CopperCollector's Blog

12 Nov 2021

Liberty Seated Half Dimes

Coins | CopperCollector

Seated Liberty Half Dimes are a long series stretching over forty years. The half dime is another coin that would be needed for a dansco 7070. Seated Liberty half dimes were minted from 1837 to 1873. Christian Gobrecht who designed quite a few more coins, was the designer. The design was used on coins like the dollar, half dollar, quarter, dime, and the half dime. The half dime was first minted in Philadelphia in 1837 then New Orleans in 1838.

The obverse of the half dime looks like this. Liberty is seated (hence the name seated liberty) holding in her right hand a shield with LIBERTY on it. A liberty cap sits on a pole in her left hand. The beginning of the series has liberty without a drapery on her elbow. But in a few years the drapery is added. Another feature to this first type is the field. The field has no stars in it. The date is found under liberty.

The reverse has a wreath in the wreath is HALF DIME. And around the wreath is UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The mint mark is found in between the words HALF DIME and the bottom of the wreath. The half dimes had some changes during its minting time. 1840 drapery was added to the elbow and the shield was moved. 1853 the half dimes weight was reduced from 20.63g to 19.20 grams. To signify this arrows were added to either side of the date. The arrows were kept on the Half dimes for a few more years before being removed.

Striking, most half dimes from 1837 to 1859 are nicely struck . 1860 to 1873 the half dimes were also struck very well most of the time but some show weakness on liberty's bust. Proofs were all made at the Philadelphia mint for every year except 1851 and 1853. Just like dimes proof half dimes were available for face value from the mint. Also like their bigger brothers the dime during the 1860s a demand was anticipated but the mint then raised the price to three dollars for the half dimes. This factor caused many proof half dimes and dimes to be dumped into circulation. When half dimes were being minted demand for them excluding proofs was very small. Not until the 1920s did the half dimes really become collectors coins. By then the coins had worn down in circulation so they are harder to find in Mint State. The majority of the series is easily attainable but a few semi key dates exist. The key date would be the 1870s. Only one is known and according to the "Red Book" the last time it sold was July 2004 for well over half a million dollars. The half dime is a long series which means there are probably different varieties. Like I have said before I am working on a Dansco 7070 album and am writing blog posts through some of the coins that I will need.



Level 6

I'm working, slowly, on my own 7070. Good luck. Thanks.


Level 7

Bibliography we would like to read more. Thanks.


Level 6

Good blog! Thanks for all the information! ; )


Level 5

Always liked the half dime. Don't have but one. Just never started. Nice informative blog. Thank you. Good luck on your collection.


Level 4

I don't have one either but am looking to get one.

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