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Starting in 1840 the mint issued proof only Braided Hair Half Cents from 1840 through 1849. There are original Braided Half Half Cent Proofs and restrikes from 1858-61. The obverses of the original and restrikes are the same, but there is a small difference on the reverses. Most original issues have large berries in the wreath and most restrikes have small berries in the wreath. But don't worry, we do not judge a collector based on the size of his berries.

Circulation product began in 1849 and continued through 1857, when the Act of February 1857 was ratified ending the reign of large cents and all half cents. Mintages during this period were small, generally under 100,000 per year. However, the coin had fallen out of everyday commercial use since the Hard Times of 1832-44. So, many of the half cents minted did not circulated much and many are available in high grade.

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