SandboxWelcome to Dser's sandbox!

This is the personal sandbox to Dser, and can only be edited by this user.

If you want to suggest changes, discuss here.
Half cent
US Half Cent 1851
Coin from 1851
General information

Flag of the United States



Measurements and composition
Click to
  • 6.739 g (1793–1797)
  • 5.443 (1795–1857)
Click to
  • 22 mm (1793)
  • 23.5 mm (1794–1836)
  • 23 mm (1840–1857)

2 mm




Liberty, year


Value, state title, wreath

v · d · e

The half cent coin was authorized to be coined on April 2, 1792 but was first produced in 1793 up until 1797. In 1800, the denomination was reintroduced and minted until 1836. It made its last reappearance in 1840, and was minted until 1857 before being recalled from circulation.


United States half cent obverses

The obverses of the half cent coin.

There were five main types of half cent coins minted. All were composed of 100% copper and had a thickness of 2 millimeters. However, the designs on these coins along with the mass and diameter, had differed. Changes in designs were not extreme, as the obverse always depicted an image of Liberty while the reverse always displayed the value surrounded by a wreath. However, the image of Liberty was constantly changed, with the reverse being redesigned on occasions.

The 1793 issue, which was designed and engraved by Henry Voigt, displayed Liberty facing left, with flowing hair and a Phrygian cap. Above her head was the legend, "LIBERTY", while underneath, the year of minting was displayed. On the edge was the lettering, "TWO HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR". It had a diameter of 22 millimeters and a mass of 6.379 grams. A total of 35,334 of these coins were produced.

During 1794, a new design of the half cent coins, which was designed and engraved by Robert Scot, was issued. This new coin displayed Liberty facing right, with flowing hair and a Phrygian cap. Once again, above her head was the legend, "LIBERTY", and underneath was the year of minting. In 1795, a design made by Scot-John Gardner was implemented, which used the same image of Liberty used by Scot, but smaller. These coins had a diameter of 23.5 millimeters. From 1794 to 1795, they had a mass of 6.379 grams, but this was changed to 5.443 grams later in 1795 and until the end of the second design in 1797. The coin's edge was usually plain, but some 1797 coins had lettering on the edges which read "TWO HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR", while others bore a gripped or milled edge. A mintage of 350,520 coins were produced.

1800 half cent rev

The reverse of the half cent used until 1808.

In 1800, the third design of the half cent coin, which was made and engraved by Gilbert Stewart and Robert Scot, was first issued. It displayed Liberty facing right like its predecessor, however, a Phrygian cap was not displayed with her. Once again, above her head was the legend, "LIBERTY", and below was the year of minting. The coin had a mass of 5.443 grams and a diameter of 23.5 millimeters. It bore a plain edge. A total mintage of 3,416,950 "Draped Bust" half cent coins were produced from 1800 to 1808.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.