US Coins

Market Analysis: Nearly flawless Proof Cameo 1909 half dollar a stunner

Among the Barber dimes, quarter dollars and half dollars, which share a common design, the larger surface area of the half dollar means that the Proof strikes of this denomination can be particularly impressive. 

The profiled 1909 Barber half dollar graded Proof 68 Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service is a stunner. It was offered in 2015 at Heritage’s sale of the Gene Gardner Collection when — then graded Proof 68 Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. — it brought $11,162.50. At that sale Heritage noted, “This splendid, totally original PR68 Cameo half dollar rests at the threshold of perfection, toned in russet, sea-green, and violet shades that leave small openings of brilliance in the center of each side.” 

Most collectors are happy to select one Proof Barber half dollar for a type set, but they can own more. Heritage explains, “Cameo proofs of Barber coinage are surprisingly collectible, and collectors can form extensive date runs without encountering the challenges of a 1901-S quarter, or, for that matter, an 1894-S dime.” 

Indeed, many collectors have found the reduced prices for nice classic era Proof coins attractive of late and demand has been building from both type and set collectors. This lovely Proof 1909 Barber half dollar brought $9,900 on Dec. 5, among a handsome group of Barber half dollars offered at Heritage's final U.S. Coin Signature Auction of the year in Dallas. 

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