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Braided Hair Half Cent:
No Half Cents were struck between 1837 and 1839. By 1840 the new Chief Engraver, Christian Gobrecht, created new dies for the Half Cent. He redesigned Reich’s Miss Liberty and gave her a younger, slimmer, more youthful style. Her hair was braided into a bun on the back of her head. She is now wearing a crown with the word “LIBERTY” emblazoned on it. With the current date below Miss Liberty, he placed thirteen stars to surround her. The reverse remained unchanged except for very minor modifications.
Between 1840 and 1849, only proof striking of Half Cent coins were minted, since the available supply of prior dated coins was abundant. But the US Mint kept striking coins for circulation between 1850 and 1857, when the denomination was discontinued.
The “little sisters” as Half Cents are known became a useless relic as by 1857, this smallest denomination ever struck by the US Mint no longer had almost any buying power.