Draped Bust Half Dimes Mintage
In 1796, only 10,230 coins were produced but that included a normal date, an over date of 1796/5 and a 1796 coin where the letter “B” in “LIBERTY” was actually a defective “R” that looked like a “K”- “LIKERTY.”
Then in 1797, a mere 44,527 coins were struck and there are 3 varieties among the stars. The first coins struck had 15 stars, one for each state in the Union. Later in the year, Tennessee became a state so a 16th star was added, and finally a 13-star variety was created because the U.S. Mint realized it could not strike an attractive and aesthetically balanced coin if they were to keep adding stars to the design. It permanently became 13 stars from that point forward.
No Draped Bust Half Dimes were struck during 1798 and 1799, but production resumed in 1800. However, now the reverse American eagle design underwent a major renovation. This created the two major types of Draped Bust Half Dimes - the small eagle and the heraldic eagle.
In 1800, 24,000 1800-dated coins and 16,000 of the LIKERTY variety were struck. Production dropped to 27,760 coins in 1801. 1802 was a scarce year for the Draped Bust Half Dime as only 3,060 coins were minted due to a Silver shortage and production problems. 1803 saw two varieties – a large 8 and a small 8 in the 37,850 coins minted. No coins were struck dated 1804. In the final year of this design, 1805, 15,600 coins were minted. There were to be no more Half Dimes until 1829.