Specifications: Bronze (95% copper, 5% zinc and tin), 40 Grains, 17.5 mm.
The Half Centavo was designed by Melicio Figueroa. The obverse design shows a young Filipino male seated next to an anvil holding a hammer in his right hand, his left arm raised, and in the background to his left is a billowing volcano. The reverse design depicts an eagle with spread wings perched atop an American shield.
Business strikes of the Half Centavo coin were struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1903 (12,084,000) and 1904 (5,654,000). The Half Centavo coin was poorly accepted by the public and no further business strikes of this denomination were made after 1904. For lack of use over 7,500,000 Half Centavos were withdrawn from circulation. Most of these were sent back to the United States where they were melted and then re-coined into One Centavo pieces in 1908. That leaves a little less than 60% of the origional total mintage still available to collectors today.
A limited number of Proof Half Centavos were produced at the Philadelphia mint from 1903 through 1906 and again in 1908. The mintage figures for proof Half Centavos is as follows:1903 (2,558), 1904 (1,355), 1905 (471), 1906 (500), and 1908 (500). The 1905, 1906, and 1908 Half Centavos were PROOF ONLY ISSUES.