The Flowing Hair Half Dime is found with only two dates, which were actually both struck in a single year. These pieces were the smallest silver coins authorized by the Mint Act of 1792. The coins were first produced in February or March 1795, from dies dated 1794.
Mint Engraver Robert Scot is said to have created the Flowing Hair design. On the obverse, a relatively large head of liberty is facing right, with long hair flowing backwards. Fifteen stars are around and the date is beneath the truncation of the neck. The word LIBERTY appears just above the head.
The reverse features an eagle standing on a branch, with its wings spread. A small wreath extends from the area of the branch and extends upwards to surround the eagle. The inscription “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” appears around the outer edge of the image.
Interestingly, the denomination is not noted anywhere on the design. Apparently, the Mint officials considered the coins to be easily identifiable by their size and weight. These were the first coins that the Mint struck in somewhat larger numbers. The coins were known to have circulated among the more populated areas in the east.
Examples are mostly encountered in lower grades with various problems, while high grade specimens with original surfaces are extremely rare. Despite their rarity, these coins are not as expensive as the larger denominations, although this does not mean that they are easily found in any condition. The Flowing Hair Half Dime represents an important type coin and one of the more difficult coins to acquire for an advanced type set.