From: Doug Ewell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Aug 16 2003 - 00:58:55 EDT
John Cowan <cowan at mercury dot ccil dot org> wrote:
> In 19th century California, it was common for things to cost 12.5
> cents, although the U.S. has never made coins for this amount, nor for
> 0.5 cents either.
The U.S. did indeed make half-cent coins, from 1793 through 1857.
However, they generally did not circulate outside of large East Coast
cities. Neither did one-cent coins, which were about 27 mm in diameter
until 1857 (roughly the size of a Sacagawea dollar). This resulted in
the dime/quarter pricing structure John described.
It seems strange that these coins did not circulate widely when you
consider how much one cent would buy in the 1850s.
U.S. postage stamps for ½ cent, 1½ cents, and 2½ cents were produced
well into the 20th century.
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