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What is a half dime coin?

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Quick Answer

A half dime coin is a United States five-cent piece that is minted in silver, rather than the nickel metal that is currently used. The first half dime, originally called the "half disme," was in production from 1794 to 1873.

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Full Answer

The coin underwent several design changes in its life. Miss Liberty, on the front of the coin, changed hair styles in 1796 and 1829, and changed from just a head to a seated woman in 1837. Production was erratic, stopping for several years in the early 1800s. Many half dimes were returned to the U.S. Mint and melted down to make other coins in the 1890s. They also became popular in jewelry, according to NumisMaster.com, which often damaged the coin. The half dime has become a fairly rare and popular collectible coin.

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