1836 Proof Classic Head Half Cent

The Proof 1836 Classic Head Half Cent is a very rare issue, and the start of many proof-only dates for the half cent denomination. The others would follow in the subsequent Braided Hair Half Cent design.

Restrikes of the 1836 Classic Head Half Cent would be made at a later point, and would be produced from either the reverse die of the original, or the reverse die type used for the proof half cent coinage from 1840 to 1857.

The difference between the originals and first restrikes is very minimal, and good knowledge of the characteristics is needed to tell them apart. Unlike the 1831 restrikes, these are not differentiated in the Red Book, and are not widely known outside of devoted specialists of the series. Walter Breen, in his Encyclopedia of United States Half Cents listed the definitive method of identifying these, but it remains difficult.  The restrikes will have sharp, knife-like rims, with the originals having more flat rims, similar in appearance to proofs struck from 1832 to 1835.

All three varieties are extremely rare and seldom encountered in any grade. They are considered prized rarities of the half cent denomination.