Draped Bust Half Dime

Draped Bust Half Dime

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Draped Bust Half Dimes:

Robert Scot, US Mint Engraver took the sketches created by Gilbert Stuart of Miss Liberty and created a different and more appealing coin. Miss Liberty faced right and had the date below. The motto “LIBERTY” was above her and he placed 7 stars to the right and 8 stars to the left of her. The reverse was essentially unchanged from the Flowing Hair style with an American eagle holding an olive wreath. The words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” was around it.

These coins were struck in very limited numbers during their entire existence between 1796 and 1805. As the Mint employees were still learning their crafts, there are numerous unintended varieties created. These include an overdate of 1796/5, a coin where the word LIBERTY was spelled using a defective “R” that resembled a “K”, and coins with 15 stars, 16 stars and finally only 13 stars.

No coins were dated 1798 or 1799 but production resumed in 1800. However, now the reverse American eagle design was in for a major renovation. This created the two major types of Draped Bust Half Dimes - the Small Eagle and the Heraldic Eagle. The Small Eagle (scrawny) was replaced by the Heraldic eagle as its wings are outspread, a shield in front of the eagle, and arrows and an olive branch are in the talons to demonstrate that America was ready for war or peace. Above the eagle are 13 stars with clouds above the stars. “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” surrounds the design.

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