Draped Bust Half Dime, Heraldic Eagle (1800-1805)
Draped Bust/Heraldic Eagle Half Dimes
The half dimes of the 1800-1805 years continued the Draped Bust obverse used earlier in 1796-1797, except that the stars beginning in 1800 have been standardized to seven left and six right.
The reverse is of the Heraldic Eagle style adopted from the Great Seal of the United States and used beginning in the preceding decade on certain other silver denominations. At the center is an eagle with a shield on its breast, holding in its beak a ribbon inscribed E PLURIBUS UNUM and grasping in its talon a bundle of arrows and an olive branch. Above the eagle is an arc of clouds under which is a group of stars. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds. No mark of denomination or value appears on the coin.
Most surviving examples of various 1800-1805 dates are seen in lower ranges of condition, from About Good to Very Good or so. Fine specimens are not easy to locate, Very Fine pieces are still more elusive, and Extremely Fine coins are rare. Strictly Uncirculated pieces are extremely rare. Those that do come on the market are apt to be dated 1800. Very Fine or Extremely Fine are grades that have appealed to advanced collectors over the years, as they offer the combination of availability with reasonable (considering rarity) price.
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