7a Obv. Die of No. 7.

Rev. Die of No. 7. A crack, n of united, through h of half and e of states.

O Mint

1 Obv. Large high date. Second 8 merges. Large stars; several defective. The end of shield points to the top of 1.

Rev. Medium lettering. Large o.

2 Obv. Similar. The end of shield points to the left part of 1.

Rev. Slender lettering. Small o.

1849

1 Obv. Small, rather compact date, high. 184 touch base. Heavy numerals and stars. Slight defects show at 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 10th, 11th, and 12th stars.

Rev. Heavy lettering.

2 Obv. Numerals rather slender. Open date, not so high. Does not touch base. The 9 shows a defect in the opening. Defect between 10th and 11th stars.

Rev. Medium lettering. Die cracks at n of united, d of dime, h of half, t of states, and bow of wreath.

3 Obv. Perfect, compact date; short numerals; slightly high but do not touch.

Rev. Heavy lettering.

3a Obv. Die of No. 3.

Rev. There is a slight die break at left stem of wreath.

4 Obv. Compact, small numerals, well placed. The 9 shows it has been stamped over an 8, as both loops of the latter figure show slightly at the right.

Rev. Die of No. 3, but a die break runs from first s of states through wreath to bottom edge.

5 Obv. Almost identical with No. 4, but very few defects around the stars and only the lower loop of the 8 shows under the 9.

Rev. Medium weight lettering, perfect dies.

6 Obv. Open not high date, with slender numerals.

Rev. Medium lettering. Slight die breaks at f, r and right stem of wreath.

7 Obv. Open low date. Short, rather heavy numerals. The 9 low.

Rev. Heavy lettering.

8 Obv. Small open date, rather low.

Rev. Rather heavy lettering, all spaced. Proof.

8a Obv. Die of No. 8, but die crack at last three stars running into foot of Liberty.

Rev. The cracked die of No. 6.

O Mint

1 Obv. Small, open, medium date. Die crack, three lowest stars at left, and at 8 of date.

Rev. Medium lettering. Large o. Die crack at T in united, and m of america.

2 Obv. Heavy date. Imperfections at 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th stars.

Rev. Perfect die of No. 1.

1850

1 Obv. Numerals touch base.

Rev. Medium lettering.

2 Obv. The 18 and 5 touch base.

Rev. Medium lettering. Proof.

3 Obv. 1 touches base. 850 are close.

Rev. Medium lettering.

4 Obv. Date close to base. The 1 almost touches.

Rev. Rather slender lettering.

5 Obv. Date does not touch base. Compass point shows.

Rev. Medium lettering. Cracks starting at e and d of united, run into wreath.

O Mint

2 Obv. Open date, clear of base.

Rev. Heavy lettering. Large o; high.

1a Obv. Die of No. 1, but a faint break shows at third star.

Rev. Die of No. 1, but a break shows between f of of and a of America.

2 Obv. Medium open date, clear of base. Defects between 10th and 11th stars, and a faint die crack runs through nearly all of the stars.

Rev. Heavy lettering. Round, fat o.

3 Obv. Compact, low date, not close to base.

Rev. Medium lettering. Medium o, near wreath.

4 Obv. Small, rather low date. Not close to base.

Rev. Slender lettering. Small o. Small pits in the die about united states.

1851

1 Obv. Open, high date, all numerals touch base. Defects near 5th, 8th, 10th, and 12th stars.

Rev. Medium lettering. Proof.

1a Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Die of No. 1. Crack at un.

2 Obv. Open, low date. Defects near 5th, 8th, 10th, and 12th stars.

Rev. Medium lettering. Die break through m of AMERICA.

O Mint

1 Obv. Numerals 51 touch base. Faint die break through last five stars.

Rev. Slender letters. Large o; crack from es in states through of and americ.

12 Obv. Numerals very close to base; all touch but the 8. Die flaw over cap and 9th and 10th stars.

Rev. Heavy letters. Large o.

1852

1 Obv. High, compact date. Defect between 10th and 11th stars.

Rev. Medium letters. A die imperfection extends from a of states to o of of.

2 Obv. Open date, high but not touching. Flaws at 8th, 10th, 11th, and 12th stars.

Rev. Medium lettering. Flaws in background at t of united, te of states and r of america.

3 Obv. Rather compact date; high. The 1 heavy. Flaw between 10th and 11th stars.

Rev. Rather slender lettering. Proof.

3a Obv. Die of No. 3.

Rev. Die of No. 3, but a die crack runs through ri of AMERICA.

4 Obv. Open date, high. The 1 light. A faint die crack through first five stars.

Rev. Medium lettering. Die breaks through top of united, and through both stems of wreath.

O Mint

1 Obv. Medium, rather open date.

Rev. Rather heavy lettering, ame touch, and e of dime touches berry. Medium o, low.

1853

During this year a change was made in the weight of the silver coins, the half dimes were reduced from 20.8 grains to 19.2 grains. To distinguish those struck under the new law, arrow-heads were added to each side of the date. This practice was carried on for three years and then dropped.

No Arrow-heads

1 Obv. Rather large, open date; heavy numerals. Date does not touch base.

Rev. Medium lettering. Faint die breaks shows at top of uni of united and mer of america .

1a Obv. Die of No. 1, but a faint die break runs through bottom of the date.

Rev. Die of No. 1, but the die crack shows plainer.

With Arrow-heads

2 Obv. Date high. 1 touches, 8 very close. There is a slight defect at bottom of the 1 and top of the 8. Numerals medium and rather close. Small arrows close to numerals, and both touch base. Defects around 10th, 11th and 12th stars. Some specimens show a slight imperfection at right center of 1.

Rev. Medium lettering.

2a Obv. Die of No. 1, but the defects do not show as clearly about the stars, and the flaw below base of the 1 has disappeared.

Rev. Die of No. 1.

3 Obv. Date high, the 1 only touches base. Thin base to 1. Tall, slender, spaced numerals. Small arrows, close to numerals but do not touch base.

Rev. Thin lettering.

4 Obv. Open, medium date, 1 high and with a thin base. Small arrows close to numerals, and both touch base.

Rev. Medium lettering. There is a flaw in the field between bow-knot and wreath at right.

4a Obv. Die of No. 4, but die crack runs from 3 through arrow to base.

Rev. Die of No. 4.

4b Obv. Die of No. 4.

Rev. Die of No. 4, but there is a die break between a and t of states, and at left stem of wreath.

5 Obv. Die of No. 4.

Rev. From another but similar die to No. 4. Heavy lettering. A flaw in the background above bow-knot at right.

6 Obv. Die almost identical to No. 4, but a die break shows on the 11th and 12th stars.

Rev. Die similar to No. 4, but a die break at right of second t and at final s in states.

7 Obv. Die almost identical to No. 4, but a die break runs from 5 to edge.

Rev. Die almost identical to No. 4, but a die break runs from left top of second t and from final s in states.

8 Obv. Date heavy, high. Left hand arrow touches base; right hand does not.

Rev. Medium lettering. Die crack at uni of united.

9 Obv. High date. 1 and 3 slightly heavy. Right arrow smaller. Both touch base; the left one overlaps.

Rev. Medium lettering.

9a Obv. Die of No. 9.

Rev. Cracks at first τ and between e and s in states, and right hand stem.

10 Obv. Thin, open date, medium placed. Base of 1 thin. Right hand arrow high, left hand arrow lower.

Rev. Rather light lettering. Die cracks at right stem and uni of united, and between f and A.

11 Obv. Rather small, open, low date. Left arrow touches base; right one almost touches.

Rev. Medium lettering.

12 Obv. Medium, open, low date. Medium arrows, left one not so high, close to 1 and to the milling; right one slightly larger, low and close to numeral and milling.

Rev. Die similar to No. 4. Lettering a trifle thinner.

O Mint

Without Arrow-heads

1 Obv. No arrows at date. Rather large, open date. Slender, tall numerals. 1 touches base, 8 very close.

Rev. Rather slender lettering. Large o, slightly low.

With Arrow-heads

2 Ohv. Medium, open, rather high date. 1 almost touches base, 3 low. Small arrows; both high and not close to numerals. Crack from base to edge back of 3.

Rev. Rather heavy lettering. Crack at second s of states. Medium o, high.

3 Obv. Medium, open, thin date. Not low but not close to base. Small arrows; left one touches base, right one nearly does.

Rev. Heavy lettering. Large o, near right bow.

4 Obv. Similar to No. 3, but 1 larger and heavier. Arrows a trifle closer.

Rev. Die of No. 3.

5 Obv. Rather large, open date, high but not touching. Both arrows just touch base and are close to numerals. Defect under righthand arrow.

Rev. Rather slender lettering. Large o, low, nearer left bow.

1854

1 Obv. High wide date. All the tops of the numerals merge with the base. Right arrow touches crosslet of 4 and the milling. Left arrow is clear and the shaft is half way down the standard of the 1.

Rev. Heavy lettering. Die crack at u of united to edge.

2 Obv. Open, high date, the numerals touch the base. Left arrow high, close to point of 1 and touches milling. Right one is close to base and milling, the shaft is higher than in No. 1.

Rev. Medium lettering; perfect dies. Proof.

2a Obv. Die of No. 2, but a die crack runs from base through 185 of date.

Rev. Die of No. 2, but crack at left stem to edge.

3 Obv. Rather compact, high date, quite similar to No. 2, but the 1 and 8 closer. The right arrow is the larger and is close to the 4 and touches the milling. The loop of the 5 almost closed and the 5 and 4 are closer to one another. The left arrow touches the point of the 1 and the milling, and is close to the base.

Rev. Rather heavy lettering. A slight die defect between un of united.

3a Obv. Same as No. 3, but the tip of upper serif of the 1 does not show.

Rev. Die of No. 3 but crack at first a in america .

4 Obv. Open rather high slender date, the 8 a trifle more slanting, the 5 touches base. Small arrows, both touch milling, the left, the smaller, is close to the short serif of the 1 but is clear of the base. Right arrow is close to 4 and the base. The loop of the 5 is open.

Rev. Medium lettering.

4a Obv. Same as No. 4.

Rev. Same as No. 4, but has die cracks at left stem to edge and c of america to edge.

5 Obv. Small open low date. Open loop 5. Small arrows, the left one rather high but not close to 1 or base though it touches the milling. Right arrow clear but close to milling. There is a die fault in the field to right of Liberty.

Rev. Medium lettering.

16 Obv. Smallest arrows and small date and slender stars. Struck from worn die.

Rev. Rather heavy lettering.

O Mint

1 Obv. High date. All numerals and right arrow touch base. Left arrow smaller and close. The die has been very badly scratched and fine lines show all over the figure and shield.

Rev. Heavy lettering, o large and slightly low.

2 Obv. Medium, even numerals. 1, 8 and 5 touch base. Small arrows close to base and numerals.

Rev. Die of No. 1. Cracks at t of united and between me of america .

3 Obv. Tall, even numerals. 1, 8 and 5 touch base. Small arrows, well placed.

Rev. Rather slender lettering, o high.

4 Obv. High date. 1 and 8 touch base. Large arrows, high and close to numerals; right one close to base. Both arrow points touch milling.

Rev. Rather heavy lettering, o close to dime.

1855

1 Obv. Compact, medium, low date. Crack at top of 55. Large arrows merge in base, touch milling and close to numerals.

Rev. Rather slender lettering.

2 Obv. Medium, low date, not quite as compact. A flaw at base of 1. Loop of second 5 open. Large arrows merge a little more on base; close to numerals but not close to milling.

Rev. Rather slender lettering; slightly heavier than that of No. 1.

3 Obv. Very similar to No. 1, but a die crack runs from between second and third star to arm and from knee to last star. Arrows nearly touch milling.

Rev. Rather slender lettering.

4 Obv. Similar but arrow point not so near the 1.

Rev. Medium lettering. Crack runs from edge through n of united, wreath, m of america to edge.

5 Obv. Similar to No. 1, but left arrow shaft not so low or close to the 1. Defect through upper part of 855 of date.

Rev. Heavy lettering. The d and e of dime are close to berries. Crack at r of america .

6 Obv. Open, medium, low date. Large arrows; both run into base and are close to milling.

Rev. Medium lettering. Proof.

O Mint

1 Obv. Open, medium date. Large arrows, high, almost touch milling and close to numerals. Proofs of this are known.

Rev. Slender lettering. Thin o, rather low.

1a Obv. Same as No. 1, but stars and Liberty cap on right are connected by crack. The die is also badly rusted.

1856

No Arrow-heads

1 Obv. Small, heavy, compact, high date. Curved top to 5, 6 coarse, 185 especially compact. Tip of shield points to 1. A peculiarity of the coins of this date is that the denticulations of the milling are not well struck up.

Rev. Medium lettering.

2 Obv. Medium, rather high date. 185 compact. Straight top to 5, 6 coarse. Tip of shield points to left of 1.

Rev. Medium lettering. Proof.

3 Obv. Similar to above but shield points to left part of 1. Curved top to 5, 6 coarse.

Rev. Similar to No. 1.

3a Obv. Die of No. 3, but flaw at milling at ninth star.

Rev. Die of No. 3.

4 Obv. Open, medium, high date. 1 and 8 heavy. Curved top to open loop to 5, 6 perfect.

Rev. Rather slender lettering.

5 Obv. Open, medium, rather low date. Curved top to 5, 6 perfect.

Rev. Rather slender lettering.

6 Obv. Low, open date, running slightly uphill. Curved top to 5, 6 perfect.

Rev. Slender lettering.

7 Obv. Similar to No. 5, but heavy date. Curved top to 5, 6 coarse. Flaw between 10th and 11th stars.

Rev. Slender lettering.

8 Obv. Open, rather even, heavy, low date. Loop of 5 closed. 6 coarse.

Rev. Medium lettering.

O Mint

1 Obv. Small, irregular, compact, high date; 1 and 6 low; 85 high and close, 5 and 6 heavy.

Rev. Medium lettering. Medium o; slightly low.

2 Obv. Open, even, well placed date. 1 low. A faint die break runs through the right hand stars. Loop of 5 closed.

Rev. Medium lettering. Medium o. Slightly high.

3 Obv. Medium date, 1 low, open loop 5.

Rev. Die crack at un in united.

4 Obv. Medium placed date, 1 and 8 low. Cracks at 1 to milling, toe to milling and forehead to milling.

Rev. Die of No. 2.

5 Obv. Close date, loop of 5 closed.

Rev. Small o, medium lettering. Flaw between un.

1857

Early in 1857 the hub, having become badly worn, was retouched. The most noticeable differences are in the drapery between the figure of Liberty and the flagpole, and a dent on the inside point of the third star. The coins struck from dies before the changes were made, are No. 1, and Nos. 1, 2 and 3 of the New Orleans mint.

1 Obv. High, open date, 1 high, 7 low. Loop of 5 closed; defect between 11th and 12th stars.

Rev. Medium lettering.

2 Obv. Medium, high, numerals away from edge, the 1 nearest the base, open date, thin lettering. Loop of 5 open.

Rev. Rather slender lettering.

3 Obv. Open, medium, high date; well placed; heavy figures; loop of 5 closed, the 7 nearest the base.

Rev. Medium lettering. Proof.

4 Obv. Open, medium, date, well centered; 7 low. The loop of the 5 is about closed.

Rev. Medium lettering. Perfect die.

4a Obv. Die of No. 4.

Rev. Die of No. 4, but die flaw from wreath to c of america .

5 Obv. Similar to No. 4, but date a little more extended. The loop of the 5 is open and a flaw shows from left of 1 to edge.

Rev. Medium lettering. There is a defect in the second s of states, and through e of america to edge.

6 Obv. Almost identical with No. 5. The loop of the 5 is open.

Rev. Light lettering.

7 Obv. Low, compact date; 1 near milling; the 7 well placed. Thick numerals.

Rev. Medium lettering.

8 Obv. Low, open date. Loop of 5 nearly closed.

Rev. Rather slender lettering.

9 Obv. Close even well placed date. The die is badly worn.

Rev. Light lettering.

O Mint

1 Obv. Rather high, compact date; 1 rather high, almost touches; 7 low. A faint die break runs through the first five stars at left, and a line runs from rock to base at left.

Rev. Slender lettering. Medium o, slightly low.

2 Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Slender lettering. Medium o, low.

3 Obv. Open, rather high date; 1 high but clear; 5 has open loop.

Rev. Rather slender lettering. Large o, low.

3a Obv. Die of No. 3, but a die crack runs through the stars at right.

Rev. Die of No. 3.

4 Obv. Open date, heavy, not high. The loop of 5 is closed. Retouched die.

Rev. Medium lettering. Medium o, not so low.

5 Obv. Small open well placed date. Open loop 5, the 7 shorter.

Rev. Slender lettering. Medium o rather low.

6 Obv. Medium well placed open date, not quite as high as No. 2. Loop of 5 almost closed.

Rev. Medium o, well placed.

1858

1 Obv. Small compact high date. Tip of shield points to left end of 1. Loop of 5 almost closed. The second 8 low. Pendant on edge of skirt overright part of 5.

Rev. Medium lettering.

2 Obv. Similar to No. 1, but tip of shield points to right of 1. Skirt-pendant over center of 5.

Rev. A bad die flaw in sta of states and thence under tes into of. Flaw at right stem.

3 Obv. Date slightly more open and slightly lower. Tip of shield points to left end of 1. Skirtpendant to right of 5, the loop of which is open.

Rev. Medium lettering, probably die of No. 2 before flaws at lettering developed.

4 Obv. Date not so heavy and a trifle more extended than on No. 1, and a trifle lower. Shield points to left tip of 1, skirt-pendant over right part of 5.

Rev. Medium lettering.

4a Obv. Die of No. 4.

Rev. Die of No. 4, but a die break from second t of states to edge. Proof.

5 Obv. Medium open low date. The shield points to left of 1, skirt-pendant over right center of 5. Die cracks through first three and last three stars.

Rev. Medium lettering.

6 Obv. Low, open date, open loop 5.

Rev. Medium lettering.

7 Obv. Low, open date, lower than No. 6. The loop of the 5 nearly closed.

Rev. Rather slender lettering.

8 Obv. Low date, the last 8 lower than the other figures. The 1 and upper part of the 5 well struck up, the two 8’s not so well struck.

Rev. Rather slender lettering. Proof.

O Mint

1 Obv: Medium, high, open date; 8 low. A die crack extends from Liberty’s toe to edge.

Rev. Medium lettering. Medium o; low.

1a Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Die of No. 1, but die breaks show at second t of states, and i of america .

2 Obv. Close, medium placed date.

Rev. Medium lettering. Roundish o; very low and to right.

3 Obv. Die of No. 2.

Rev. Medium lettering, break at c of america , extending to leaf, stem and ribbon, o low and to the left.

4 Obv. Very low, compact date.

Rev. Similar to No. 1; die break between s of states and o of of.

1859

During the year a new obverse hub was made, but used only on those coins struck at the Phila- delphia mint. The dies for the New Orleans mint were made from the old hub. The new hub is of slightly lower relief. The stars are sharper pointed and are hollow in the center. The face, hair and drapery show marked differences, the arms are slimmer, the Liberty cap smaller, the word liberty on shield larger, the bottom of the base less irregular and projects beyond the foot of Liberty. No change is noted on the reverse.

1 Obv. High, open date. The bottom of the 1 and 9 show a double impress.

Rev. Medium lettering. Proof.

2 Obv. Low, open date.

Rev. Rather slender lettering.

O Mint

1 Obv. Open date, well placed.

Rev. Heavy lettering. h of half touches wreath. Large o, low and to the left of center. Die crack through me of America.

2 Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Heavy lettering. h of half touches wreath. Large o, medium placed, slightly to the right of center.

3 Obv. Die of No. 1.

Rev. Rather slender lettering. h of half does not touch wreath. Cracks at i in america , and right stem of wreath. o to the right of center.

TRANSITIONAL PATTERNS 1859

1 Obv. Design of 1859, date high.

Rev. New design. For description see under regular series of 1860.

1860

1 Obv. Design of 1859, small medium placed date.

Rev. The new design.

Neither of these two coins bear the legend united states of america .

1860

The final type of the half-dime was introduced in this year. The seated figure is from the same model as used before 1859, but a trifle smaller. In place of the stars, the reverse inscription, united states of america , has been transferred to the obverse.

On the reverse the wreath fills much more of the field, occupying the space where the legend formerly was, and is composed of oak leaves and one acorn, together with corn on the right and cotton and tobacco on the left. Both sprays are fastened by a ribbon bow-knot. The value half dime is in more condensed lettering. The mint mark appears below the wreath until 1871; during that year and part of 1872, the mint letter is within the wreath, and then again it is restored to its position under the wreath.

1 Obv. Slender numerals; date high.

Rev. Both ends of the ribbon touch wreath.

2 Obv. Slight numerals; medium high date.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon touch.

3 Obv. Heavy numerals; low date.

Rev. The right end of the ribbon is clear. Proof.

O Mint

1 Obv. Open, medium date.

Rev. Low, thin o. Left end of ribbon is clear.

2 Obv. Open, medium date. Die imperfections between figure and flagpole.

Rev. Low, thick, small o. Left end of ribbon is close.

3 Obv. Compact, low date.

Rev. High, medium o. Both ends of ribbon clear. Crack at right end to leaf.

4 Obv. Compact, low date.

Rev. Small o; higher. Right end of ribbon is clear.

5 Obv. Small, low date.

Rev. Small, high o; very close to knot. Both ends of ribbon touch.

1861

1 Obv. Open, well placed date.

Rev. The right end of ribbon is clear. Proof.

2 Obv. Similar to No. 1, but flaw under arm holding pole.

Rev. Wreath is recut at left. Right end of ribbon is close.

3 Obv. Compact, low date.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is clear.

1862

1 Obv. High, open date. Slight flaw from head to cap and at ty of liberty on shield.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon touch.

2 Obv. Medium high date, slight flaw on breast below hair.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon are clear, except on heavily struck pieces. Proof.

3 Obv. Thin irregular spaced date. Upper part of second s in states slightly filled in.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is clear. Proof.

4 Obv. Open date, starting low and running upward.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon touch.

5 Obv. Low, open date. A faint flaw runs from ear into neck.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is clear. Defect in m.

6 Obv. More compact, low date.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon touch. A crack runs from edge to top leaf at left.

1863

1 Obv. Date high; the 1 is double punched.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon touch. Proof.

S Mint

1 Obv. Low date.

Rev. The s well placed. Right end of ribbon is clear.

1864

1 Obv. Compact, low date, 4 bold.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is clear. Proof.

Copper Pattern

Obv. High compact date. Upper part of d in united defective as is shown in numerous obverses from 1871 on.

Rev. Ribbon ends touch.

S Mint

1 Obv. Well placed, open date, 4 bold.

Rev. Medium s well placed. Both ends of ribbon touch.

1865

1 Obv. Medium, placed date. There is a flaw in upper left side of 8.

Rev. Both ends of ribbons are clear. Proof.

S Mint

1 Obv. Compact, high date.

Rev. Rather small s; low. Right end of ribbon is clear.

2 Obv. More open date; not quite as high.

Rev. s well placed. Crack at left ribbon, near s, to edge, and at the lower end of right end of ribbon. Right end does not touch.

1866

1 Obv. Low date.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon are clear. Proof.

S Mint

1 Obv. Open, well placed date.

Rev. Small “chunky” s; rather high. Right end of ribbon is clear.

1867

1 Obv. Open, high date.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon are clear. Proof.

2 Obv. Open, low date and more to left.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon touch. Proof.

S Mint

1 Obv. Open, high date.

Rev. Medium s; rather well placed. Both ends of ribbon are clear. A small crack near right end.

1868

1 Obv. Open, high date.

Rev. Right end of ribbon clear. Proof.

2 Obv. Open, medium, high date, a trifle more extended.

Rev. Right end of ribbon clear.

S Mint

1 Obv. Open, medium, high date.

Rev. Rather small s; slightly high. Right end of ribbon is clear.

1a Same as No. 1, but the reverse has crack at ribbon, each side of the s.

1b Same as No. 1a but with a bad die crack at 8 of date.

1869

1 Obv. High, open date.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is just clear. Proof.

2 Obv. The date more compact and not so high.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon touch. Proof.

3 Obv. Date a trifle low; 1 and 8 touch.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon touch.

4 Obv. Date more open and low.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is clear.

S Mint

1 Obv. High date; 1 and 8 touch.

Rev. s rather high and open. Both ends of ribbon touch.

2 Obv. Date low.

Rev. s higher and compact. Both ends of ribbon touch.

1870

1 Obv. Large, open, high date.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is clear.

2 Obv. Rather open, high date; not as open as No. 1.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is clear. Proof.

3 Obv. Rather open, high, medium date.

Rev. Right end of ribbon just touches.

4 Obv. Open, low date.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is clear.

5 Obv. Rather compact, low date.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon touch.

6 Obv. Low date.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is clear.

Pattern

Silver. Adams-Woodin 1038.

Obv. Liberty seated facing the left. Inscription united states—of america. 1870 beneath the base.

Rev. At top, standard; within a wreath, 5 over the curved word cents.

The same design in copper. A.-W. 1041.

1871

1 Obv. Large high, compact date; 1 and 8 very close, 7 and 1 touch. Defective d in united.

Rev. Right end of ribbon almost touches. Proof.

2 Obv. High, open date. Defective d in united.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is clear.

3 Obv. Large, compact date; not so high; the second 1 is near the edge. Perfect d.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is clear.

4 Obv. Low, compact date. Defective d in united.

Rev. Heavy half dime. Both ends of ribbon touch.

5 Obv. Tall low date, both 1's close to edge. Defective d in united.

Rev. Ribbon ends touch.

S Mint

1 Obv. Tall, compact date; slightly low.

Rev. Small s high in wreath. Both ends of tibbon are clear.

1872

The d in united from now on is defective.

1 Obv. Small, compact, high date.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon touch.

2 Obv. Medium, high date; the 1 and 8 touch; the 2 is low.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is clear. Proof.

3 Obv. The date more open and slightly lower. The 1 and 8 do not touch.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon touch.

4 Obv. Low, open date.

Rev. Right end of ribbon just touches. Proof.

5 Obv. Open rather low date, the 1 and 8 do not touch.

Rev. Ribbon ends are clear.

S Mint

1 Obv. Large, medium placed.

Rev. Large s inside wreath and high. Right end of ribbon almost touches.

2 Obv. Medium placed date; more extended.

Rev. Small s inside wreath and lower than in No. 1. Both ends of ribbon are clear.

3 Obv. Medium, high date.

Rev. Large s below knot. Both ends of ribbon are clear.

4 Obv. Small, low, compact date.

Rev. Small s below knot. Both ends of ribbon are clear. Die-break from right ribbon to edge.

1873

1 Obv. Medium, high date; the 1 and 8 about touch. Defects to left of 1, above 8, and from 7 to base of figure.

Rev. Both ends of ribbon touch.

2 Obv. Open, low date.

Rev. Right end of ribbon is just clear. Proof.

S Mint

1 Obv. Heavy, even, date; well placed.

Rev. Large s rather close to knot. Both ends of ribbon about touch.

TOKENS

The following pieces are included as they illustrate the manufacture by private sources of tokens inscribed half dime.

Obv. In center, scales; around, good at Nicholson’s *.

Rev. Within wreath, half dime; above, state of missouri.

German silver. Edge plain. Size 15 mm. Obv. Within closed wreath, above and below six pointed stars, bread.

Rev. Within closed wreath, half dime; above, good at J. B. Wilson ’s; below, for.

White metal. Edge reeded. Size 15 mm.

End Notes

1
Printed as an appendix to Watson’s History of American Coinage.
1
A classification of the Early Half Dimes of the United States by Harold P. Newlin. Philadelphia 1883.
2
A Description of Ancient and Modern Coins in the Cabinet Collection at the Mint of the United States by James Ross Snowden. Philadelphia 1860.
3
The United States Half Dimes from 1829 through 1873. The Numismatist, August, 1927.

BACK

U.S. HALF DIMES

PLATE 1

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Numismatic Notes and Monographs

  • Sydney P. Noe. Coin Hoards. 1921. 47 pp. 6 pls. 50c.
  • Agnes Baldwin. Five Roman Gold Medallions. 1921. 103 pp. 8 pls. $1.50.
  • Sydney P. Noe. Medallic Work of A. A. Weinman. 1921. 31 pp. 17 pls. $1.00.
  • Gilbert S. Perez. The Mint of the Philippine Islands. 1921. 8 pp. 4 pls. 50c.
  • David Eugene Smith, LL.D. Computing Jetons. 1921. 70 pp. 25 pls. $1.50.
  • Edward T. Newell. The First Seleucid Coinage of Tyre. 1921. 40 pp. 8 pls. $1.00.
  • Howland Wood. Gold Dollars of 1858. 1922. 7 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • R. B. Whitehead. Pre-Mohammedan Coinage of N. W. India. 1922. 56 pp. 15 pls. $2.00.
  • George F. Hill. Attambelos I of Characene. 1922. 12 pp. 3 pls. $1.00.
  • M. P. Vlasto. Taras Oikistes (A Contribution to Tarentine Numismatics). 1922. 234 pp. 13 pls. $3.50.
  • Agnes Baldwin. Six Roman Bronze Medallions. 1923. 39 pp. 6 pls. $1.50.
  • Howland Wood. Tegucigalpa Coinage of 1823. 1923. 16 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • Edward T. Newell. Alexander Hoards—II. Demanhur Hoard. 1923. 162 pp. 8 pls. $2.50.
  • Harrold E. Gillingham. Italian Orders of Chivalry and Medals of Honour. 1923. 146 pp. 34 pls. $2.00.
  • Edward T. Newell. Alexander Hoards—III. Andritsaena. 1924. 39 pp. 6 pls. $1.00.
  • C. T. Seltman. A Hoard from Side. 1924. 20 pp. 3 pls. $1.00.
  • R. B. Seager. A Cretan Coin Hoard. 1924. 55 pp. 12 pls. $2.00.
  • Samuel R. Milbank. The Coinage of Aegina. 1925. 66 pp. 5 pls. $2.00.
  • Sydney P. Noe. A Bibliography of Greek Coin Hoards. 1925. 275 pp. $2.50.
  • Edward T. Newell. Mithradates of Parthia and Hyspaosines of Characene. 1925. 18 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • Sydney P. Noe. The Mende (Kaliandra) Hoard. 1926. 73 pp. 10 pls. $2.00.
  • Agnes Baldwin. Four Medallions from the Arras Hoard. 1926. 36 pp. 4 pls. $1.50.
  • H. Alexander Parsons. The Earliest Coins of Norway. 1926. 41 pp. 50c.
  • Edward T. Newell. Some Unpublished Coins of Eastern Dynasts. 1926. 21 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • Harrold E. Gillingham. Spanish Orders of Chivalry and Decorations of Honour. 1926. 165 pp. 40 pls. $3.00.
  • Sydney P. Noe. The Coinage of Mesapontum. 1927 (Part I). 134 pp. 23 pls. $3.00.
  • Edward T. Newell. Two Recent Egyptian Hoards—Delta and Keneh. 1927. 34 pp. 3 pls. $1.00.
  • Edward Rogers. The Second and Third Seleucid Coinage of Tyre. 1927. 33 pp. 4 pls. $1.50.
  • Alfred R. Bellinger. The Anonymous Byzantine Bronze Coinage. 1928. 27 pp. 4 pls. $1.50.
  • Harrold E. Gillingham. Notes on the Decorations and Medals of the French Colonies and Protectorates. 1928. 62 pp. 31 pls. $2.00.
  • Oscar Ravel. The “Colts” of Ambracia. 1928. 180 pp. 19 pls. $3.00.
  • Howland Wood. The Coinage of the Mexican Revolutionists. 1928. 53 pp. 15 pls. $2.50.
  • Edward T. Newell. Alexander Hoards. IV. Olympia. 1929. 31 pp. 9 pls. $1.50.
  • Allen B. West. Fifth and Fourth Century Gold Coins from the Thracian Coast. 1929. 183 pp. 16 pls. $3.00.
  • Gilbert S. Perez. The Leper Colony Currency of Culion. 1929. 10 pp. 3 pls. 50c.
  • Alfred R. Bellinger. Two Hoards of Attic Bronze Coins. 1930. 14 pp. 4 pls. 50c.
  • D. H. Cox. The Caparelli Hoard. 1930. 17 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • George F. Hill. On the Coins of Narbonensis with Iberian Inscriptions. 1930. 39 pp. 6 pls. $1.00.
  • Bauman L. Belden. A Mint in New York. 1930. 40 pp. 4 pls. 50c.
  • Edward T. Newell. The Küchük Köhne Hoard. 1931. 33 pp. 4 pls. $1.00.
  • Sydney P. Noe. The Coinage of Metapontum Part II. 1931. 134 pp. 43 pls. $3.00.