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Obverse of 1795 Half Dime - Valentine 8     Reverse of 1795 Half Dime - Valentine 8

1795 HALF DIME -

Rarity: Very Rare

Variety Equivalents: Breen 

The reverse die for this variety was also used on 1795 Valentine 5 and 1795 Valentine 7.

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries

Significant examples:
NGC MS-65 (illustrated above).  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale", October 1-3, 2000, Lot 3002, where it was described as follows: "Second year of issue for this diminutive denomination, and a spectacular, original toned Gem quality example. Liberty and the eagle show exceptional detail, with rims perfect and no unsightly marks or stains. This variety has as its identifying feature a long die crack from the rim between TY in LIBERTY to the hair and ear, ending just above the raised center dot on Liberty's neck. The reverse is perfect, without die breakage and, of special note, there are none of the usual adjustment lines disfiguring the rims.  Little is known of the accepted design's origins. Designer Robert Scot apparently copied it from the cents, omitting the liberty cap. The heads of Liberty were mostly engraved until well into 1795 as Scot did not at the outset know how to make a device punch, and one that he finally did make for half dismes broke at the tip of the bust.  His attempt to make these half-disme designs match the larger silver coins reflects a Mint policy which became standard for over a century: All gold coins should share a common design, all silver another, all copper a third (preferably like the silver but minus the eagle). Mint Director David Rittenhouse derived this policy from British and French coins of the period." - Superior Galleries "ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 989, "Valentine 8...In NGC holder 206118-001", no mention of the prior pedigree, where it sold for $17,000 to the book - Superior Galleries "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 162, unsold

Recent appearances:

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"The PCGS Population Report, July 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

"Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837" by Russell J. Logan and John W. McCloskey