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United States Half Dimes

SKU: 10605
Model No.: 0-942666-39-9
Author / Editor: D. W. Valentine
ISBN 10: 0-942666-39-9

MSRP: $35.00
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It's safe to say most Americans have never heard of this denomination. Still, it has a rich history. The last one was struck in 1873, and it was unpopular even at that time. This book is a compendium of information by Valentine and other experts on this type coin. The authors explain that at the personal direction of President George Washington, about 1,500 silver half-dimes were struck in July 1792 on equipment being assembled for the official opening of the Philadelphia Mint in 1793. The legend is that Washington melted some of his personal Sterling pieces to produce them, and that the model for Miss Liberty was Martha Washington. All of the some 100 surviving coins are said to be well-worn, indicating they were well circulated, rather than pattern samples, as some contend.

Sophisticated collectors will find photos and text to describe each year coin, struck at the Philadelphia, and eventually the New Orleans and San Francisco mints. For collectors who collect by variety, the authors go into great detail about the die varieties (as is typical of early type varieties), down to the number of curls on Miss Liberty's head, the position of stars, and whether ribbons touch. We also are told about the rarest coin in the series--one of the rarest coins in all American silver coinage--and we learn the precious metal conditions in the country that caused the U.S. Mint to place arrows on either side of the date for the years 1853-55.

Beginners will find a concise, overview narrative at the back of the book by Doug Winter. He provides a summary of each year's coins in a more general way, right up to the last year issue, when the government had to decide between the half dime and the newly-emerged Shield nickel.


Binding: Paperback
Edition: Revised Edition
Publication Date: 2007
Size: 6x9
Pages: 91



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