1840 BRAIDED HAIR 1/2 C, RESTRIKE PR65 Red Brown
RESTRIKE. ONLY 20 STRUCK. JUST 1 GRADED HIGHER.
Philadelphia began to grow as a significant financial tyrant in the mid-1830s and on. Due to the cities success many immigrated to the once-capital-city for a chance at work, freedom, and success. Unfortunately, as a population grows, so does its problems. It wasn’t uncommon for Philadelphia to struggle with sanitation issues, poverty, violence, and disease. In fact, the enormous growth caused some horrendous xenophobia to arise as some fought for jobs.
Even as poverty rose, it’s not surprising that the virtually useless half-cent had dwindled in production at this point in its 64-year life span. The now five-years-appointed Mint Director, Richard M. Patterson who was overwhelmed with the already full half-cent vaults decided to turn this situation around via gifting. It was common for the U.S. to offer proof sets of coins to dignified outside visitors and Patterson thought the half-cent should be included. However, instead of using previous strikes, he commissioned Philadelphia Mint’s head engraver, Gobrecht, to design a new proof for these sets. These coins, a combination of earlier half-cent designs by Reich and Kneass, never made it into circulation but many consider it the most dignifying design.