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Capped Bust Half Dimes – 1829 – 1837

Learn About the 1829-1837 Capped Bust Half Dime

There was a 23-year hiatus since the last Draped Bust Half Dime in 1805 and the first new Capped Bust Half Dime in 1829. The coins were designed by the Chief Engraver of the US Mint at that time, William Kneass.

(Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, William Kneass.)

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 (1794 – 1805). The diameter shrunk by 1 millimeter from 16.5 mm to 15.5 mm. Most people could not notice that difference but they did notice immediately that the designs had changed on both sides. The Draped Bust Miss Liberty, facing right, was gone and replaced by yet another Miss Liberty.

This Miss Liberty seemed a bit older, wore her hair down, but covered most of it inside of a Phrygian cap with the word “LIBERTY” emblazoned across the brow. She has the nickname of a “Capped Bust” though early collectors also called this type of coin the “Turban Head” even though it doesn’t look like a turban. She faced left, instead of right, but. As usual, she was surrounded by 13 stars and had her date below her.  The reverse also was changed completely. Instead of the Heraldic Eagle design, the new American eagle had down-spread wings, a Union shield across her midsection, arrows and olive branches below, a banner above her with “E PLURIBUS UNUM” on it, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” above and the denomination expressed as “5 C.” at the bottom.

(The “NEW” Capped Bust Half Dime by William Kneass.)

These designs are actually updated versions of John Reich’s Capped Bust design on the Half Dollar from 1807. The differences are more minor than major but nothing had been like it on the Half Dime since none had been minted since 1805. 

So in 1829, the Philadelphia Mint struck 1,230,000 coins and in 1830 they struck 1,240,000. In 1831, the mintage figure increased just slightly to 1,242,700 but in 1832 dipped under the 1 million mark at 965,000. 1833 saw 1,370,000 coins struck and 1834 had 1,480,00 coins but also created a variety – 1834 with a 3 over an inverted 3.

Now the varieties began to become more plentiful. In 1835 a record 2,760,000 coins were struck but they were spread among 4 distinct varieties – none of which are particularly more valuable. The varieties are “Large Date and 5C,” “Large Date and Small 5C,” “Small Date and Large 5C,” and, obviously, a “Small Date and 5C.”

1836 saw 1,900,000 struck and 3 varieties – “Small 5C,” “Large 5C” and “# over Inverted 3.” The final year, 1837 saw 871,000 coins and both Small and Large 5C varieties. 

DateTypeMintageFine ValueUnc Value
1829Capped Bust Half Dime1,230,000$130$525
1830, 1831, 1832Capped Bust Half Dimes1,242,700 to 965,000$100$425
1833Capped Bust Half Dime1,370,000$100$425
1834 & 3 Over 3Capped Bust Half Dimes1,480,000$100$500
1835 – 4 VarsCapped Bust Half Dimes2,760,000$100$425
1836 – 3 VarsCapped Bust Half Dimes1,900,000$125$650
1837 – Small 5CCapped Bust Half Dime871,000$125$1,100
1837 – Large 5CCapped Bust Half DimeIncluded$100$500

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