Capped Bust Lettered Edge Half Dollars


The original Capped Bust Half Dollars were designed by John Reich and noted by their lettered edge. This portion of the series was struck from the years 1807 to 1836. The design would eventually be used in modified format for a few additional years before being replaced.

1810 Capped Bust Half dollar

John Reich was recommended by President Thomas Jefferson to be hired as an engraver at the United States Mint. He eventually took the position in 1807 and was immediately given the task of redesigning the half dollar and half eagle, the two most prominent denominations in circulation.

His design featuring the bust of Liberty wearing a cap would be one of the most enduring in the history of U.S. coinage. The reverse design with a heraldic eagle would continue to be used for silver coinage for decades to come, even after the obverse design was replaced.

The Capped Bust Lettered Edge Half Dollars had a weight of 13.48 grams and diameter of 32.5 mm. In accordance with the legislation in effect at the time, the composition was 89.24% silver and 10.76% copper. The lettered edge of the coins read "FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR".

Mintages for this type range from a low of 47,150 for the 1815/2 Capped Bust Half Dollars to a high of 6,545,000 for the final year of the original design in 1836.

Capped Bust Lettered Edge Half Dollar Mintages


1807 750,500
1808 1,368,600
1809 1,405,810
1810 1,276,276
1811 1,203,644
1812 1,628,059
1813 1,241,903
1814 1,039,075
1815 47,150
1817 1,215,567
1818 1,960,322
1819 2,208,000
1820 751,122
1821 1,305,797
1822 1,559,573
1823 1,694,200
1824 3,504,954
1825 2,943,166
1826 4,004,180
1827 5,493,400
1828 3,075,200
1829 3,712,156
1830 4,764,800
1831 5,873,660
1832 4,797,000
1833 5,206,000
1834 6,412,004
1835 5,352,006
1836 6,545,000