While many US coins were tried from even the colonial era, it wasn't until the early 1800s when the Government got serious in producing coinage that would be useful in commerce and wealth storage. The sputtering start didn't really begin to pick up until 1801. In 1795 a shade less than 300,000 flowing hair half dollars stumbled into production, which was quite an accomplishment, with enough mystery and variety to keep collectors busy for decades to come. By 1796, thing s fell apart again with an oddish production of half dollars described as Scot-Eskstein Draped Bust small eagles. The 1796 had a production of less that 4,000 and ditto for the 1797. Bowers claims less than 5% of these specimens survive, and who is not to believe him. There are 15 and 16 star examples because the State of Tennessee had entered the union midway through the mintage. If you want to spend $100K on ugly coins of low grades, these coins can make the top of your pick list. There does seem to be a few survivors that are proof or very proof-like which were likely presentation coins by the mint at some point. And then they just stopped.
MS63 NGC Number 2032611-007 Capped Bust Half
Then they switched to a heraldic eagle design with shield on the reverse
in 1801. 30K were minted in 1801, sliglty less than that in 1802, 189K
EACH of to varieties in 1803, 1804 dated half's didn't exist, but in
1805 the mint produced an 1805 and an 1804/5 over type. There were over
211K 4/5 varieties, 211K 1804, and a whopper mintage of all the 1805/6
varieties of a shade less than 840K, including the 1806 50C Knob 6,
Small Stars variety and the 5/6 and the 6/9 etc. Things really started
to get busy for the at this point.
6 months ago