The Draped Bust Half Dime was produced from 1796-1797, and again from 1800-1805. During the first series (the “Small Eagle” variety), the obverse featured fifteen stars—one for each state in the union in 1796. A sixteen star variety of was produced in 1797 to represent the addition of Tennessee as a state; a thirteen star variety was also made when the mint realized it could not continue adding stars as more states joined the union. The reverse depicts a wreath that surrounds a small eagle perched atop a cloud.
Following a two-year hiatus, the second series of half dimes (the “Heraldic Eagle” variety) began being minted in 1800. The obverse remained the same as before, but the reverse was changed to show the eagle with outstretched wings.
No denomination or mintmark appears on any of the Draped Bust Half Dimes because all of them were minted in Philadelphia.
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