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.
1795 Flowing Hair half dollar, O-106, Very Good Details, Plugged
Just three of the 52 1795 Flowing Hair half dollars sold for less
than $800 at the 2015 Heritage CSNS sale. Each of these had somewhat
severe problems. An example from the Hilt Collection, of the O-106
variety, that was once holed and had been repaired was graded NGC Very
Good Details, Plugged and sold for a reasonable $763.75.
The variety is very scarce, and Heritage notes: “Many advanced
collections are missing this die marriage, although it can be found
for a price.” This variety is characterized by a massive reverse die
break that splits the reverse across the eagle’s right wing and neck.
The repair was done skillfully and the resulting surfaces have retoned
nicely, making this a suitable choice for the budget-minded collector
looking for a filler example of this very tough Overton variety.
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