Early Type Braided Hair Half Cent 1849-1857 G-VG

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  • Product ID: 5640
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  • Description:
    No half cent coins were minted between 1811 in 1825 because there was no commercial demand for them. The mint used existing stockpiles to fill commercial orders. Production of Classic Head half cents began again in 1825 but gradually trailed off until 1835 with a small peak of 398,000 coins. It was common practice in the mid-1800s for the United States to give visiting dignitaries proof sets of our most current coins. Mint Director Robert Paterson tasked engraver Christian Gobrecht to create dies especially for this purpose. Although commercial demand for the half cent was relatively nonexistent, a new design for the half cent was created in 1840 and dies were prepared. Most production centered on minting proof specimens however, small quantities of business strike coins were produced starting in 1849 and continuing through 1857. In the 1850s, coin collecting began to become a popular hobby in the United States. Some unscrupulous mint employees retrieved the old dies and began to "restrike" proof half cents for collectors. When Mint Director James Ross Snowden discovered this practice, he confiscated all the dies and locked them in the mint's vaults. The half cent denomination was officially retired in 1857.
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