US Coins

Market Analysis: Finding value in half dollars

This stunning MS-66 1904-O Barber half dollar, among the finest-known, sold for a reasonable $8,100 at Heritage’s recent CSNS auction in Dallas, compared to the $27,600 it realized a decade ago.

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

The rare coin market has been remarkably resilient during the COVID-19 crisis, but many solid values can still be found at auction. Heritage’s April 23 to 24 Central States Numismatic Society auctions were moved from metropolitan Chicago to the auctioneer’s Dallas headquarters, and the last-minute move didn’t deter bidders.

The market for high-end Barber half dollar offered some great opportunities for value-minded collectors, as seen in a 1904-O half dollar graded Mint State 66 by Professional Coin Grading Service, one of just four PCGS certified in this graded with four finer. Heritage praised its clean, lustrous surfaces with “delicate peripheral rainbow toning, including gold, russet, violet, and blue.” It brought $8,100 at the Dallas CSNS auction, selling at a discount to its previous auction offerings.

It sold for $11,162.50 at Heritage’s August 2016 American Numismatic Association auction, $12,925 at an October 2015 Heritage auction, and at Heritage’s 2010 ANA auction in Boston it realized a whopping $27,600 as part of the Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Collection. During the past decade, the issue’s population in top grades has remained stable, but there’s a bit less competition for these finest-known issues than in 2010, creating opportunity.

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