Half Dimes have the same general designs as larger United
States silver coins. Authorized by the Act of April 2, 1792,
they were not struck until February 1795, although some
were dated 1794. At first the weight was 20.8 grains, and
fineness .8924. By the Act of January 18, 1837, the weight
was reduced to 20-5/8 grains and the fineness changed to
.900. The weight was later reduced to 19.2 grains by the
Act of February 21, 1853. Half Dimes offer many varieties
in the early dates.
The four 1794 Half Dimes dated vars. were all struck in
1795. The last and least rare (close date, F rests on leaf)
followed the first two dated 1795, which share the same
reverse die before it cracked with the 1794 obverse.
Wild date. Very rare. Breen 1-A. Right branch ends in
double leaf. Delivered March 1795. Possibly 3 UNCs.
1794 Close date. Very scarce. Price for Breen 3-C. Breen
2-A, 2-B are nearly as rare as last and will bring about
as much. Delivered March 1795.
7 curls. Many UNCs from the hoard are available for
a price. Other vars. Breen 1-A, 2-A, 3-B, 6-C are all
1795 Six curls. Very rare. Breen 4-B, 5-B, 5-C. Usually
in low grades. Hilt attributes this device punch to
John Smith Gardner.