– Braided Hair Half Cent (1840 - 1857)

The Braided Hair Half Cent, minted from 1840 to 1857, marks the final chapter in the history of the half cent denomination in the United States.  

This series of coins, designed by Christian Gobrecht, replaced the earlier Classic Head Half Cent and introduced a new artistic motif that reflected the prevailing artistic tastes of the mid-19th century. 

The obverse of the Braided Hair Half Cent features a left-facing bust of Liberty adorned with a crown of braided hair and wearing a Phrygian cap, a symbol of freedom and liberty.  

. Liberty's portrait is surrounded by the inscription "LIBERTY" and thirteen stars representing the original thirteen colonies of the United States. The design is elegant and refined, with a focus on the facial features of Liberty and intricate detailing in the braided hair. 

The reverse of the coin depicts a wreath composed of laurel leaves tied with a bow at the bottom, encircling the denomination "HALF CENT" and the fractional value "1/200. 

The laurel wreath symbolizes victory and honor, while the fractional denomination reflects the decimal-based monetary system established by the Coinage Act of 1792. 

Throughout its production, the Braided Hair Half Cent underwent several modifications to the design, including changes in the size and style of lettering, as well as alterations to the portrait of Liberty.  

These variations add depth and character to the series, making each issue unique and contributing to the diversity of collecting. 

The Braided Hair Half Cent was minted during a period of significant social, economic, and technological change in the United States.  

stay updated