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Half Dimes

The silver Half Dime, also known as a Half Disme, is considered by many numismatic scholars to be the first coin ever made by the United States. Produced by the United States Mint, under the Coinage Act of 1792, it was first minted in July of that year. The first coins, with a Flowing Hair design, were issued in 1794 and 1795. They measured 16.5 millimeters in diameter, weighed 1.35 grams and were struck from .8924 silver. Draped Bust Half Dimes were issued from 1796 until 1805, and although most specifications were the same as the earlier versions, the purity of the silver was raised to .900 fineness. After a hiatus of several years when no Half Dimes were produced, the Mint issued a Capped Bust variety of the coin from 1829 until 1837, when the design was again changed the Liberty Seated version. That coin was struck until 1873 when Half Dime production was discontinued in favor of the base metal Nickel.

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