Bill Jones' Early Half Dimes
1796 Draped Bust





Coin Details

Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: HALF DIMES - DRAPED BUST
Item Description: H10C 1796
Full Grade: PCGS XF 45
Owner: BillJones

Set Details

Custom Sets: This coin is not in any custom sets.
Competitive Sets: Bill Jones' Early Half Dimes   Score: 3968
Research: NGC Coin Explorer NGC Coin Price Guide

Owner Comments:

In 1796 mint engraver, Robert Scot, adapted his Draped Bust, Small Eagle design to the half dime. He replaced the Flowing Hair design with a prosperous looking lady who was perhaps modeled after Mrs. Anne Willing Bingham, a well-know Phildelphia socialite. The spindly eagle that had been on the reverse was replaced with a young fledging bird that appeared to be emerging into a new world, like the young United States. Critics continued to criticize this eagle, and Scot would replace it in 1798 first on the silver dollar.

1796 half dimes are very scarce coins. Only 10,230 pieces were minted, and today not more than 300 to 400 pieces exist in all grades. Many of the survivors are damaged either through normal or numismatic abuse and cannot be certified in "problem free" holders. You author believes that as a date, the 1796 half dime is the third scarcest in the series behind the 1802 and 1805 issues.

There are only two varieties of 1796 half dimes, a normal date and an overdate. The so-called LIKERTY variety is actually a die state of the normal date coin. The piece shown here is really a LIKERTY coin, but it is not noted on the slab.

There is additional confusion over the normal and overdate varities. The "6" in the normal date is re-cut. This has led to misattributions since the 6 over 5 variety is not a very strong overdate. The best way to tell the difference between the coins is to look at the reverse. On the normal coin there is a berry under the "D" in "UNITED." On the overdate that berry is under the "E."

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