The mintage levels for the Draped Bust Half Eagle depended on the amount of gold bullion deposited at the Mint. In the earliest years of the series, the quantity deposited was low resulting in extremely limited mintages. The levels rose during the latter part of the series and particularly after the turn of the century, resulting in higher levels.
The mintages typically encountered for this series are based on delivery warrants which specify the number of half eagles delivered on a given day. Since these warrants do not specify particular varieties or dates carried on the coins, the exact figures are unknown for certain issues of the series. Because of this, estimating of the relative rarity of these issues should mostly be done on the number of pieces that are known to exist, although modern researchers like Hilt, Breen and Bass-Dannreuther have come up with reasonable accepted estimates. The 1798 Half Eagle with the small eagle reverse is of utmost rarity with only seven pieces confirmed to exist.
The coins of this series struck after 1800 are the most frequently encountered, along with the 1795 issue, which somehow has survived in relatively high numbers. Its price, however, remains high thanks to the popularity of the design and demand from advanced type set collectors. Other issues and varieties range from unique to very scarce, but none of these early half eagles, regardless of mintage, can actually be considered to be common. Individual die varieties range from very numerous, especially for the early dates, although all of the latter dates also have numerous die varieties known for each year.
Draped Bust Half Eagle Mintages
|Small Eagle Reverse|
|Heraldic Eagle Reverse|