After a three-year pause in production, the half dollar returned at the beginning of the 19th Century with a new design that federal officials hoped would showcase our nation’s coinage through a combination of symbolism and artistry. With the new design, the rendition of the eagle on the reverse became more natural in appearance, as well as larger and more formal with a shield superimposed on its breast, now known as the heraldic eagle. On the obverse, it has been reported that the model for the Draped Bust of Miss Liberty was Mrs. William Bingham of Philadelphia who was considered one of the most beautiful women of her day. The thirteen stars that surround Miss Liberty on the obverse came to set the standard for the Mint. Before this issue was introduced, the number of stars on the obverse changed each time a new state was added to the Union. However, beginning with this issue, the thirteen stars remained static to represent the thirteen original colonies.
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