Half Dollar - The 1801
Half Dollar retained the Draped Bust obverse motif,
but changed the reverse. It now resembled the Great
Seal of the United States. A similar design was already
in use on half dimes and dollars. It shows a heraldic
eagle facing left with a Union shield on its chest.
A banner inscribed E PLURIBUS UNUM curls across the
left wing and under the right. Except for the wing
tips, the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is
in an arc near the periphery. Thirteen stars are above
the eagle’s head under the clouds in an arc
pattern. Dentils are near the edge on both sides of
the coin. The edge is lettered FIFTY CENTS OR HALF
A DOLLAR with ornamentation between the words.
In a colossal design
blunder, Robert Scot placed the arrows of the reverse
in the wrong talon. On the left side, the eagle’s
right talon, arrows symbolize aggressive militarism.
They should have been placed in the left talon with
the olive branch in the right. If this was a deliberate
rearrangement, it shows a young country making a statement
about its sovereignty in a time of war. If it was
unintentional, it shows a new, inexperienced country
that can’t even get its symbolism correct.
With a mintage of
30,289, the 1801
Half Dollar had the second lowest mintage of the
Draped Bust, Large Eagle series. Only 122 coins have
been certified by NGC for this date and 239 have been
certified by PCGS, and these numbers do not account
for crossovers and resubmissions.
Designer: Robert Scot Weight: 13.48 grams Composition: .8924 silver, .1076
copper Diameter: approximately 32.5 mm Edge: FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR
with decorations between