US Coins

Market Analysis: Americana strong at Stack's Bowers auction

An 1824 Capped Bust half dollar hosting a pair of counterstamps depicting George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette brought $26,400 on June 18.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

The June 18 Numismatic Americana and Early American Coins session at Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ recent Santa Ana auctions featured some seldom-seen rarities that brought strong prices.

Among them was a Mint State 1824 Capped Bust half dollar identified as an Overton 110 variety because of repunching to the 4 in the date, but what’s special are the prominent counterstamps of George Washington on the obverse and the Marquis de Lafayette on the reverse.

Lafayette toured the United States in 1824 and 1825 at the invitation of President James Monroe. While these counterstamps are more frequently seen on Coronet cents dated 1816 to 1823, around five are known on half dollars, and the offered example from the Q. David Bowers Collection is likely the finest of these. A 1921 article in the American Numismatic Association publication The Numismatist says, “Where and when the stamping was done has not been satisfactorily determined,” and a century later research on these stamps continues. Stack’s Bowers observes, “The entire package — host coin and counterstamps — is beautifully toned with iridescent highlights of powder blue and champagne-pink on dominant dove-gray patina.” It sold for $26,400.

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