1792 Bust Half Dime: Do You Need This in Your Collection?

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Written By Natasha Jones
I'm Natasha Jones, an avid collector of coins, stamps, and paper money. My passion drives me to seek unique finds, from antique shops to international exchanges. I enjoy connecting with fellow collectors through forums and meet-ups, sharing discoveries and insights. Collecting, for me, is about preserving history and building a community around this shared interest.

The 1792 Bust Half Dime is one of the most sought-after coins in the world, and for good reason.

As the first official coin minted by the United States, it holds a special place in American history. 

But just how rare is this coin?


Key Takeaways:

1. The 1792 Bust Half Dime is extremely rare, with only around 1,500 coins ever minted.
2. This coin holds a special place in American history as the first official coin minted by the United States.
3. The 1792 Bust Half Dime is highly valued among collectors and investors, with a record-breaking sale of $1,145,625 in 2013.

The Rarity of the 1792 Bust Half Dime

Image by PCGS

As a coin collector, I have always been intrigued by the 1792 Bust Half Dime.

This coin is considered one of the rarest and most valuable coins in American history.

The 1792 Bust Half Dime was the first official coin produced by the United States Mint.

It was minted in Philadelphia and has a total mintage of only 1,500 coins.

This makes the 1792 Bust Half Dime one of the rarest coins in American history.

The rarity of this coin is due to several factors:

  1. It was minted in very small quantities.
  2. Many of these coins were melted down for their silver content, which further reduced the number of surviving coins.
  3. The 1792 Bust Half Dime was minted using a hand-operated screw press, which resulted in inconsistent quality and production.

Today, only a few dozen 1792 Bust Half Dimes are known to exist.

Most of these coins are in poor condition, with only a handful being in excellent condition.

The most valuable 1792 Bust Half Dime ever sold was a PCGS MS68 example that sold for $1,145,625 in 2013.

As a collector, owning a 1792 Bust Half Dime would be a significant achievement and a prized possession.

Historical Context

Two key events in American history provide insight into the significance of this coin: the Coinage Act of 1792 and the establishment of the first U.S. Mint.

The Coinage Act of 1792


The Coinage Act of 1792, passed by Congress on April 2nd of that year, established the United States Mint and authorized the production of several denominations of coins, including the half dime. 

This act also established the dollar as the official currency of the United States and set the value of gold and silver coins in relation to the dollar.

The act required that all coins be inscribed with the word “LIBERTY” and the phrase “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”

Design and Specifications


Obverse and Reverse Design

The 1792 Bust Half Dime is a small coin with a diameter of 17.50 millimeters and a weight of 1.35 grams.

The obverse of the coin features a bust of Liberty facing right, with the word “LIBERTY” above and the date “1792” below. 

The reverse of the coin features a small eagle in flight with wings outstretched, flying to the left, with the words “HALF DISME” on two lines below and the legend “UNI (ted). STATES OF AMERICA” and a five-pointed star around the periphery.

Material and Weight

The 1792 Bust Half Dime is made of 89.2% silver and 10.8% copper.

The coin has a diagonally reeded edge.

The mintage of the coin is believed to be 1,500, and it was minted in Philadelphia.

The small size and intricate design of the 1792 Bust Half Dime make it a unique and highly sought-after coin among collectors.

Its rarity and historical significance have made it a valuable addition to any coin collection.

Market Value and Auction Records


According to the PCGS Price Guide, the 1792 Bust Half Dime has a value ranging from $50,000 for a coin in Poor condition to $1,750,000 for a coin in MS68 condition.

The guide also notes that prices may not be up-to-the-minute accurate during times of market volatility.

In terms of auction records, the 1792 Bust Half Dime has fetched high prices in recent years.

The PCGS CoinFacts website notes that a coin in MS68 condition sold for $1,145,625 in 2013 at a Stack’s Bowers auction. ‘

Another coin in SP condition sold for $71,826.85 in 2023 at a PCGS auction.

While it is difficult to predict with certainty what the future holds for the 1792 Bust Half Dime, it is clear that this remarkable coin will continue to be a highly sought-after piece for collectors and investors alike. 

Before you go…

Whether you are a seasoned collector or a newcomer to the world of numismatics, the 1792 Bust Half Dime is a must-have addition to any collection.

Check out my next article: “How Much is the 1863 Indian Cent Worth Today?

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