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Draped Bust Half Dollars (1801-1807)

Draped Bust Half Dollars (1801-1807)

No Draped Bust Half Dollars were struck between the last year of the small eagle design, 1797  and 1800. In 1801, another redesign effort took place. Robert Scot was asked to redesign this coin again, for the third time in less than ten years.

The reverse of the coin underwent a complete overhaul. The small eagle variety was ridiculed as a scrawny eagle, and that was replaced with a more regal heraldic eagle design. The eagle, itself, was much larger and had outstretched wings. On the chest was a union shield, with 13 six-pointed stars above and a grouping of clouds above the stars. In the eagle’s beak was a banner upon which the phrase “E PLURIBUS UNUM” was inscribed. In the left talon was an olive branch, and in the right were 13 arrows. The motto “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” encircled the design. The edge (rim) of the coin bore the words “FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR.”

Draped Bust Half Dollars Mintage

1801: 30,289 mintage.
1802: 29,890 mintage.
1803: 188,324 mintage. Two varieties were struck, one with a small 3 and another with a large 3.
1804: No coins were struck.

1805 saw two varieties struck in the 211,722 coins minted. The 1805 date and a 1805/4 overstrike, with the second variety being nearly twice as scarce. Then in 1806, because the mintage soared to 839,576 coins minted, there were eight different die varieties. Six of the varieties are common while one is a bit scarce while the other one, the 1806 Knobbed 6, is a major rarity. Finally, in 1807 there were 301,076 coins minted, all of the same variety. 

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