Replacing the Capped Bust Half Dime, the Seated Liberty Half Dime was a very simple design. During this particular design's lifespan, there were a total of four different revisions.
The first Seated Liberty five cent piece was minted in 1837. The design of the coin was created by Christian Gobrecht, based on a sketch by William Kneass, and improved upon by artists Titian Peale and Thomas Sully. The obverse depicts Lady Liberty dressed in a flowing robe, seated on a rock. She balances a Union shield with her right hand, with a "LIBERTY" ribbon draped along the front. Her left hand holds a long pole, topped by a Liberty cap. The year at the bottom is the only other feature on the coin's obverse.
The original reverse displays the words "HALF DIME" encircled by a laurel wreath. "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" circles the majority of the reverse. This design lasted for the first year of production, 1837. In 1838, thirteen stars were added to the coin's obverse - six on the right, and seven on the left.
This new design was carried through 1853, when an extremely minor addition was made - arrowheads were added on either side of the year.
The coin's features were revised a fourth time in 1860, ditching the stars from, and adding "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" to the obverse. The reverse was drastically revamped as well, removing the smaller wreath and replacing it with a thicker, fuller wreath composed of sprigs of corn, wheat, oak and maple, tied together by a bow. "HALF DIME" is displayed in the center.
United States Coinage