US Coins

1797 Draped Bust, Small Eagle half dollar, O-101a, at auction

Regardless of condition, the Overton 101a variety of 1797 Draped Bust half dollar is needed for a complete variety collection of Bust half dollars.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

A coin need not be in pristine condition for a collector to be in hot pursuit of its acquisition.

A case in point is the 1797 Draped Bust, Small Eagle, Overton 101a half dollar variety graded Poor 1 by Professional Coin Grading Service being offered July 10 in Orlando, Fla., by Heritage Auctions.

An example of the variety is needed by a collector seeking to assemble a collection of Bust half dollars by die varieties as attributed in United States Early Half Dollar Die Varieties, 1794-1836 by Donald Parsley, expanding on the original work of Al C. Overton.

Draped Bust, Small Eagle half dollars bearing the date 1796 or 1797 are among the toughest and most expensive coins to acquire for a collector trying to complete a type set of early U.S. coins.

Most examples are in the Fine to Very Fine range, where prices hover between $55,000 and $85,000, which is financially out of reach for most collectors.

The PCGS Poor 1 example, according to Heritage, is a new discovery since the firm’s December 2012 publication of its reference, The Draped Bust Half Dollars of 1796-1797 by Jon P. Amato, edited by James L. Halperin and Mark Van Winkle.

The O-101a 1797 half dollar is one of 1,940 lots to be offered in Heritage Auctions July 10 and 11 sale at the Orange County Convention Center, West Concourse, 9800 International Drive.

The auction is being held in conjunction with the Florida United Numismatists Summer Convention.

For more information on the sale, visit Heritage Auctions online, telephone 800-872-6467, or write the firm at 3500 Maple Ave., 17th Floor, Dallas, TX 75219.

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