Half cents and cents were the first coins struck for circulation by the United States Mint. For the first year of production in 1793, the cents would see two different designs, while the half cents would have a single design.
The mintage of the 1793 Liberty Cap Half Cent (Buy on eBay) was relatively high at 35,334 pieces. This amount was divided into three different deliveries. The first half cents were delivered on July 20, totaling approximately 7,000 pieces. The following week, the Mint released another batch of 24,934 half cents. After that point, it appears that the Mint had run out of planchets causing a halt in production. On September 18, a final 3,400 pieces were delivered shortly before the Mint temporarily closed due to the yellow fever epidemic.
The 1793 Half Cents were much needed in commerce and circulated heavily. This results in most surviving examples being well-worn, damaged, or corroded. Some mint state examples exist, apparently saved as souvenirs. These are very much in demand for high grade type sets, and auction appearances are rare. One of the finest known examples graded PCGS MS-66 Brown sold for $920,000 at auction in 2014.
- Designer: Unknown
- Composition: Copper
- Weight: 6.74 grams
- Diameter: 22 mm
- Edge: Lettered (“TWO HUNDRED FOR A DOLLAR”)