Capped Bust Half Dimes, 1829-1837

Capped Bust Half Dimes, 1829-1837

Designed by: William Kneass adapting the design of John Reich

Issued Date: 1829-1837
Composition: 0.8924 part silver, 0.1076 part copper
Diameter: 15.5 mm
Weight: 20.8 grains
Edge: Reeded
Total Business Strike mintage: 13,058,700
Total Proof Strike mintage: Several hundred

After a lapse of 23 years, the Mint reserved production of Half Dimes in 1829. William Kneass executed the design, utilizing a symbolic capped Liberty. These coins were produced in large numbers, with the mintage from the first year of issue (1829) being over five times as great as the combined mintages of all Half Dimes struck between 1794 and 1805. In fact, for only two years (1832 and 1837) did the Mint produce less than one million Half Dimes.

Unlike the Half Dime series that preceded them, the Capped Bust Half Dimes offer little in the way of significant collectible varieties. Only one such variety, the 1830 with ‘C’ in ‘America’ over a horizontal ‘C’, is considered a major rarity, with only 10 or 12 known pieces. There are four varieties of the 1835 involving date and denomination size, but none are particularly scarce. The last issue of the series, the 1837 Small 5c variety, is considered a scarce and underrated variety. Altogether, over 13 million Half Dimes of the Capped Bust type were produced before the series was discontinued.

The obverse features Miss Liberty facing to the left, her hair covered by a cloth cap secured by a band inscribed LIBERTY, with tresses flowing down to her shoulder. Her neckline is draped to the left and six to the right. The date is below. The reverse features an eagle with the shield on its breast, perched on a branch and holding arrows, with E PLURIBUS UNUM on a scroll above and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and 5 C. surrounding.

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