When the coin first came out in 1793, the weight of the coin was 6.739 grams, but was changed to 5.443 grams in 1795. The half cent was discontinued on February 21, 1857. All Half cents were minted at the Philadelphia Mint. Every half cent was 2 mm thick, with diameters of 22 mm (1793), 23.5 mm (1794–1836) and 23 mm (1840–1857). It was made of 100% Cu. (Copper) (For an article about copper, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper) (The article about copper is not mine. I did not create it, nor edit it.) The edge was lettered on 1793 and 1797, plain through 1794 to 1857, and gripped on 1797. The size of the half cent was slightly smaller than the modern U.S. quarter.
Styles/types and mintage of half cents
The first half cent made was the liberty cap (left). It only ran for one year, with a total mintage of 35,334. The second design was liberty cap (right). It ran for 4 years (1794-1797), with a total mintage of 350,250. The third design was called the draped bust. It ran for 9 years (1800-1808). It had a total mintage of 3,416,950. The fourth (and longest) design was called the classic bust. The United States mint produced these half cents from 1809 to 1836. All coins from 1836 were proofs (For info on proofs, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_coinage), and all coins from 1837 were made by private businessmen, due to the need for small change. The total mintage (excluding proofs and private tokens) was 3,517,912. The fifth and final design was the braided hair ran from 1840 to 1857. All coins minted from 1840 to 1849 and 1852 were proofs, and weren't used for circulation. The total mintage (excluding proofs and restrikes) was 544,510.