Half Cent 1833 Classic Head, Coin from United States - detailed information

Half Cent 1833 Classic Head, Coin from United States (withdrawn 1857)
CoinHalf Cent 1833 Classic Head

The half cent is the smallest denomination of United States coin ever minted. It was first minted in 1793 and last minted in 1857. During its existence, it was minted with five different designs.

First authorised by the Coinage Act of 1792 on April 2, 1792, the half-cent piece was made of 100% copper and was valued at five milles, or one two-hundredth of a dollar. It was slightly smaller than a modern U.S. quarter with diameters 22 mm (1793), 23.5 mm (1794-1836) and 23 mm (1840-1857).

The first design, known as the Liberty Cap, was issued from 1793 until 1797. Production of the half cent was temporarily suspended in 1797, then resumed in 1800 with the Draped Bust obverse, which had already been in use on the silver coinage for several years. These half cents were only issued until 1808 though, after which time this "Classic Head" design was introduced.

The Classic Head interpretation of Liberty was designed by John Reich for use on the half cent and the large cent; however, the design used on the silver and gold coins was developed by William Kneass. The Classic Head depicts Liberty with long, curly hair. The reverse, designed by John Reich, shows the coin's denomination and value inside a wreath. Beginning in 1831, new equipment at the mint and modified dies produced a raised rim on both sides of the coins.

This type of half cents was issued until 1836, then in 1840 the final "Braided Hair" design was introduced instead. As with all other half cent types, the coins were produced exclusively by the Philadelphia Mint.

The denomination was discontinued by the Coinage Act of February 21, 1857. While withdrawn from circulation and not used any more, the coins were never officially demonetised though.

MintPhiladelphia Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage103,000
United States / Half Cent 1833 Classic Head - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows, within a beaded border, the bust of Liberty, facing left, with long curly hair tied with a ribbon.

On the ribbon, the inscription LIBERTY.

Thirteen six-pointed stars (seven around left and six around right) represent the first thirteen states that formed the United States.

Around below, the date of issue: 1833.

Obverse Inscription ******* 1833 ******
United States / Half Cent 1833 Classic Head - reverse photo

On two lines at its centre, the coin displays its value and denomination: HALF CENT, surrounded by an olive wreath.

Around, the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Unlike half cent coins of other types, there is also a bar (horizontal line) below the word "CENT".

EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
All (44) coins of type: Half Cent
Coin NameMintageSymbolLegend
Half Cent 1793 Liberty Cap 35,334 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1793
Half Cent 1794 Liberty Cap 81,600 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1794
Half Cent 1795 Liberty Cap 139,690 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1795
Half Cent 1796 Liberty Cap 6,480 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1796
Half Cent 1797 Liberty Cap 127,840 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1797
Half Cent 1800 Draped Bust 202,908 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1800
Half Cent 1802 Draped Bust 20,266 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1802
Half Cent 1803 Draped Bust 92,000 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1803
Half Cent 1804 Draped Bust 1,055,312 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1804
Half Cent 1805 Draped Bust 814,464 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1805
Half Cent 1806 Draped Bust 356,000 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1806
Half Cent 1807 Draped Bust 476,000 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1807
Half Cent 1808 Draped Bust 400,000 Liberty, Portrait LIBERTY 1808
Half Cent 1809 Classic Head 1,154,572 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1809 ******
Half Cent 1810 Classic Head 215,000 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1810 ******
Half Cent 1811 Classic Head 63,140 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1811 ******
Half Cent 1825 Classic Head 63,000 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1825 ******
Half Cent 1826 Classic Head 234,000 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1826 ******
Half Cent 1828 Classic Head 606,000 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1828 ******
Half Cent 1829 Classic Head 487,000 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1829 ******
Half Cent 1831 Classic Head 2,200 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1831 ******
Half Cent 1832 Classic Head 51,000 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1832 ******
Half Cent 1833 Classic Head 103,000 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1833 ******
Half Cent 1834 Classic Head 141,000 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1834 ******
Half Cent 1835 Classic Head 398,000 Liberty, Portrait ******* 1835 ******
Half Cent 1836 Classic Head (Proof only) unknown Liberty, Portrait ******* 1836 ******
Half Cent 1840 Braided Hair (Proof only) unknown Liberty, Portrait ************* 1840
Half Cent 1841 Braided Hair (Proof only) unknown Liberty, Portrait ************* 1841
Half Cent 1842 Braided Hair (Proof only) unknown Liberty, Portrait ************* 1842
Half Cent 1843 Braided Hair (Proof only) unknown Liberty, Portrait ************* 1843
Half Cent 1844 Braided Hair (Proof only) unknown Liberty, Portrait ************* 1844
Half Cent 1845 Braided Hair (Proof only) unknown Liberty, Portrait ************* 1845
Half Cent 1846 Braided Hair (Proof only) unknown Liberty, Portrait ************* 1846
Half Cent 1847 Braided Hair (Proof only) unknown Liberty, Portrait ************* 1847
Half Cent 1848 Braided Hair (Proof only) unknown Liberty, Portrait ************* 1848
Half Cent 1849 Braided Hair 39,864 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1849
Half Cent 1850 Braided Hair 39,812 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1850
Half Cent 1851 Braided Hair 147,672 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1851
Half Cent 1852 Braided Hair (Proof only) unknown Liberty, Portrait ************* 1852
Half Cent 1853 Braided Hair 129,694 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1853
Half Cent 1854 Braided Hair 55,358 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1854
Half Cent 1855 Braided Hair 56,500 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1855
Half Cent 1856 Braided Hair 40,430 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1856
Half Cent 1857 Braided Hair 35,180 Liberty, Portrait ************* 1857
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Half Cent 1833 Classic Head: Details
CountryUnited States
CurrencyUS Dollar
Coin TypeHalf Cent, Classic Head
SymbolLiberty, Portrait
Face Value1/2 (x Cent)
Total Mintage103,000
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1857
DesignerJohn Reich
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size23.5000 mm
Mass5.4400 g
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Half Cent 1833 Classic Head: Photos
Classic Head Half Cent 1833
Copyright: PCGS
Classic Head Half Cent 1833
Copyright: PCGS
Half Cent 1833 Classic Head: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsUnited States KM# 41