Ron Guth: The United States minted Half Cents intermittently between 1793 and 1857. While this unusual denomination might seem useless today, it was an important part of our monetary system back when working wages were $1 per 10-hour day.
The Liberty Cap Half Cent came in two different versions: the Head Left (issued in 1793 only) and the Head Right (issued from 1794 to 1797). The 1793 Half Cent is a scarce date and was one of the very first coins issued by the U.S. Mint. The rarest date in the Liberty Cap series is the 1796.
Sources and/or recommended reading:
"American Half Cents - Second Edition" by Roger S. Cohen, Jr.
"Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of United States Half Cents 1793-1857" by Walter Breen