After the poor public reaction to the design of the Flowing Hair Half Dime, the five cent piece was revamped.

First minted in 1796, the Draped Bust Half Dime is very similar in design to the previous flowing hair design. The coin's obverse depicts a revised lady Liberty facing right, her hair again flowing behind her, partially tied off by a ribbon. The coin's final die displayed a total of thirteen six-pointed stars on the coin's obverse, with six on the right, and seven on the left. The word "LIBERTY" appears at the top, and the year of minting at the bottom. The coin's original reverse displays an open wreath encircling a small eagle perched atop a cloud.

The first draped bust half dime had an obverse depicting fifteen stars - eight on the left, and seven on the right. These fifteen stars represented the current 15 states, including the newly included Vermont and Kentucky. In 1797, the die was changed to a sixteen star design, recognizing Tennessee. After it was decided that stars couldn't be appended to the design indefinitely, the die was switched to a total of thirteen stars.

The coin's reverse was revised as well. The original design of the eagle perched on the cloud was replaced by a larger eagle. In front of the eagle is a Union shield, and within the eagle's beak is a ribbon inscribed with the phrase "E PLURIBUS UNUM". The eagle's claws are clutching thirteen arrows on the left, and an olive branch on the right. Thirteen stars are displayed just above the eagle, with an arc of clouds above them. "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" rounds nearly the entire reverse side.

The original design was minted from 1796-1797, while the later design took over until 1805. No draped bust half dimes were struck with the year of 1804. A total of 179,027 were minted, including both designs.


United States Coinage

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.