Half Dime, Flowing Hair, Coin Type from United States - detailed information

Half Dime, Flowing Hair, Coin Type from United States (issued 1794 - 1795)
Coin TypeHalf Dime, Flowing Hair

The Half Dime is an American silver coin with a face value of five cents which was minted between 1794 and 1873. These coins were much smaller than dimes in diameter and thickness, appearing to be "half dimes" and are called so, even though until 1837 this was not actually spelled out on the coins themselves.

After the initial issue of a "Half Disme" in 1794 (note the additional S in the name) - which many people consider a pattern, this "Flowing Hair" type of the half dime was introduced in 1794. It features on the obverse a portrait of Miss Liberty with her hair flowing freely behind her, giving the design its name. The design is the same as on the larger denomination of the same period and, given that the value and denomination are not written on the coin, they have to be inferred by size only.

The design was short-lived and was only issued for two years, after which time it was superseded by the Draped Bust type in 1796.

The silver format of the half dime was discontinued in 1873, but the coins have never been demonetised and are still legal tender. This, of course, is of academic interest only, as their numismatic value is enormously higher than their face value.

Obverse
United States / Half Dime, Flowing Hair - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows a portrait of Liberty with flowing hair, facing right.

Around above, the inscription LIBERTY. Around the rim, fifteen stars (eight to the left and seven to the right) representing the 15 states which were then members of the Union.

Below the portrait, the date of issue: [year].

The rim is denticled (toothed).

Obverse Inscription ******** LIBERTY ******* [year]
Reverse
United States / Half Dime, Flowing Hair - reverse photo

The main device on the reverse is an eagle, standing, with open wings, looking to right. Around the eagle, a laurel wreath.

Around, the name of the country: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

The rim is denticled (toothed). Value and denomination are not displayed on the coin.

Reverse Inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

In some online catalogues, the denomination is cryptically abbreviated as "H10C", from "half 10-cent", or "half dime"...

Advertising
Royal Mint
Royal Mint
Half Dime, Flowing Hair: Details
CountryUnited States
CurrencyUS Dollar
Sub-type ofFive Cents
From1794
To1795
Face Value5 (x Cent)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1873
Material0.892 Silver
DesignerRobert Scot
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size16.500 mm
Thickness1.950 mm
Mass1.350 g