The 1838-O Liberty Seated Half Dime (Buy on eBay) was struck during the first year of operations for the New Orleans Mint. The issue represents the first branch mint issue of the series and the only branch mint issue for the “No Stars on Obverse” subtype.
After the series began in 1837, the design of the half dime was altered to add thirteen stars to the obverse. All coins struck at Philadelphia in 1838 carried the new obverse, however all of the dies sent to the New Orleans Mint carried the old design. These dies were put into production to strike 70,000 half dimes, representing a relatively low mintage for the denomination.
The 1838-O Half Dimes would circulate heavily, significantly reducing the available population for collectors. The issue carries a premium across all grade levels, particularly in higher grades. It has been estimated that perhaps only 20 examples have survived in uncirculated condition. An example graded NGC MS65 sold for $28,750 at an auction held in January 2004.
- Designer: Christian Gobrecht
- Composition: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
- Weight: 1.34 grams
- Diameter: 15.5 mm
- Edge: Reeded