- Half dime
The denomination was one of the original coins first authorized in 1792, and production began the following year. These coins were much smaller than dimes in diameter and thickness, appearing to be "half dimes". In the 1860s, powerful
nickelinterests successfully lobbied for the creation of new coins, which would be made of a copper-nickel alloy; production of such coins began in 1865 and were struck in two denominations — three and five cents (the latter debuting in 1866).
The introduction of the copper-nickel five-cent pieces rendered the
silvercoins of the same denomination redundant, and they were discontinued in 1873.
The following types of half dimes were produced by the
United States Mint:
Flowing Hair Pattern, 1792
Flowing Hair 1794-1795
eated Liberty (various subtypes) 1837-1873
1870-S half dime
In 1978 a coin collector surprised the coin collecting community with an 1870-S (San Francisco) half dime, believed to have been found in a dealer's box of cheap coins at a coin show. According to mint records for 1870, no half dimes had been minted in San Francisco; yet, here was a genuine 1870-S half dime. At an auction later that same year, the 1870-S half dime sold for $425,000. It is believed that another example may exist, along with other denominations minted that year in San Francisco in the cornerstone of the old San Francisco Mint.
Canadaalso once used silver coins of five-cent denomination; they were colloquially referred to as "fish scales," due to the fact that they were very thin (the term "half dime" never having been used in Canada), and were produced until Canada also switched to nickel five-cent pieces in 1922. With the decision to change to nickel, the remaining stock of 5 cent silver, including almost all of the 1921 production, was melted down. Only about 400 examples of the 1921 5 cent survive today and these coins rank among the best known rare coins in the annals of Canadian numismatics.
Dime (Canadian coin)
* [http://www.coincommunity.com/us_coin_links/us_half_dimes.asp US Half Dime information by year and type.]
* [http://www.coinpage.com/half%20dime-pictures.html Half Dime Pictures]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.