US Coins

Market Analysis: 1848 half cent more than brown

Graded Proof 65 brown and carrying a green CAC sticker, this original 1848 Braided Hair half cent displays various colors depending on the angle of view and sold for $29,375 at Legend’s Regency 54 sale on Sept. 8.

Images courtesy of Legend Rare Coin Auctions.

Grading guides and certification services use just three color designations for copper coins: red, red and brown, and brown. However, there are many variations within these colors that go beyond what these categories sound like. An example is the 1848 Braided Hair half cent graded Proof 65 by PCGS with a green CAC sticker in Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ Regency 54 sale. At angles it offered vibrant magenta tones, along with a bit of original Mint red color in the protected areas.

The date is a Proof only issue, with both originals struck and restrikes made later at the Philadelphia Mint to satisfy collector demand. This original issue had an extensive recent auction history, selling at Legend in October 2021 for $32,900, and soon after at Heritage, who noted “powder-blue toning,” and where it brought $28,800 in May 2022. In Legend’s San Diego sale, it realized $29,375, neatly between the two recent offerings.

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