The beautiful half dollar in the picture comes from a current auction at Stack's Bowers where is opening bid is set to $37500 US dollars. This gives you an idea of the value of these coins.
In this day and age, any discussion of US Draped Bust coinage must start with the subject of counterfeits. Please review our appraisals associated with fake silver dollars at this CoinQuest link, and look at the side-by-side comparison immediately below.
The second compulsory subject is this:
NEVER CLEAN A COIN. CLEANING RUINS VALUE.
With those two items out of the way, we can say that these grand old coins from the inception of our democracy are one of the most sought-after collectibles in the nation. Collector demand is way up, and therefore so is value.
If you have any of these coins, seek out an in-person appraisal with a knowledgeable collector or coin dealer.
A major design shift happened in 1798 when this 'small eagle' reverse was replaced by the large 'heraldic eagle' reverse. The small eagle design is shown in our picture. Click to this page for the heraldic eagle coins.
Below is what the Grey Sheet, a conservative US price guide, says about the average catalog value of these coins. See our Terminology page to be sure you understand what 'catalog value' means.
SMALL EAGLE HALF DIMES (17 mm diameter)
worn: $1100 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $4000
well preserved: $7000
Fully uncirculated: $25000
SMALL EAGLE DIMES (19 mm diameter)
worn: $2500 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $5700
well preserved: $11000
Fully uncirculated: $50000
SMALL EAGLE QUARTER DOLLARS (28 mm diameter)
worn: $10000 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $30000
well preserved: $44000
Fully uncirculated: $120000
SMALL EAGLE HALF DOLLARS (33 mm diameter)
worn: $30000 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $58000
well preserved: $100000
Fully uncirculated: $300000
SMALL EAGLE DOLLARS (39 mm diameter)
worn: $1500 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $5000
well preserved: $10000
Fully uncirculated: $110000
These numbers are for coins without damage, which means they have no spots, stains, cleanings, scratches, nicks, gouges, and so forth. Any and all of these damages detract from the catalog values above.
If you would like to send us a scan or photo of your coin we can give you a better idea of value, and what you must do to preserve value. To do this, use our Contact Us page to start an e-mail exchange. Once e-mail is working, you can attach your file(s) to an e-mail message.