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US Draped Bust Half Dime, Dime, Quarter, Half, and One Dollar (Heraldic Eagle) 1798 to 1807
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 a 'small eagle' reverse was replaced by the large 'heraldic eagle' reverse. The heraldic design is shown in our picture. Click to this page for the small eagle reverse.
Below is what the Grey Sheet, a conservative US price guide, says about the average catalog value of these coins. See our Important Terminology page (link at upper left) to be sure you understand what 'catalog value' means.
HERALDIC EAGLE HALF DIMES (17 mm diameter)
worn: $800 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $2000
well preserved: $6000
Fully uncirculated: $20000
half dimes dated 1802 are extremely rare
HERALDIC EAGLE DIMES (19 mm diameter)
worn: $600 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $1200
well preserved: $4400
Fully uncirculated: $35000
dimes dated 1804 are extremely rare
HERALDIC EAGLE QUARTER DOLLARS (28 mm diameter)
worn: $400 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $1300
well preserved: $3200
Fully uncirculated: $18000
HERALDIC EAGLE HALF DOLLARS (33 mm diameter)
worn: $180 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $600
well preserved: $1700
Fully uncirculated: $15000
HERALDIC EAGLE DOLLARS (39 mm diameter)
worn: $1000 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $2400
well preserved: $4800
Fully uncirculated: $50000
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.
Look at the comparison of a genuine and fake coin. There are many not-so-subtle differences readily discernable. Some fakes, however, can only be determined by a skilled numismatist with a microscope.