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The Draped Bust Half Cent debuted in 1800 and ran through 1808. It was minted each year except for 1801, and, with the exception of the 1802 Draped Bust Half Cent, are usually available. The 1802 half cent is quite rare as only 20,266 were minted compared with 400,000 to over a million for the other dates. If you are collecting high grade half cent type coins, 1804 and 1805 are usually your best opportunity since mintages were comparatively high. 

Despite the lowly value of the cent today, the half cent was the workhorse of its day, commonly used in small transactions. During this period and through about the start of the Civil War, the half dollar was equivalent to today's $20 bill, which makes the half cent the equivalent of a quarter today.

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