The half dime was a widely used coin in the quarter century that preceded America’s Civil War, but the economic upheaval prompted by the war caused mintages to fall. Though coined for several years more, the half dime saw only limited circulation in this country after 1861, its place being taken first by fractional paper notes and then by a base metal coin. Seated Liberty half dimes are sought primarily by type collectors. Still, there are quite a number of collectors attempting to assemble complete date and mint sets–far more so than for other Seated Liberty series. While there are numerous minor varieties for this series, there presently is little demand for ones not listed in Yeoman’s Guide Book or those included in VarietyPlus. Among the more desirable VarietyPlus varieties are 1840-O No Drapery with Open Bud reverse, 1848 Large Date, 1858 over inverted date and 1872 doubled-die obverse.