US Coins

Market Analysis: Mint State 1820/19 Capped Bust half dollar a blatant overdate

Capped Bust half dollars remain an enduringly popular series for collectors, enjoying a long run from 1807 to 1836 with a lettered edge, continuing with a reeded edge from 1836 to 1839, when the type was replaced with Christian Gobrecht’s Seated Liberty motif. The lettered edge varieties are cataloged in Al C. Overton’s book Early Half Dollar Die Varieties 1794–1836, which remains the standard series reference today.

Heritage offered the third part of Dale Friend’s collection of Capped Bust half dollars this August at its American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money auctions in metropolitan Chicago. The auction showcased some higher-end examples of this always popular collecting area.

An 1820/19 Capped Bust half dollar with the Curl Base 2 at the date, O-102, is not a rare variety within the series. But the 19 below the 20 at the date provides clear evidence of the blatant reuse of dies at the early Philadelphia Mint. Both the O-101 and O-102 die marriages are overdates, with the former utilizing a Square Base 2.

Heritage observes “chestnut-gold, olive, and dove-gray patina graces the satiny and carefully preserved, ultra-smooth surfaces of this Select Uncirculated example.” The Mint State 63 Professional Coin Grading Service encapsulated half dollar sold for $8,400 on Aug. 14.

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