Draped Bust Half Dollar (1796-1807)

Flowing Hair and Draped Bust Half Dollar Die Varieties (1794-1807)

The first half dollars coined by the United States Mint were dated 1794, though the majority of these were coined early in the following year. Along with the more common 1795 halves, these two dates comprise the entire production of Flowing Hair half dollars.

The Draped Bust of Liberty devised for the silver dollar in 1795 was adapted to this denomination in 1796 and paired with the Small Eagle reverse. Used only for a few thousand coins dated 1796 and 1797, this design type was struck almost entirely in the latter year. No more half dollars were produced again until 1801. Coined in most years through 1807, these pieces featured the Draped Bust obverse paired with the Heraldic Eagle reverse (also called the Large Eagle reverse).

There are many 1794 - 1807 half dollar die varieties that collectors find desirable. Since many of the design elements required to complete a die were punched into it by hand, each die is readily distinguishable. The greatest number of widely-recognized die varieties in these early years are 1794 - 1795 half dollars and 1805 - 1807 half dollars.


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