US Coins

Market Analysis: AU-58+ CAC half brings Mint State money

The Capped Bust half dollar series is notoriously tricky to grade as the broad, flat plane at Liberty’s cheek can easily show a break in luster and the eagle’s wings are sometimes weakly struck. These flaws are sometimes characterized as wear, which means that it would grade About Uncirculated. At other times, market-based grading can elevate these to lower Mint State grades.

This 1830 Capped Bust half dollar, with a small 0 in the date, O-113, is as close as it gets to Mint State. Graded AU-58+ by Professional Coin Grading Service, it has a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker.

Heritage writes, “If not for a touch of rub on the eagle’s upper wing and brow, plus a few tiny, nondescript marks, this delightfully album-toned coin would be in a full Mint State holder.” Heritage uses the term “borderline Uncirculated” and before third-party grading these sliders were sometimes called “commercial Uncirculated.”

Indeed, with its classic “album toning” where concentric circles of color hug the edges toward less colorful centers, it is superior in eye appeal to many Mint State survivors, and it sold for $4,320 on Aug. 14. The price was multiples of a typical AU-58 O-113 half dollar and approached the $5,405 that an MS-64 example with a green CAC sticker brought at Heritage’s 2017 ANA auction in Denver.

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