Description and Analysis

Draped Bust Half Cents
1800 C-1 1/2C MS

Description & Analysis

The humble half cent was the last United States coin to receive Scot's Draped Bust design, the first examples being coined with the 1800 date. As is so often the case with early federal issues, there is no universal agreement on the number coined, other sources putting the mintage at 202,908 pieces.

Just a single die marriage is known for 1800 half cents, and it utilizes a reverse die of the 1795-97 style. A few 1800 half cents are known on mis-struck cents that were cut down to size for recycling purposes. These are rare, and most of this mintage was coined on superior planchets provided by Matthew Boulton & Company in England.

Mint State survivors of variable quality are known from two different hoards, the first surfacing just after the turn of the last century, and the other coming to light in Boston during the 1930s. This latter hoard may have been found as the result of President Roosevelt's 1933 "Bank Holiday," in which all the nation's banks were closed for several days while being inspected by federal auditors to determine their soundness. Many early coins are known to have been revealed as the deepest recesses of old banks were exposed.