– Classic Head Half Cent (1809 - 1836)

The Classic Head Half Cent, minted from 1809 to 1836, represents a significant chapter in the story of early American coinage. 

This series of coins, designed by John Reich, replaced the earlier Draped Bust Half Cent and introduced a new artistic motif that reflected the changing aesthetic sensibilities of the early 19th century. 

The obverse of the Classic Head Half Cent features a left-facing bust of Liberty 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 simple yet elegant, with a focus on the facial features of Liberty and minimal ornamentation. 

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 Classic Head 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 nuance and complexity to the series, making each issue distinctive and contributing to the allure of collecting. 

The Classic Head Half Cent was minted during a period of significant growth and expansion in the United States, as the young nation sought to establish its economic independence and assert its place on the world stage.  

While the denomination of the half cent was eventually discontinued due to changes in economic conditions and inflation, these coins remain cherished relics of America's early coinage history. 

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