1807-1839 Silver Capped Bust (P) Coin

Half dollar coins have been produced nearly every year since the inception of the United States Mint in 1794. Sometimes referred to as the fifty-cent piece, the only U.S. coin that has been minted more consistently is the cent.
Introduced in 1807, the Capped Bust Half Dollars represented the third design for the denomination. This design would be used until 1836, and in slightly modified form until 1839, before being replaced. Production for the series would be relatively high, with mintages usually extending into the millions. Silver Dollars had not been minted since 1804, making the half dollar the coin of choice for silver depositors of the era. The designer of the Capped Bust Half Dollar was John Reich, an immigrant from Germany who came to the United States in the early 19th century.

He was recommended by President Thomas Jefferson to become an assistant engraver at the United States Mint in 1801. However, he would not take the position until 1807 since Robert Scot, chief engraver and designer of most of the early United States coins, had refused an assistant. John Reich was eventually hired when the health and eye sight of Scot began to decline. One of Reich's first tasks was to redesign circulating coinage, which all featured Scot's designs. The obverse of Reich's new design features the bust of Liberty, facing left. She is wearing a cap, which is referred to as a Phrygian or Freedom Cap, a symbol of the American Revolutionary War. Liberty's hair is curling and flowing gently downwards and a small part of her dress can be seen just below the neck.

There are seven stars in front and six additional stars behind, representing the original thirteen states in the Union. The headband carries the inscription LIBERTY, and the date, slightly curved, is seen beneath the portrait. The reverse of the Capped Bust Half Dollar would be featured in various forms on much of the silver coinage of the 19th century. It features an American Bald Eagle, with wings spread and a bundle of arrows and an olive branch in its claws. A scroll above the eagle includes the motto E Pluribus Unum, and nearly fully around is United States Of America. The denomination, which is expressed as 50 C., is below the eagle. Reich was the first designer who consistently included the denomination within his designs.

SPECIFICATIONS:
Single:
  • Coin Type: Silver American Eagle
  • Quantity: 1
  • Grade: Circ
  • Diameter: 33mm
  • Denomination: Half Dollar
  • Mint Mark: Philadelphia, PA
  • Mintage Year: 1807-1839
  • Obverse: Bust Portriat
  • Reverse: American Eagle

Measurements: 3"W x 3"H.

Distributed by American Collectors Mint, LLC.

Franklin Half-Dollar:
Three years after the end of World War II, the United States Mint announced intentions to replace the aging Liberty Walking half-dollar design with a brand new motif featuring a likeness of noted American inventor, philosopher, and statesman, Benjamin Franklin. Treasury Secretary John Snyder had hopes that Franklin's virtues of thrift and financial responsibility might be included among the many themes celebrated and commemorated by the coin's design. The United States Mint produced the coin until 1963, when special legislation replaced it with the Kennedy Half-Dollar.

Franklin's image on the obverse of coin was created by John R. Sinnock, who was also responsible for Franklin Roosevelt's portrait on the obverse of the 1946 dime. For the reverse of the Franklin half dollar, the Mint chose another icon from America's founding era, the Liberty Bell. However, a problem arose in the design as, according to established law, a representation of an eagle must be present on all silver coins with denominations greater than one dime. U.S. Mint sculptor, Gilroy Roberts, added a small eagle to the left of the Liberty Bell on Sinnock's design in order to comply with the requirement.

Kennedy Half-Dollar:
Following the tragic events of November 22, 1963, the United States Mint, at the behest of the newly sworn President Lyndon Johnson, began designing a coin for circulation that would feature the image of President John F. Kennedy. An influx of letters from the public to the Mint suggested that a significant portion of the grieving American citizenry agreed with the idea of honoring the late thirty-fifth President. The White House proposed the new coin be of half-dollar denomination and Congress swiftly passed the appropriate legislation to fast track production.

The Chief Engraver of the United States Mint at the time, Gilroy Roberts, created the now famous, commanding bust of President John F. Kennedy, which appears on the obverse of the coin. The reverse of the coin features U.S. Mint Engraver Frank Gasparro's slightly modified version of the official Presidential Seal. The new half-dollar coin became a part of the nation's circulating coinage starting in 1964 and remains so to the present. The only major change in design over the past 46 years came in 1976 when the United States celebrated its bicentennial. Just for that year, the reverse displayed an image of Independence Hall in Philadelphia and the obverse featured a dual date of 1776 - 1976. The original design resumed in 1977.

Liberty Walking Half-Dollar:
Renowned designer Adolph Weinman created the images displayed on this legendary fifty-cent piece which was struck by the United States Mint between the years 1916 and 1947. The obverse shows Lady Liberty mid-step, draped in the American flag with her right arm extended toward the sun and her left arm cradling olive branches. The reverse features a bald eagle perched on a branch.

The Liberty Walking Half-Dollar and the Mercury Dime, both designed by Adolph Weinman and introduced in 1916, each replaced a coin created by Charles Barber in their respective denominations. A new initiative championed by President Theodore Roosevelt near the turn of the century sought to have the nation's coinage redesigned and infused with a fresh sense of artistry. The movement resulted in the Barber-designed half-dollar, quarter-dollar, nickel, and dime being succeeded by the Liberty Walking Half-Dollar, Liberty Standing Quarter-Dollar, Buffalo Nickel, and Mercury Dime between the years 1913 and 1916.


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