Although Capped Bust Half Dimes were minted in 1837, there was an impetus to change the design again. The task fell to Christian Gobrecht who was the Second (behind Chief) Engraver of the United States Mint.
Christian Gobrecht’s design for the Librty Seated Dime was a duplicate of his new Half Dime, similar to his pattern Silver Dollars of 1835 and 1836. He had worked for the US Mint as early as 1823, and Gobrecht became the Chief Engraver in 1840 and held the position until his death in 1844.
The Flowing Hair Half Dime was actually the first silver coin worth five cents but it was the second half dime created. The first of the very limited “Half Disme” of 1792, created especially for George Washington, reportedly used silver from a silver tea service that belonged to Martha.
Robert Scot created what has been called the “Draped Bust” design. Modeled after a sketch by Gilbert Stuart, Miss Liberty faces right. A ribbon holds her hair back and a draped gown is at her shoulders.
The first Dimes minted by the United States Mint were Draped Bust Dimes. There are two varieties – the Small Eagle reverse which was minted in 1796 and 1797 and the Heraldic Eagle reverse which was minted in 1798 through 1807.
Due to the rise in the price of silver, the silver fineness remained the same at .8924 but the size of the coin changed from the earlier Draped Bust Half Dime coins by 1 mm. Most people could not notice that difference, but they did notice that the designs changed on both sides.
Mint Director Robert Patterson hired German immigrant John Reich in March of 1807. Reich first worked on redesigning the Half Dollar, Half Eagle, Large Cent, and then the Quarter Eagle. By late 1808, Reich began work on the Capped Bust Dime.