1792 Half Disme
The 1792 Half Disme is a historic numismatic rarity that ushered in the production of coinage for the United States of America.� Alexander Hamilton was ordered by Congress, on April 15, 1790, to establish a Mint for our new country. Just over a year later, the Morris Bill was drafted, detailing the framework of the American coinage system.� By April, 1792, the Mint Act was passed; and, by order of George Washington, the first coin was set to be minted.� The Half Disme was conceptualized by David Rittenhouse who went on to become the very first Mint Director.� Thomas Jefferson, himself, delivered the silver to the manufacturer, John Harper, who was a toolmaker by trade.� Three months later, Harper presented Jefferson with 1,500 coins given the name Half Dismes, per the Mint Act.� The Half Dismes were struck using dies created by the engraver, Robert Birch. The Morris Bill required that the Half Dismes contain .8924 silver along with other metals for a total weight of 20.8 grams and a diameter of 17.5 millimeters. On November 6, 1792, these coins were put into circulation by the United States Mint as the first legal tender of our nation. �
The obverse of the coin displays a depiction of Liberty facing to the left, with the date below the bust, and the phrase �LIB PAR OF SCIENCE & INDUSTRY� in the legend. The reverse shows an Eagle, also facing to the left, with �HALF DISME� beneath it and the legend displaying �UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.� The mintage for the 1792 Half Disme was 1,500. Unfortunately, approximately just 275 are estimated to have survived in all grades with about 15% of those in mint state.
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