US Coins

1795 Flowing Hair half dollar worth of $140,000: Market Analysis

Topping the 1795 Flowing Hair half dollars at the 2015 CSNS sale was this O-129 variety graded MS-63+ CAC that sold for $141,000.

Heritage Auctions

The recent Central States Numismatic Society auctions by Heritage, April 22 to 26, presented an unusual opportunity for early half dollar collectors as it offered more than 50 separate 1795 Flowing Hair half dollars. Many came from the collection of Robert P. Hilt, who collected half dollars by variety as listed in the standard reference to the series, Al Overton’s Early Half Dollar Die Varieties 1794-1836. Collectors love these early half dollars, with odd varieties that document many of the issues that accompanied producing coins more than 200 years ago at the Philadelphia Mint.

The Coin 

1795 Flowing Hair half dollar, O-129, MS-63+ CAC

The Price 


The Story 

Selling for $141,000, the top 1795 Flowing Hair half dollar at the 2015 CSNS auctions was an O-129 variety graded Mint State 63+ by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker indicating quality within the grade. The variety is distinctive in that the second S in STATES on the reverse is punched over a D and the variety is visible in even low grades.

This example is likely the finest known, and Heritage notes that only three examples have been offered recently in grades finer than Extremely Fine, including one grading Mint State 61 that did not meet its reserve at an August 2014 Heritage auction.

The reverse shows planchet adjustment marks, which were on the planchet at the time the coin was struck, and Heritage reminds bidders, “The adjustment marks and associated weakness are strictly a result of the minting process and have no affect on the grade of this extremely important and likely finest known half dollar.”

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