Designed by: Robert Scot
Issued Date: 1794-1795
Composition: 0.8924 part silver 0.1076 parts copper
Diameter: 32.5 mm
Weight: 208 grains
Edge: Lettered FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR
Total Business strike mintage: 323,144
Total Proof strike mintage: None
Half dollars of the 1794 1795 years bear the same design as contemporary half dimes and silver dollars. The obverse features a small head of Miss Liberty facing right, with flowing hair behind, LIBERTY above and the date below. Eight stars are to the left and seven to the right. The reverse illustrates an open wreath enclosing a small eagle perched on a cloud, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounding. The borders of this and other half dollars (until over a century later in 1916) have denticles.
Most often encountered among half dollars of this type are pieces dated 1795, these being about 10 times more plentiful than those dated 1794. Examples of both years are apt to be seen in lower grades from About Good to Fine. Very Fine coins are scarce, Extremely Fine pieces are scarcer yet, and AU coins are rare. Uncirculated examples are seldom met with. Areas of light striking characterize most pieces, as do parallel min-caused adjustment marks made during the planchet preparation process. As is true of other early issues, these were workhorse coins intended for use in the channels of commerce. Few if any pieces were set-aside for collectors at the time of issue. Numerous die varieties exist among early half dollars and are described in a book on the subject by Al C. Overton.