How Much is a Half Dime Worth? (Price Chart)

Are you intrigued to know more about the history, features, and value of the US half dimes? Well, you’re at the right place!

Half dimes, in early years, were minted in a very low mintage number of which even lesser survives today. So, if you own a half dime, it is humanly to be curious regarding its worth. After all, even the lowest circulated grades of these coins sell at least for $100.

Read on to find out features, value, and factors affecting the value of the US half dimes that were minted from 1792 to 1873.

What Are Half Dimes?

Half dimes are the valuable US 5 Cents silver coins that were minted from 1792 to 1873. Half dimes came with five major redesigns during the time, thus, giving rise to:

  • Bust half dimes (1792),
  • Flowing Hair half dimes (1794-1795),
  • Draped Bust half dime (1796-1805),
  • Capped Bust half dime (1829-1837), and
  • Seated Liberty half dime(1837-1873)

Features of Half Dimes

Design:

  • Bust half dimes

Bust half dimes

1792 Bust half dimes feature Liberty facing left on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse side with ‘HALF DISME’ written below. The speculated designer of 1792 Half Disme is Robert Birch.

  • Flowing Hair half dimes

Flowing Hair half dimes

Next comes the Flowing Hair half dime featuring a flowing hair Liberty facing right. The reverse side is adorned with a small eagle on a wreath.

  • Draped Bust half dime

Draped Bust half dime

In Draped Bust half dime, there’s a ribbon on the flowing hair of Liberty, and a drape is seen covering her neckline. On the reverse, 1796-1979 features a small eagle, whereas the remaining years have a Heraldic Eagle.

  • Capped Bust half dime

Capped Bust half dime

Likewise, in Capped Bust style, Liberty’s hair is covered with a cap secured with a ‘LIBERTY’ band. The coin’s reverse side depicts an eagle with a shield on its breast.

  • Seated Liberty half dime

Seated Liberty half dime

Finally, Seated Liberty half dimes feature the Liberty sitting on a rock with a shield on the one hand and a liberty cap on a pole on the other hand. This half-dime design has been subjected to many minor changes throughout the years.

In 1838-1840, the Liberty’s Drapery was removed. The 1838-1859 design features stars on the Liberty’s sides. Likewise, in 1853-1855, arrows were added on the date. And finally, in the 1860-1873 design, the wreath on the reverse was restyled.

Coin Specification:

Half dimes were much smaller than the dimes are were made up of 89.2% silver and 10.8% copper. The diameter of these coins ranges from 15.90 mm to 17.50 mm, with 1792 Bust half dimes being the largest and Capped Bust half dimes being the smallest.

Likewise, the mass range of the US silver half dimes is around 1.34-1.35 gm. The edges are reeded, except for the 1792 Bust half dimes on which the edges are diagonally reeded.

Mint Mark:

San Fransisco Seated Liberty half dimes have a mint mark ‘S’ right below the bow on the reverse side of the coin.

On the other hand, New Orleans minted Seated Liberty half dimes feature a mint mark ‘O’ above the bow on the reverse. Note that 1872-S have two varieties based on the mint marks; one above the bow and one below the bow.

Reasons Why Half Dimes were Minted

As soon as the US coinage system began, 5 cents silver coins were designed and minted by the new US mint. While the US mint recognized 1793 Chain cents as the first business strike coins minted, the 1792 ‘Half Dismes’, are lobbied by some numismatists as the first such coins to be minted.

In the 1860s, with the new 3 cents and 5 cents mintage on copper-nickel planchets being approved, the production of silver half dimes was stopped in 1873.

What Factors Influence The Value of Half Dimes?

What Factors Influence The Value of Half Dimes
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Errors, varieties, and rarities:

All these three criteria play a major role while valuing a coin. For instance, 1853 No Arrows was auctioned for $27,025 in 2016, whereas the 1853 Arrows variety was auctioned for $4,800 in 2019. Likewise, the lone 1970-S coin was auctioned for $661,250 in 2004 at Bowers & Merena.

Grades:

Another important factor in determining the worth of your half dime is grade. Uncirculated Mint State grades range from MS60 to MS70, and below 60 are circulated. The higher the grade, the more premium and expensive your coin is.

For instance, the 1850 half dime is valued at $17,500 by PCGS, whereas the Extremely Fine (XF-40) will likely cost you below $100.

Proofs:

Proofs (PR) coins display the highest level of craftsmanship and features than any circulated and uncirculated coins. Consequently, these coins are the rarest and demand the most worth. Proof coins are likely struck in 1829 and onwards, and those minted survive in minimal numbers today.

Value of Half Dimes

Value of Half Dimes

While the face value of half dimes is  5 Cents, these coins, given their age, sell for hundreds and even thousands.

We’ve curated a price guide for all the half dimes for VF-20, AU-50, and MS63 grades in the table below. Note that this table was prepared on 20th April 2022 and is simply an estimation for reference purposes.

PCGS price guides, latest auctioned prices, and the value of these half dimes on several coin buying/selling online portals are consulted in preparing this table. For higher MS grades and Proof (PR) coins, expect the prices to rise significantly.

Bust Half Dime (1792)

  Very Fine (VF-20) About Uncirculated (AU-50) MS63
1792 $70,000 $132,000 $250,000

Flowing Hair Half Dime (1794-1795)

  Very Fine (VF-20) About Uncirculated (AU-50) MS63
1794 $4000 $12,500 $36,000
1795 $2,000 $7,000 $12,000

Draped Bust Half Dime (1796-1805)

  Very Fine (VF-20) About Uncirculated (AU-50) MS63
1796 LIKERTY $4,000 $10,000 $35,000
1797 15 Stars $4,000 $8,000 $30,000
1797 16 Stars $4,500 $10,000 $31,500
1797 13 Stars $3,000 $20,000 $90,000
1800 $3,500 $6,500 $22,500
1800 LIBEKTY $3,500 $8,000 $23,500
1801 $3,500 $8,000 $40,000
1802 N/A $375,000 N/A
1803 (Large 8) $3,500 $10,000 $20,000
1803 (Small 8) $4,500 N/A $130,000
1805 $4,500 $22,500 N/A

Capped Bust Half Dime (1829-1837)

  Very Fine (VF-20) About Uncirculated (AU-50) MS63
1829 $130 $260 $1,000
1830 $130 $250 $950
1831 $100 $225 $1,10
1832 $100 $300 $1,000
1833 $100 $300 $900
1834 $100 $300 $825
1835 (Large Date, Small 5C.) N/A $275 $1,025
1835 (Large Date, Small 5C.) N/A $225 $1,000
1835 (Small Date, Large 5C.) $100 $250 $1,300
1835 (Small Date, Small 5C.) $125 $200 $900
1836 (Large 5C.) $125 $250 $1,000
1836 (Small 5C.) $100 $250 $1,000
1837 (Large 5C.) $200 $400 $1,100
1837 (Small 5C.) N/A $700 $3,500

Seated Liberty Half Dime (1837-1873)

  Very Fine (VF-20) About Uncirculated (AU-50) MS63
1837 (Large Date) $200 $400 $1,000
1837 (Small Date) $200 $400 $1,000
1838-O $1,250 $4,000 $12,000
1838 (Large Stars) $85 $225 $750
1838 (Small Stars) N/A $275 $1,200
1839 N/A $225 $700
1839-O $100 $500 $2,500
1840 (No Drapery) N/A $250 $700
1840-O (No Drapery) $300 $725 $7,500
1840 (Drapery) $225 $350 $1,200
1840-O N/A $2,000 $30,000
1841 N/A $135 $400
1841-O $200 $500 $3,250
1842 N/A $125 $625
1842-O $400 $1,000 $4,000
1843 N/A $150 $600
1844 N/A $250 $700
1844-O $600 $3000 $12,500
1845 N/A $150 $500
1846 $2,500 $7,500 $40,000
1847 N/A $200 $400
1848 (Medium Date) N/A $225 $600
1848 (Large Date) N/A N/A $1,800
1848-O N/A $300 $1,200
1849 N/A $250 $850
1849/6 N/A N/A $1,500
1849-O $350 $1,200 $4,000
1850 N/A $125 $350
1850-O $100 $325 $2000
1851 $65 $100 $400
1851-O N/A $225 $1,100
1852 N/A $125 $350
1852-O $200 $600 $3,500
1853 (No Arrows) N/A $525 $2,000
1853-O (No Arrows) $1,600 $4,000 $20,000
1853 (Arrows) $60 $150 $450
1853-O (Arrows) N/A $200 $1,500
1854 (Arrows) N/A $150 $400
1854-O (Arrows) N/A $225 $1,000
1855 (Arrows) N/A $150 $475
1855-O (Arrows) N/A $300 $1,400
1856 N/A $150 $325
1856-O N/A $300 $1,000
1857 $50 $150 $375
1857-O N/A $200 $575
1858 N/A $175 $325
1858 (Over Inverted Date) $225 N/A $2,250
1858-O N/A $150 $500
1859 N/A $150 $400
1859-O N/A $225 $650
1860 N/A $125 $425
1860-O N/A $150 $550
1861 $40 $125 $600
1862 $50 $125 $400
1863 N/A $650 $1,200
1863-S N/A $525 $1,500
1864 $1,000 N/A $2,000
1864-S $300 $700 $2,250
1865 $1,000 $1,200 $1,500
1865-S $225 $700 $2,500
1866 N/A $1,200 $1,500
1866-S N/A $325 $1,275
1867 N/A $1,000 $1,500
1867-S N/A $400 $1,400
1868 $275 $400 $1,000
1868-S N/A $150 $600
1869 N/A N/A $525
1869-S N/A $125 $1,300
1870 $45 $125 $375
1870-S MS63 – $661,250
1871 N/A $150 $400
1871-S N/A $175 $600
1872 N/A $125 $325
1872-S (Mintmark Below Bow) N/A $150 $425
1872-S (Mintmark Above Bow) N/A $125 $375
1873 N/A $125 $425
1873-S N/A $150 $400

Summary

We hope we were able to answer all your half-dimes-related queries. Have you recently bought or sold a half dime? Do share with us the year and the remaining details, if possible.

Also, if you need help grading your half dime or determining its worth, feel free to comment below. We’re more than happy to help!

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