Bust Half Dime (1792)

#1 Bust Half Dime Buyer Las Vegas & Henderson

 

Under the Coinage Act of 1792’s authority, the 1792 half disme or pronounced as “deem” was widely considered the first coinage struck of the United States. It is an American coin made out of silver with a five-cent face value. Although arguments emerged with whether it was an experimental issue rather than intended on being circulated. But President George Washington shut it down by referring to it as the country’s “small beginning” which made the coin into circulation.

 

In 1792, President Washington made mention that he wanted to have small coins in circulation, where in fact some were already struck. He introduced the French word “Disme” which was derived from “Decimus,” a Latin word that means “tenth,” that is why half disme has a face value of only five cents. It was also mentioned the establishment of the United States Mint, but the half disme is not their first coin produced. The building was prepared, workers were already hired but the machinery is not yet ready for production. This resulted in being half of the coins produced in the private facility of a craftsman named John Harper under the supervision of official Mint personnel. 

It was also asserted that George Washington has donated his personal silver sets in support to the success of producing half disme and that the image of the woman depicted in the coin was actually Martha Washington. Both were never confirmed or got supported by pieces of evidence, but either way, this made the numismatic folklore classic in the production of the early American coin.

In addition, the 1792 Bust Half Disme, despite its size, holds a great historical significance as it was the first-ever coin produced made out of silver. September 24, 2018, marked one of those historic dates wherein a 1792 silver half disme was auctioned by Classic Coin Company and sold by Brian Hendelson in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The coin auctioned was once in the hands of the then – Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, and was owned personally by David Rittenhouse, the first United States Mint Director. It was recorded to have the highest price for any U.S. Half Dime, that was produced between 1792 and 1873. It was bought for almost $2 million, as it was identified to be the finest 1792 Half Disme ever known.

 

Back in 1792, four categories of coinage were produced. These were the bust half disme, the cent, the disme, and the quarter. The coinage patter has somehow become an issue and it was discussed if the bust half disme was just another pattern or if they would officially put it for regular use. About more than 1, 500 pieces were produced and the majority of it discovered its way into circulation when it was around the middle of the year. When it was handed to Jefferson by the Mint Director Rittenhouse, he clearly had some of it given away as they were to represent the healthy relationship of General Washington and as a token, a lot was given to various acquaintances until none were coined.

 

The design was greatly similar to other patterns of the year 1792. The obverse has a depicted image of a woman, who was said to be Martha Washington-but no proofs were shown to prove the claim. It also has a carved in legends “Liberty, Parent of Science and Industry.” The reverse shows an image of an eagle with a legend carved in near the edges of the coin that says, “Uni. States of America” and a “Half Disme” under the eagle. Under the “Half Disme” legend is a star.

 

Nowadays, bust half disme is famous for the collectors and they could even demand a higher price. This is the type of coin that even the lowest grade could still be worth up to $18, 500. Unlike other coins that have to be preserved greatly over the time to keep their market value consistent or higher, bust half disme could still be sold for a great deal even if it has minor defects or discoloration. Although some parts of the coin has flattened because of circulation, this would still be of huge value. It is because even the uncirculated ones have flattened parts too, especially on the image of the eagle. This was due to the fact that the first ones were not originally fully struck up.

 

On his fourth Annual Address to the Congress, November 6th of the year 1792, President Washington spoke about “a small beginning in the coinage of half dismes, the want of small coins in circulation calling the first attention to them.” True enough that the start was indeed small but it defined how money operates for transaction and trading has become a lot easier than of the old days. Those days when people did not have a unified measurement for money. The small beginning in mind has also influenced a lot of countries to follow such a system. It has made the business grow more, and people now find the convenience of paying using standard currency.

 

Despite the reality that the production of bust half disme was not continued, people have to be innovative and that was when the Flowing hair type replaced the bust half disme and many more half dimes and dimes were brought into the hustle. Something that is more convenient to use, with proper legends, desirable visuals, and a fixed combination of metal. 

 

Going back, bust half disme is a very rare coin and it’s like a diamond in the rust, not just because of its monetary value, but also because of it historical significance and impact towards daily living. This will even make people take more interest in historical relics, in a way that they can preserve their remnants of what their ancestors have gone through. Looking at these old coins makes people think about how people from the past made their lives easier nowadays. This was just one small beginning and yet it has reached and changed the lives of many others living in the new century. 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1792_half_disme

https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/category/bust-half-dime-1792/683

https://www.pcgs.com/news/rittenhouse-1792-half-disme-sold

https://coinweek.com/us-coins/coinweek-iq-from-half-disme-to-half-dime/