US Coins

1795 Flowing Hair Overton Half Dollar intrigue: Market Analysis

A 1795 Flowing Hair half dollar grading VF-25, of the O-110a variety characterized by two distinctive die cracks, sold for a healthy $2,820 on April 23.

Images courtesy of 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-110a, VF-25

The Price


The Story 

Few Overton varieties are as dramatic as the 1795 O-110a, as it has a pair of parallel cracks that curve to the edge of the upper-right section of the obverse. This example, graded Very Fine 25 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., is particularly handsome for the grade with deep, rich and dimensional gray color on both sides that suggests original surfaces.

Heritage described the strike as decent, and noted a few small rim nicks at 7 o’clock relative to the obverse, but such minor distractions are to be expected on a coin of this age and of this grade. It sold for $2,820 to a floor bidder, which was a healthy price for a relatively common but very visually impressive variety.

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