The 1849 Braided Hair Half Cent is an interesting coin for a number of reasons. Though the piece was officially introduced in 1840, limited demand coupled with a lukewarm reaction by the public did not make the US Mint eager to mass produced circulated coins. Still, that is exactly what happened, and the first of those in circulation hit the market in 1849. Because of the limited number of these coins available, there has never been a better time than now for you to get your hands on one.
On the obverse side of the coin, the center of the face is dominated by the image of Lady Liberty, depicted facing leftward. Lady Liberty is pictured with extremely curly hair, and holding that hair in place is a metal band. Within the band you will see the word “Liberty” insacribed. Beneath the central image you will find the 1849 year of minting, while 13 stars mark the outer edge of the coin.
On the reverse side of the Braided Hair Half Cent, the “Half Cent” face value is depicted in the center of the coin. Surrounding the face value inscription is the image of an ornate wreath, bound together by a bow. On the outside of the wreath is another inscription, this one reading “United States of America.” Finally, it must also be mentioned that the edges of the Braided Hair Half Cent feature a reeded design that gives the coin some added texture.
For collectors, it is common knowledge that just about every worthwhile coin is going to be counterfeited in some quantity. That is exactly the case with the 1849 Braided Hair Half Cent, and is also why collectors will only go for those pieces that have been graded and certified as being authentic. Below, we have touched on the different coin grades as well as what, exactly, they mean.
Uncirculated: If an 1849 Braided Hair Half Cent is determined to be of Uncirculated grade, this means that the piece was kept in safekeeping from the very moment it was minted. Having never exchanged hands on the open market, these pieces will be in flawless condition and will look today exactly like they did in 1849.
Extremely Fine: Extremely Fine is a grade given to coins that have been well-preserved throughout the years, but are not entirely free from damage. Though you may only notice a scratch or two, that bit of damage is taken into consideration during grading.
Fine: Fine is the graded given to Braided Hair Half Cents that have been circulated, but not overly damaged. Sure, you will notice some light scratching and other signs of damage, but all of the surface imagery and lettering will still be in great condition and plainly visible with the naked eye.
Good: Good is the grade given to coins that have been both heavily circulated and heavily damaged. These pieces are going to show a lot of scratching and other marks. Still, for come collectors these are very desirable pieces.
Due to this coin only having been minted for a short period of time, the overall scarcity of the coin will heavily play into the price determination. In addition to this, it is important to pay attention to the condition the coin is in. Naturally, if a coin is well-preserved, it is going to fetch a higher asking price than a piece that has been damaged. Below, we have provided a chart aimed at giving you a better idea of what you can expect to pay for a graded 1849 Braided Hair Half Cent.
|1849 Braided Hair||N/A||$70||$150||$240||Source: Red Book|