The first delivery of Flowing Hair Half Dimes occurred on March 30, 1795. These coins had been minted in February or March 1795, although they were dated 1794. It seems that production had been expected to begin in the prior year and a number of obverse and reverse dies were prepared in anticipation. For some unknown reason, but most likely lack of silver or an unfinished design, the start of production was postponed until the following year.
As the early Philadelphia Mint had little money to spare, the 1794 obverse dies continued to be utilized for production, until they became unusable and were replaced by the correctly dated 1795 obverse dies. As the reverse design of the coin remained unchanged, these could be used with different dated obverse dies without problem. Production would continue for he remaining months of 1795, until a new obverse design was introduced in the following year. The reverse would not be altered until 1800.
From the Mint records, it has been determined that a total of 86,416 Flowing Hair Half Dimes were produced. The ratio of 1794 to 1795 coins minted is unclear, although Walter Breen has suggested a ratio of one 1794 for every ten 1795 half dimes. The ratio of surviving specimens is closer to one for every three, but this may have been the result of hoarding of the earlier dated pieces.
Needless to say, both the 1794 and 1795 Flowing Hair Half Dimes are extremely rare issues, especially so in uncirculated condition. Because of the popularity as a type coin, the difference in price levels between the two dates is not as dramatic as might be expected, although the earlier date does command a premium at all grade levels.