US Coins

Half dollar is textbook example for the VG grade

The Very Good 10 grade is a bit tricky. It’s obviously nicer than Very Good 8, with more details remaining, but falls short of the traditional Fine 12 grade. Pricing, however, depending on eye appeal, can approach the level of Fine examples.

Few coins in the choice Very Good grade come nicer than this 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle half dollar with the 16 Star obverse, graded VG-10 by PCGS.

One of several examples of this rare two-year type that were offered at the 2018 ANA auctions, it carried a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker and realized $40,800 at the Stack’s Bowers Aug. 15 auction. 

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A Guide Book of United States Coins (the “Red Book”) defines Very Good in the series as, “Major details discernible. Letters well formed but worn,” further defining Fine as, “Hair ends distinguishable. Top hair lines visible, but otherwise worn smooth.” The offered coin is a textbook representative of the “in between” VG-10 grade, and the cataloger further observed, “A few old, dull abrasions are easily overlooked, although they proved extremely useful in identifying this coin’s past auction appearances.”

Indeed, the well-traveled half dollar has been offered at least six times at auction since 2005, most recently bringing $41,687.50 at a Heritage December 2010 auction. 

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