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Date Variety Rarity Grade Description Price Photos
Flowing Hair Half-Dollar, 1794-1795
1795/1795 3-Leaf O.111, T.19 4+ PCGS VF 25 NEW.  Ex Dale Friend, noted on the PCGS label.  A charismatic rarity, sought by Red Book and die variety collectors alike.  Aside from rarity, this die pair offers multiple enticements.  First, the date was initially entered too low, then repunched in the correct position.  The underlying digits are distinct.  Second, of 33 listed die pairs of the year, this is the only one with 3 leaves under the left wing.  All others have 2 leaves.  Finally, the reverse die is hallmarked by a magnificent, bisecting die break.  The depth of the fracture invariably yields areas of striking weakness, obverse and reverse.  It also explains the rarity of the issue.  No examples are known without the die break.  The die must have failed not long after entering service.  When Dale Friend homed in on bust half-dollars he sought the best.  His collection was replete with condition census examples.  He was never able to corral a better example of the 3-leaf variety and was pleased to locate this choice VF with smooth surfaces and colorful, original pastel toning.  As with many bust half rarities the scant population of 1795 3-leaves is infested with worn, damaged, cleaned, recolored and "toyed with" examples.  Here is a happy exception.  The coin was last auctioned in Heritage's 2019 FUN Show sale, lot 3301. $12,250 SOLD
Draped Bust, Small Eagle Half-Dollars, 1796-1797
1796 16 Stars O.102 R.5+ PCGS Fine Details Ex John Story Jenks. Offered in Henry Chapman's sale of the Jenks Collection, December 1921, lot 5913.  Barry Broyde, BHNC #104, acquired it for $18,400 in Stack's December 1987 sale where lot 537 was offered as a raw VF.  PCGS properly notes that the coin was cleaned, not harshly I should add.  The coin is nicely detailed for its modest grade.  Hints of luster survive in protected areas of the eagle's wings and some letters of the legend.  If the time has arrived to fill that gaping hole in your date or type set without shelling out $50,000 or more we should talk.  A photocopy of Broyde's Dec. 14, 1987 invoice for the coin is available upon request. $37,000
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The Beaver Falls Collection - Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle Half-Dollars, 1801-1807
1806/5 O.101 R.3 PCGS AU 50 Cert. no. 43607843.  Untoned.  Luster stronger through stars and legend.  Evenly struck with most breast feathers showing.  From Southwest Numismatic Corp., Aug. 22, 1971. $3,150
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1806 Pt. 6, Stem O.120a R.4 PCGS AU 53 Cert. no. 43698478.  Thin halo of copper toning through dentils, otherwise brilliant.  Strong luster for a "53" and well struck throughout.  Private purchase during the July 1979 ANA Convention. $2,900
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Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle Half-Dollars, 1801-1807
1805 O.104a, T-10 6+ PCGS VG 08 With 13 or 14 known specimens, this die state [Tompkins' DS-5] barely escapes an R.7 rarity rating.  Aside from the Jules Reiver specimen (that sold instantly) I've not handled an example since the Meyer VF sold for $6,750 in 2008.  Until the appearance of this coin there was but one auction offering in the past decade, a dismal looking piece graded F.12 by ANACS at $5,000 in June 2012.  Barry Broyde's F.12 was a steal last November, selling for $2,400.  This offering features dark grey fields, lighter devices.  The full, retained cuds at stars 10-12 sounded a death knell for the obverse die; they are, however, an Ode to Joy for the growing number of collectors who covet early US coins with magnificent cud. $2,495
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1805 O.106, T-13 R.4- PCGS MS 62 NEW.  Ex Green-Newman, noted on the PCGS label.  An impossibly beautiful 1805.  I had the pleasure of cataloging the coin for Heritage in its landmark November 2013 sale of Eric P. Newman's coins.  "A stunning coin.  Richly toned from repose in an album.  Both sides have rich bluish-green periperies, gradually changing to light gray at the centers....  The luster is truly exceptional; 1805s just don't come this lustrous!"  Howard Sharfman owned the coin in September 2021 when Legend offered his remarkable set of early half-dollars.  Its cataloguer, Greg Cohen, was equally dumbfounded by the quality of the coin.  It ranks "at the top of the Tompkins Condition Census and will above anything listed in Overton....  This is a sensational Draped Bust half-dollar ... richly toned from long term storage in an envelope or album."  Lot 19 in that sale brought $32,900. $35,000
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1806 Over Inverted 6 O.111"b", T-11 R.7 PCGS VF 30 The coveted terminal die state.  Two magnificent rim cuds flank UN and TED of UNITED; a swooping die break bisects the obverse from the rim above ER in LIBERTY to the rim below the 8 in the date.  Luster flickers through the stars and legend.  The smooth, grey surfaces are free of distractions.  The coin was uncovered by Dave Kahn some time ago and sold privately into the collection of Dr. Charles Link.  I find no auction record of the piece.  In Sept. 2018 Heritage offered an O.111"b" graded PCGS VF 20.  It brought $3,480.  The Kahn-Link coin is a bit nicer. $3,600
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The Beaver Falls Collection - Capped Bust Half-Dollars, 1807-1836
1810 O.107/107a R.4 PCGS MS 62 Cert. no. 43698481.  Frosty, untoned UNC.  Near Condtion Census.  Well struck central devices save for top of left wing.  Intermediate die state.  VERY scarce die pair in this grade.  Ex Joseph Lepczyk Sale #39, April 25, 1981, lot 102 with tag. $3,250 SOLD
1811 Large 8 O.103 R.3 PCGS AU 58 Cert. no. 43607881.  Brilliant, untoned with a whisper of friction on the cheek.  Great depth of luster.  The mark-free surfaces are interrupted by a bevy of clash marks.  Sharply struck central devices.  A nice coin!  Ex New England Rare Coin Auctions' Dec. 3-4 Cambridge Sale, lot 886 with tag. $2,750
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1811 Small 8 O.110 R.1 NGC AU 58 Cert. no. 6448862-001.  Brilliant, with unmarked surfaces.  All devices well struck.  Weakness confined to reverse dentils.  Full cartwheel luster.  Ex Kagin's Sept. 1981 G.E.N.A Sale, lot 885 with tag. $1,500 SOLD
1813 O.102 R.3 PCGS AU 58 Cert. no. 43698485.  Rare in high grade.  Same obverse die as the O.101, now well worn.  Lustrous, untoned.  No signs of actual circulation.  Slightly busy surfaces.  From Norm Pullen, Oct. 19, 1979. $2,400
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1819 O.110 R.4 PCGS AU 58 Cert. no. 43607884.  Lightly toned.  Decent though not vibrant luster.  A few contact marks.  AU 55 would be an accurate designation.  A scarce die pair in higher grades.  From Bowers & Ruddy's August 1978 ANA sale, lot 988A without tag. $1,625
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1820 Sq.2, Lg. Date, Knob 2 O.104 R.3? PCGS XF 45 Cert. no. 43724284.  BHNC demoted the die variety from R.4 to R.3.  I enter a respectful objection.  Check your auction prices realized to confirm the scarcity of the issue.  This example sports deep antique grey toning in the fields, lighter on the devices.  Some luster survives in protected areas.  The strike and detail suit the assigned grade.  From my bourse offerings at the Aug. 1987 ANA Convention in Atlanta.  (I recall my friend Henry Hilgard bringing platters of raw oysters to my table for afternoon snacks.) $1,250 SOLD
1824 O.115 R.2 NGC AU 55 Cert. no. 6448862-004.  Untoned with bold cartwheel luster.  The short drift mark by Liberty's nose cost this one at least 3 grading points.  I note just a trace of friction on the portrait.  The reverse is UNC.  From Paul Padgett, Feb. 18, 1984. $595
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1827 Sq. Base 2 O.136 R.4- PCGS MS 61 Cert. no. 43709367.  A blanket of original, antique grey toning encases this magnificent - and scarce - die pair.  Soft, unbroken luster glows beneath the toning, a testament to the coin's mint state status.  Here is a prize for a serious die variety collector.  From Paul Padgett, July 19, 1984, at the ANA Convention in Detroit. $2,100
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1832 Small Letters O.112 R.2 PCGS AU 58 Cert. no. 43220079.  The" Dash Date" variety, hard to find in high grade.  Cabinet friction on the cheek, otherwise Mint State.  Bold luster blankets the untoned, generally smooth surfaces.  From New England Rare Coin Galleries' Bicentennial Publick Rare Coin Auction Part II, July 23-24, 1976, lot 1067 with tag. $850
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Capped Bust Half-Dollars, 1807-1836
1809 III Edge O.109a R.2 PCGS AU 50 PRICE REDUCED!
Ex Tom Sears.  Evenly toned, light grey with hints of pale gold;  smooth surfaces and loads of luster.  A first rate "AU 50."
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1810 O.105 R.2 PCGS MS 61 PRICE REDUCED!
An original bust half with a handsome “grey dirt” obverse and an outrageously colorful reverse that features shades of magenta and crimson.  Weak rims suggest a late die state.  The central devices, however, are decently impressed.  Recently removed from an NGC MS 62 capsule.  (The NGC label accompanies.)  From Heritage’s 1999 FUN Show Sale, lot 6725.  This is a “killer” date in AU and UNC.
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1811 Sm. 8 O.108 R.2 PCGS Shield AU 58 PRICE REDUCED!
Ex Tom Sears.  Flashy luster, lightly toned.  Drawn stars attest to the late die state.  Pleasing surfaces.  A "rim pinch" beneath 18 of the date is Mint made - and not a "pinch."  The blank planchet failed to make a 180° rotation in the Castaing Machine.  The upshot, of course, was a failure to raise the rim in the flattened area.  This minor mint error does not affect value but certainly adds to our fascination for these products of the early Mint.
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1811 Small 8 O.110a 1 PCGS AU 58 CAC NEW.  A wisp of friction on Liberty’s chin kept this magnificent 1811 from a mint state designation.  Pay attention to the detail in Liberty’s curls, the folds in her cap and the drapery lines.  Remarkable!  The coin is untoned with extravagant luster.  CAC is fussy when asked to sticker “white” coins.  The eye appeal of this early date was simply irresistible. $2,250 SOLD
1813 O.108 R.3 PCGS AU 58 PRICE REDUCED!
Flamboyant luster with a veneer of silver-grey toning.  Well struck centers.  Strong eye appeal.  From the collection of Rex and Cindy Phillips offered by Heritage at the Aug. 2017 ANA Convention where it brought $3,055.
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1814 Single Leaf O.105a R.4 PCGS AU 55 CAC A marvelous 1814 Single Leaf.  The eye appeal is head and shoulders above the darkly toned AU 55 CAC I offered in 2014 (lot 91, MB 39 @ $5,341, reappearing in a March 2017 Legend auction @ $6,325).  Shimmering luster graces the silver-grey toning.  The surfaces are exceptionally smooth save for a tick, right of the date; adjustment marks in the upper left of the reverse are unusual and fascinating but do not enter a discussion of value.  A glance at auction records will tell you that high grade examples of this Red Book staple are rare.  This CAC approved example belongs in a top-flight Red Book or PCGS Registry set. $5,000
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1814 E over A O.108a R.1 PCGS AU 55 Red Book condition rarity - though “R.1” to die variety collectors.  Why are there so few AU or nicer examples?  I don’t have the answer.  This untoned example sports extravagant luster, obverse and reverse.  Weakness at the eagle’s head and left wing is a hallmark of the variety and stark contrast to the well-detailed obverse portrait.  Unless you find clash marks a bother, you will adore the nearly mark-free surfaces.  PCGS pegs AU 55 examples at $6,000. $4,950
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1817 Punctuated Date O.103 R.2 PCGS AU 55 PRICE REDUCED!
Strong cartwheel luster rolls across the smooth, untoned surfaces. The punctuation mark between 1 and 7 is sharp.  A light, vertical toning streak crosses the right side of the eagle.  Choice AU examples of this Red Book variety never go unnoticed. This one brought $4,700 in Legend's Sept. 2018 sale of The Konstantine Collection.
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1817 Punctuated Date O.103 R.2 PCGS Gold Shield AU 55 Pale grey toning with just the right dose of cartwheel luster.  The strike is generally balanced though some weakness shows in the eagle's claws and neck.  The centers are framed by high, well separated dentils.  Having two choice AU examples of this popular Red Book variety at the same time is a rare and welcome event. $3,650
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1820/19 Curl Base 2 O.102 R.1 PCGS AU 58 Stone grey toning, obverse and reverse, with full cartwheel luster and distinctly prooflike surfaces on the reverse.  Minor ticks from short term circulation may have denied this one a CAC sticker.  It is an old friend.  I purchased it at a Heritage auction in 2014 (at $3,525) and sold it to Dr. Tom Sears.  Though more common than its square base 2 sibling, no high grade 1820, overdate or not, is to be ignored.  Only the 1807 and 1815 mintages are lower in the Capped Bust series.  Six of the eight Overton die varieties are also Red Book varieties. $3,500
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1825 O.112 R.3 PCGS Gold Shield MS 66 Electrifying eye appeal!  The iridescent toning is surreal.  Dalí would approve.  So did the noted collector Jm O'Neal when he spotted the coin in Heritage's Aug. 2015 ANA Sale.  (Lot 4055 brought $17,625.)  O'Neal is the retired CEO of Frito-Lay International as well as PepsiCo Restaurants International (think Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut.).  Here is a coin that must be seen.  The accompanying photo is a mere hors d'oeuvre.  Is it the finest known of the die pair?  NGC graded the Kauffman specimen MS 66.  It is a sparkling gem, though dipped.  I'll put my money on the O'Neal coin. 15,750
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1828 Curl 2 No Knob O.102 R.2 PCGS Gold Shield MS 63 PRICE REDUCED!
Ex Tom Sears from an Aug. 2012 Heritage auction.  Original, silver-grey patina, a bit mottled on the obverse.  A solid, uncirculated coin with a razor sharp portrait and eagle.  Weakness in the stars and lowest drapery lines is standard for the issue.
$2,000 SOLD
1828 Sq. Base Knob 2, Lg. 8's O.108 R.3 PCGS Gold Shield MS 64 PRICE REDUCED!
Rich antique toning with deep, deep, deep underlying luster.  The PCGS label includes the provenance, Dr. Charles Link.  The coin rates No. 3 in the Condition Census.  Overton identified 23 die pairs for 1828.  Just two feature a square base, knob 2 with large 8s.  This was lot 56 in Legend's Sept. 2018 of "The Konstantine Collection," bringing $4,113, a rare bargain in that important sale.  My personal notes emphasized the original toning and surfaces that grace this scarce Red Book variety.
$4,400 SOLD
A crust of antique grey toning fails to hide the caky underlying luster. Reverse die rotated 25°, not uncommon in the capped bust series.  A sweet, original coin.
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1831 O.109 R.1 PCGS Gold Shield MS 65 A gem bust half with smooth, satiny surfaces, robust luster and spectacular iridescent toning.  The central devices are sharp.  Note the detail in Liberty's curls and eagle's feathers.  Slight weakness at the lowest drapery lines and motto opposite is typical for this die pair.  (Compare the Overton plate coin.)  A delight for the date or type collector. $5,750
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1831 O.118 R.3 PCGS Gold Shield AU 58 Untoned with full luster.  The centers well struck, slight weakness in the motto.  A flashy 1831! $720
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1831 O.120 R.6 PCGS Gold Shield VF 20 PRICE REDUCED!
A bulge in the left obverse field is the calling-card of this rarity.  It is easy to spot, yet only 20 or so examples have surfaced since Don Gunnett discovered the variety in 1970, immediately after Al Overton published the 2nd edition to his standard reference.  I've traced 33 auction appearances over the past 30 years.  Most are second and third appearances of the same coin.  I've yet to spot an unqualified XF encapsulated by NGC or PCGS.  The Tetenhorst-Byers-Link prooflike MS 63 Wonder Coin is the finest by far.  Charlton Meyer had a PCGS AU 50; a generously graded NGC AU 53 passed through the hands of BHNC notables Mike Summers, Charles De Olden, Troy Nelson and Keith Davignon.  An unattributed PCGS AU 55 appeared in 2019 and quickly found a home at the 2020 FUN Show.  Most of the others are cleaned, scratched, plugged, burnished or environmentally damaged.  This one has an indentation near the top of the diagnostic bulge, in front of Liberty's nose.  It is consistent with the grade.  The light to moderatly toned surfaces require no other qualification.  The overall detail is VF 25.  PCGS probably docked the coin 5 points on account of the referenced mark.  For many years veterans of the die variety wars put 3 coins in the the same basket for purposes of assessing rarity and value: the 1817 O.104, 1827 O.137 and 1831 O.120.  The 1827 O.148 has joined the group and the 1823 O.113 may soon catch up.  The owner of any of these die marriages merits respect and, yes, a touch of jealousy from his or her collecting friends.  Here is your chance to garner a claim to fame in the world of bust halves.  Ex Chris Merrill Collection.
$7,500 SOLD
1832 Sm. Lets. O.110 R.1 PCGS MS 62 An original crust of tan-grey toning subdues the full luster.  Well struck central devices, standard weakness (for this die pair) at the motto and lower drapery lines. $1,225
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1832 Sm. Lets. Dash Date O.112 R.2 PCGS Gold Shield MS 62 PRICE REDUCED!
The dash date variety, also found on the R.7 proof-only 1832 O.123.  Even, light to medium grey toning.  Unbroken luster supports the mint state designation.
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1832 Sm. Lets. O.118 R.1 PCGS AU 58 CAC Another well struck 1832.  Lightly toned with full luster.  A trace of friction on the cheek.  From Howard Sharfman's Everyman Registry Set. $850 SOLD
1834 Lg. Date, Sm. Lets. O.107 R.1 PCGS AU 58 Brilliant with undiminished luster in the fields.  Light gold toning highlights the stars and legend. $775
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The Beaver Falls Collection - Draped Bust Dollars, 1796-1802
1798 Lg. Eagle B.12, BB 120 R.4 PCGS VF 30 Cert. no. 44539368.  Medium grey with some darker areas.  Die breaks from rim to bust, between 79 of date, and in left field through inner points of star 1.  From Bowers & Ruddy's sale of the Wilfred E. Helwig Collection, Feb. 1979, lot 817 with tag. $3,000
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1860 Half Dime Judd-267 4 PCGS MS 66 CAC PRICE REDUCED!
One of the few US Patterns familiar to non-collectors of the series. It is known as The Coin Without a Country
 as neither side includes the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. This transitional pattern resulted from the Mint's decision to move the legend from the reverse to the obverse. Anthony Paquet's 1859 seated liberty figure is paired with James Longacre's new reverse. Neither design incorporated the legend. About 100 pieces are known, many in high grade as they were not coined for circulation. The Simpson coin, PCGS MS 68, is the finest.  All examples show areas of striking weakness. This example last appeared in Stack's/Bowers 2014 Americana Sale. It is semi-prooflike with indescribably pretty toning, likely imparted by storage in tissue paper. As with all coins in this offering it comes with a 5-day return privilege. Beware -- once the coin is in your hands you will NOT let loose!
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Sheridan Downey, Numismatist
4400 Keller Ave., Suite 140, PMB 398
Oakland, California 94605
(510) 479-1585

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