The year 1837
saw the introduction of the Seated Liberty Half Dime, and
a phase-out of the Capped Bust type. The Seated Liberty theme on the
Half Dime lasted until
1873, and was also present on the U.S. dime, quarter, half dollar, and
silver dollar. After 1873, no one would ever see another new U.S. Half
The first Seated Liberty Half Dime minted in 1837 had no drapery or stars on the obverse. The legend "United States of America" appeared on the reverse. A superb example of this type is pictured directly below:
While This Coin Was Minted...
Above is a satire on the Panic of 1837, criticizing President
Martin Van Buren's continued "Specie Circular" policy of his
predecessor, Andrew Jackson, which required the US government to
accept payment for federal lands only in gold and silver coinage. This
move led to the failure of more than 800 banks and a severe economic
recession. The satire shows the president haunted by the ghost of
Commerce, seated at the right.
The most valuable Seated Liberty Half Dime is
the 1870-S. Only one lone specimen is known to exist,
and could possibly sell for
millions of dollars, if put on the auction block. Its existence
remained unknown until 1978, when it was found mixed in with a small
hoard of common date coinage. The 1870-S Seated Liberty Half Dime is a
fabled numismatic discovery of immense proportions.
Seated Liberty Half Dimes dates from the 1860's (Philadelphia Mint only -- SF Mint are common) are offered for sale below, through eBay coin auctions (its surprising how many people use the phrase "eBay antique coins for sale" while searching the Net). The left hand side of each "Sales Box" is value trend data over a very long period of time for an 1865 Seated Liberty Half Dime in G-4 condition. The percent annual increase is computed for comparative purposes. The coin pictured for sale in the right hand side is not necessarily an 1865, as is represented in the value trend analysis on left hand side, but is dated in the 1863-1867 range.