This series was the first time that the half dime was struck in proof format. While the Mint did not yet regularly produce and sell proof coins to collectors, Proof Capped Bust Half Dimes (Buy on eBay) are known to exist for most dates of the series. Estimated mintages range from just a few pieces to 30 coins at maximum.
Third party coin grading companies have certified proof coins for the years 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1834, and 1836. No proofs are known for 1833 or 1835, and proofs for 1837 are rumored to exist but remain doubtful. An extremely small number of proofs have been certified with the cameo designation indicating frosted design elements against mirrored fields.
It is important to note that the status of some Proof Capped Bust Half Dimes is disputed. Some early die states which were sharply struck on exceptionally fine planchets have the appearance of proofs. To further complicate matters, no specific proof dies are known. The Mint used regular business strike dies to produce proofs, and these same dies were also used to strike coins for circulation both before and after the production of the enigmatic proof coins.
Collecting these pieces, like all early proof coinage, is extremely challenging. A date set or basic type set of the Capped Bust proof coinage can take decades to complete, due to the impressive rarity of these pieces and infrequency of offerings.