Q. David Bowers (edited and updated by Mike Sherman): Following a span of years from 1806 to 1828, when no half dimes were minted, the Capped Bust style was introduced in 1829. The design is quite similar to that used on the dime from 1809 to 1837, by John Reich, and was modified from that source by William Kneass, Mint engraver. The obverse features Liberty facing to the left, her hair covered by a cloth cap secured by a band inscribed LIBERTY, with tresses flowing down to her shoulder. Her neckline is draped with a gown, secured with a brooch at the shoulder. Seven stars are to the left and six to the right. The date is below. The reverse features an eagle with the shield on its breast, perched on a branch and holding arrows, with E PLURIBUS UNUM on a scroll above, and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and 5C. surrounding.
The span of coinage from 1829 to 1837 contains no rare dates (although some individual die varieties within the dates are elusive), so the type collector has their choice of the entire range. Specimens seen today are most often encountered in grades from Very Good to Very Fine, and these are fairly plentiful. Extremely Fine and AU pieces can also be found with frequency. Uncirculated coins are scarce, while truly Gem Uncirculated pieces are rare. Most issues are well struck, so it is possible to pick the grade you want and acquire a piece with excellent design detail definition.
-- Reprinted with permission from "United States Coins by Design Types - An Action Guide for the Collector and Investor" by Q. David Bowers