Designer: Robert Scot
Content: 89.2% silver 10.8% copper
Diameter: 32.5 millimeters
Weight: 13.5 grams
Edge: Lettered - FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR, ornaments between words vary
Mint Mark Location: None (all were made in Philadelphia)
Flowing Hair Mintage
The coin's reverse depicts a small, spread-winged eagle perched upon a rock and
surrounded by laurel branches, and encircling the laurel branches is the motto "UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA". The half dollar's edge bears the inscription "FIFTY CENTS" OR "HALF
A DOLLAR", with decorations between the words.
After completing the first production run of Flowing Hair half dollars, the Mints
rolling equipment broke down. Repairs took several weeks, and as 1794 drew to a
close the Mint still had at least six obverse dies on hand with the 1794 date. Rather
than scrap the dies, it continued making 1794 half dollars in 1795. When all the 1794
dies became unusable the Mint started using dies dated 1795.
Some 1795 half dollars have a recut date, but these are fairly common.
Some 1795 pieces have three leaves under each of the eagle's wings, instead of the normal two, and these are scarce.
No proofs are known for this series, which is widely collected by type.
In 1796 the Mint replaced the "Flowing Hair" obverse with the "Draped Bust" portrait
of Liberty. The Flowing Hair version lasted only two-years.