The 1809 Half Cent is the first year of the Classic Head series, replacing the Draped Bust type with a new design by John Reich. The 1809 Half Cent was struck in record quantities. It has the highest mintage of any Half Cent and, along with the 1804, is one of only two dates with mintages over 1 million pieces. This high mintage does not make it the most common Half Cent, as the 1809 did not survive in hoard quantities as did other dates. Included in this mintage are some popular, well-recognized varieties, such as the "Circle in 0" (actually a large 0 over small 0) and "9 over 6" (actually a 9 over an inverted 9").
In circulated grades, the 1809 Half Cent is fairly common and can be obtained with relative ease. PCGS has certified several dozen 1809 Half Cents in Mint State, mostly in the MS-62 to MS-63 range, and mostly in Brown. A small handful of Gems are known, some with Red-Brown color, but none have been certified above MS-65 by PCGS. No full red 1809 Half Cents are known to exist.