PCGS Set Registry®
Capped Bust Half Dollars Major Variety Set without Reeded Edges, Circulation Strikes (1807-1836): The Early American Silver Major Variety Set of Lettered Edge Half Dollars

The Early American Silver Major Variety Set of Lettered Edge Half Dollars

Current Statistics
Rank 1
Weighted GPA 65.311
Complete 100.00%
Set Rating 65.311
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About this set: Capped Bust Lettered Edge Half Dollars are a very interesting series to collect. From the Early Federal period of United States coinage, yet the date set easily collectible in all grades up to mint state. Since the individual obverse and reverse dies were prepared by hand punching lettering and numbering into the die, significant variations are present in figure and lettering positioning and many minor errors as well. The major variations and die preparation errors have been grouped into the Redbook as major varieties. These major varieties are highly collectible and become a great deal more challenging to collect.

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The Early American Silver Major Variety Set of Lettered Edge Half Dollars
ImagePCGS No.ItemDenomGradePCGS No. PopPCGS No. Pop HigherTotal PopTotal Pop HigherOwner's Comments
60861807 Large Stars, 50/2050CMS652030O.112 R1. Gardner. Tied for finest known. Flashy luster with highlights of bright aqua blue around edge devices. From Collection of Eugene Gardner sold by Heritage Auctions on June 23, 2014, Lot 30468. Described by Heritage cataloger as, This attractive example displays bright mint luster with deep golden-russet and blue peripheral toning. Sharply defined on the neck feathers of the eagle, but showing the usual softness on the left (facing) wing." Obtained from Michael Contursi at Rare Coin Wholesalers by private treaty on November 21, 2014.
393591807 Small Stars50CMS65+1020 
393611807 Large Stars50CMS661010O.114 R3. Norweb. Pogue. CAC. Finest Known 1807 Capped Half Dollar.
393571807 Bearded Liberty50CAU551020O.111b R5. CAC. Grey dirt original surfaces with luster emanating from underneath the original patina. Obtained by private treaty with Jason Carter on February 14, 2015.
393781808/7 50CMS661010O.101 R1. Finest Known 1808/7 Half Dollar.
39395180950CMS66+1010O.106 R3.
393821809 XXX Edge50CMS631030O.110 R4+. Finest known of this very, very difficult R4+ die marriage and the only uncirculated example. Lovely original toning and surfaces suggest a higher grade. Obtained by private treaty from Keith Davignon on March 27, 2014. Keith previously obtained the coin from the the collection of David Kahn for $18,000 in November, 2008David had obtained the coin privately from Sheridan Downey's sale of the Charlton Meyer Collection (that had contained 450 of 453 die marriages of Capped Bust half Dollars). Charlton had obtained the coin from Sheridan Downey's fixed price list of the Gehrig Prouty Collection in August, 2000 for $9500.
60941809 III Edge50CMS651020O.107 R3. Tied Finest Known. Blazing cartwheel luster with superb original pewter colored surfaces. Fully proof like with nearly complete mirrors in both the obverse and reverse fields. The coin has an amazingly detailed and complete strike for an 1809 half dollar and shows the mint was already able to strike early half dollars that could have been used as special presentation pieces. The III edge is one of only two edge letter variants collected to complete the Redbook set of Lettered Edge Capped Half Dollars. The other is the 1809 XXX which has only been found in a maximum grade of MS63. Interestingly, many other edge variations are known in subsequent years of the series that have never been included in the Redbook. Obtained by private treaty with John Konop on June 27, 2015.
60961811 Large 850CMS661010Eliasberg. O.104. Finest Known 1811 Large 8 half dollar. Obtained from Joe O'Connor by private treaty on April 1, 2016.
394351811 Small 850CMS67+1010 
394211811/10 50CMS64+2021 
394431812/1 Small 850CMS65+1010O.101 R1. Kaufman. Pogue. Finest Known 1812/1 Half Dollar. Per cataloger, "Finest Certified Gem 1812/1 Half Dollar. Small 8. "Small 8 examples are scarce in all grades up to EF, where they become very scarce. True Uncirculated coins are probably non-existent, or nearly so." -- Edgar Souders, Bust Half Fever." deep blush of orange and rose at the central obverse blends into violet, pastel blue, and champagne gold. The lighter golden gray reverse is framed with bright blue and hints of violet. The luster cartwheels spectacularly around both sides, magnifying the superb toning. The strike is solid, strong on the central devices and showing only modest peripheral softness among stars and legends, those elements drawn to the rim in this die state. A single thin scratch crosses from the left obverse field to center beneath Liberty's chin and a few light marks hide just inside the rim above her cap. Evidence of a clash is seen above the eagle, beneath the bust, and in the left and right obverse fields, subtle enough in each area to be certain that the dies were lapped after clashing. A single delicate die crack spiders into the left obverse field from the inner point of star 11. The overdate is bold, even to the naked eye. This specimen appears to have little competition for finest known honors. Graded MS-66 by NGC when last sold in 2009 and now certified as MS-65+ by PCGS, this became the first coin assessed at a level higher than MS-64 by PCGS. A relative logjam of six submissions at MS-64 suggests some duplication on the PCGS Population Report. The Overton-Parsley census of 66-65-65-64-64 places this coin on top, the lone example to ever sell at auction with an MS-66 grade. The NGC MS-65 sold by Heritage in 2004 and 2012 is not as fine, and other high end survivors like the lovely PCGS MS-64 from Col. E.H.R. Green and Eric P. Newman (now in a well-known Iowa collection), the Clapp-Eliasberg coin, and the Reed Hawn (1973)/Auction '84 coin fall into line behind this one. Only two varieties of 1812 half dollars are struck from an overdated obverse. Overton-101, the Large 8 overdate, is quite rare, and none are known in Mint State. The Small 8 overdate is used only in the Overton-102 die marriage, making this the best preserved of all 1812/1 overdate halves extant. Provenance: Phil Kaufman Collection; Phil Kaufman to Joseph C. Thomas, via Heritage, by sale, July 2008; Joseph Thomas Collection; Heritage's sale of April 2009, lot 2410, via Larry Hanks. PCGS Population: 1, none finer. (1812/1 Small 8)." Stacks Bowers Auction of D. Brent Pogue Collection Part 2 on September 30, 2015, Lot 2012.
394411812/1 Large 850CAU551020 
394741813 50C/UNI50CMS651010 
394881814/3 50CMS651010 
394901814 E/A in STATES50CMS64+1010 
394911815/2 50CMS65+1010O.101 R2. Finest Known of this key date. A+ Eye Appeal. Per Heritage cataloger, "Ex: Kaufman. Numismatists and collectors who seek a complete date collection must acquire an 1815 half dollar. Similarly, die variety specialists require an example, and those who seek die states must have two different pieces. Many design type collectors have the formation of a complete type set of key-date coins as their goal, and the 1815 half dollar is the best candidate. Finally, a growing trend is the acquisition of "trophy coins," those pieces that combine rarity, quality, and exceptional aesthetic appeal, and this Premium Gem 1815 half dollar combines all of those factors. Demand for a specimen such as this rarity has never been higher. A single die variety is known for the 1815/2 half dollars, in two distinct die states. The overdate feature is particularly visible at the top of the 5. The obverse has a faint die crack from the curl below the ear, onto the neck. While clash marks are especially visible on the reverse, there is no trace of the reverse die cracks found on later die states. The entire mintage of 47,150 1815-dated half dollars was also delivered on January 10, 1816. The finest 1815 half dollars are the present early die state piece and the Eliasberg Gem late die state specimen. Following these two pieces, we find approximately 20 other auction records of MS63 and MS64 coins over the last 20 years. However, we have no hesitation calling the present piece the finest known 1815 half dollar. It has bold central details with an almost medallic appearance, the stars at the left border are strong while those to the right are weak. Both sides have soft, frosty silver luster with grayish-gold patina, surrounded by blue-green, gold, rose, and iridescent toning. The surfaces are well-preserved, with no evidence of mishandling. This Premium Gem is one of the landmark opportunities in the current sale, and once sold, may not appear on the market for many years. Ex: The Chicago Sale (RARCOA and David W. Akers, Inc., 8/1991), lot 523; Central States Signature (Heritage, 4-5/2009), Lot 2415 per Heritage cataloger. Crossed from NGC MS66+ to PCGS MS65+ on 12/20/2013. Obtained from Heritage Platinum Auction on August 8, 2012, Lot 5143.
395101817 181.750CMS621132 
395111817/3 50CMS641032 
395141817/4 50CAU531010O.102a R7. Finest Known of this legendary rarity by 18 grading points above the PCGS VF35 Meyer O.102. Coin has great eye appeal with a halo of rainbow color. Large concentric die crack across obverse denotes the late die state that is present on most 1817/4 halves. This large crack spanning the entire obverse most likely doomed the die to failure and accounts for the rarity of this early overdate. Shares the reverse die with the more common O.103 easily spotted by the three reverse I's appearing like J's because of the missing lower right serif on the I punch. One of the 100 most important U.S. Coins. Likely the Wallis and discovery coin published in 1930 and offered in a Fixed Price List by Wallis in 1934 for $2,500. Said by Wallis to have been held in a family collection since 1846. Sold into the Pratt Collection at some point. "Rediscovered" in the Pratt Collection purchased by Al Overton in 1951. Privately sold by Al C. Overton, the author of UNITED STATES EARLY HALF DOLLAR DIE VARITIES, in 1953 for $1,500 to Louis Eliasberg. Sold at Louis E. Eliasberg Collection (Bowers and Merena/Stack's, April 1997, lot 1735) Auction and purchased by Donald Kagin and Andrew Lustig for $209,000. Sold circa June 1997 by Donald Kagin and Andrew Lustig to Dr. Juan XII Suros for a reported $250,000+.  Sold in Juan XII Suros Collection (Superior, February 1999, lot 180) to Jay Parrino & Don Kagin for approximately $184,000. Listed, but did not sell, in the 2003 ANA Sale (Bowers and Merena, July 2003, lot 14430). Sold in the Richmond II Collection (David Lawrence Rare Coins, November 2004, lot 1388) to George "Buddy" Byers for $333,500. Sold in Stack's "George "Buddy" Byers" Auction on 10/17/2006, lot 1031, for $310,500 to John Gerversoni. Sold in Stacks "Treasure of New York" Auction on 7/30/2009, lot 542, to Dr. Charles Link for $356,500. Upgraded by PCGS to AU53 on 10/17/2013 and designated O.102a in a Secure holder.
395371818/7 Small 850CMS651020 
4053831818/7 Large 850CMS651010 
39542181950CMS661010O.107 R2. Finest Known 1819 Half Dollar.
395551819/8 Small 950CMS642073 
395561819/8 Large 950CMS661020 
395641820 Curl 2, Small Date50CMS641022 
395651820 Square 2, Large Date50CMS641062 
395701820 Sq 2, Lg Dt, No Knob50CMS66+1010 
395721820/19 Square 250CMS65+1010 
61261820/19 Curl 250CMS641111O.102 R1. CAC. Second finest at PCGS. Per cataloger, "Curl Base 2, O-102, R.1, MS64 PCGS. CAC. Although not a rare die marriage in the Capped Bust half dollar series, this is a distinct variety which merits its own listing in the Guide Book. The O-102 variety is readily identifiable, featuring a bold overdate and the Curl Base 2 in the date. Bust coinage of the 1820s employed both Curl Base and Square Base 2s, most famously on the rare 1827 quarter, which was struck with both styles. This CAC-approved example is beautifully toned, with light, gray color predominating. Blue, green, and yellow shades underlay the medium toning on both obverse and reverse. Colorful bands at the rims surround the central figures, particularly on the reverse. For the variety, PCGS has graded one coin at MS64, one at MS64+, and one at MS65 (12/14)." Obtaibed at Heritage Long Beach Auction #1217 on January 29, 2015, Lot 3125.
39590182250CMS661023O.105 R3. Kaufman. Pogue. CAC. Per cataloger, "WorldClass 1822 Overton-105 Half Dollar With Provenance to 1911. "A little below, we saw three hunters with several dogs; 
they had just killed a fine young deer in the river, and were skinning it on the bank. We bought a hindquarter, it weighed fifteen or sixteen pounds, for 50 cents." 
-- John Woods, Two Years Residence on the English Prairie in the Illinois County, United States, 1822." The brightest of blues is made brighter at the rims as the lustrous cartwheel passes it, corralling deep golden centers that turn orange and violet before the azure frame. A coin of exquisite aesthetic appeal, richly lustrous and colored no less beautifully than a tropical bird. The detail is complete on both sides, with full star centers and each fine interstice of the devices well realized. The surfaces are fascinating, as both obverse and reverse show fine raised texture indicative of a rusted die face. Die rust is typically a misnomer, a misunderstanding of spalling, which involves a steel surface chipping, not oxidizing, but the dies used to strike this coin appear to show actual rust. Die rust as here is very unusual, making this an especially fascinating coin to study. A vertical planchet striation was not completely struck out at central obverse, visible right of the corner of Liberty's eye and descending to her cheek. A similar artifact is noted on her shoulder curl. The surfaces are free of significant post-striking defects, with just a short hairline visible on the bust. The reverse die is cracked in a broad arc from above TES of STATES, through OF AMERICA and past the arrowheads, before intersecting with the stop after C and stopping at the C itself. Extraordinary in both its aesthetic and technical excellence, this piece is ranked atop the Overton-Parsley census for the variety. Precious few 1822 half dollars of any variety have survived in such a remarkable state of preservation, and fewer still exhibit this kind of visual presence. The only other PCGS MS-66 is the prooflike Eliasberg Overton-114. The only auction record of a PCGS MS-67 comes from RARCOA's session of Auction '90; it is possible that the three entries for MS-67 on the Population Report all represent that coin, as we are unable to confirm the existence of another. The appearance of this coin and the 1822 Overton-101 two lots previous represent just the third and fourth recorded auction appearances of any PCGS-certified 1822 half dollar in a grade higher than MS-65. Provenace: Thomas Elder's sale of the E.J. Woodgate Collection, March 1911, lot 299; Wayte Raymond's sale of February 1947, lot 508; Stack's sale of March 1990, lot 125; Phil Kaufman Collection; Phil Kaufman to Joseph C. Thomas, via Heritage, by sale, July 2008; Joseph C. Thomas Collection; Heritage's sale of April 2009, lot 2428, via Larry Hanks. PCGS Population: 2, 3 finer (MS-67)." Stacks Bowers Auction of D. Brent Pogue Collection Part 2 on September 30, 2015, Lot 2037.
396041822/1 50CMS661010 
39611182350CMS65+1021O.107 R2. Blazing cartwheel luster with kaleidoscope peripheral colors. 1823 are usually tough to find in true gem condition. Second finest for the die marriage behind the Elaisberg/Kaufman NGC MS67. Obtained by private treaty from Dale Friend (who incidentally has the finest known PCGS 1823 at MS66!)
396201823 Broken 350CMS65+1010 
396211823 Patched 350CMS65+1010 
396231823 Ugly 350CMS651010 
61381824 Various Overdates50CMS647181O.103 R2. "Incredible Eye Appeal. 1824 50C Over Various Dates, O-103, R.1 MS64 PCGS Secure. The 4 is seen over various numerals, but how many or which ones is not clear. Deep electric-blue, orange-gold, rose, and lavender peripheral toning frames a subtle blend of rich golden-beige in the centers. The cartwheel luster is intense and the surfaces are all but pristine. The star centers and bust tip are a touch flat, but the remaining design features are sharply impressed. The foregoing attributes add up to incredible eye appeal. Enthusiasts of toned type coins will revel in this spectacular example. Ex: New York Connoisseur's Collection, American Numismatic Rarities (3/2006), where it realized $19,900," per cataloger. Obtained from 2014 June 5 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach #1206, Lot 4517
396401824/1 50CMS651010 
396431824/4 50CMS661010 
39650182550CMS66+1010O.104 R4+. "This half dollar is so much more than a Premium Gem. It has amazing eye appeal with green, rose, and iridescent toning on the obverse, and light gold on the reverse. The strike is bold and well-centered, and the surfaces are highly lustrous and pristine. An amazing example, but also an extremely important offering. We had the privilege to offer an MS67 example of O-104 in our 2009 CSNS sale, and the present specimen is the second finest known example. The census quickly drops to MS65, MS64, and MS63. Population: 6 in 66, 0 finer (9/12)," per Heritage cataloger. Obtained from Heritage Galleries' Auction Auction #1175 on October 12, 2012. Upgraded from PCGS MS66 to PCGS MS66+ on 10/29/2013: as of this date, this coin is the finest known 1825 Capped Bust Half Dollar ever graded by PCGS (five in MS66, one in MS66+).
396971827 Square 250CMS661051 
397501827 Curl 250CMS651020O.147 R4. Curl 2. Finest Known. Shimmering blue with lovely original and lustrous surfaces. Wonderful eye appeal and tied with one other for this tougher Redbook variety that only constitutes 2 of the 49 die marriages of the prolific 1827 Overton varieties. The O.147 Curl 2 is tougher to obtain than her O.146 Curl 2 cousin. Obtained by private treaty from Joe O'Connor on August 14, 2015.
397521827/6 50CMS662020 
397561828 Curl 2, No Knob50CMS65+1020 
397591828 Curl 2, Knob50CMS651020 
397631828 Square 2, Large 850CMS66+1010 
397781828 Sq 2, Sm 8's, Lg Let.50CMS661040O.122 R3. Finest Known. Striking and dramatic orange with neon blue periphery. Cartwheel luster and exceptionally clean surfaces. Obtained from Legend Numismatics Auction on December 18, 2014.
61521828 Sq 2, Sm 8's, Sm Let.50CMS651020O.119 R3. Finest Known of this tough Redbook variety at PCGS. Per Heritage cataloger,"Ex: "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate; Partnership of Eric P. Newman / B.G. Johnson d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.; Eric P. Newman @ $4.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society; Newman Part II (Heritage, 11/2013), lot 33457, which brought $21,150." Obtained from Heritage Auction on April 23, 2014, Lot 4367. Of note, an NGC MS66 has been reported as well.
506728182950CMS66+1010O-105a R1. Pogue. Finest Known 1929 Half Dollar
398071829/7 50CMS661020 
398121830 Small 050CMS66+1011 
398331830 Large 050CMS661011 
398361830 Large Letters50CMS62+1111O.114 R5. Possible Tie second finest Known. From the Charlton Meyer Collection of capped Bust Halves [the only public-disclosed complete set of 450 die marriages listed in AL Overton's reference]. Provence Ex: Pugh and Ghering Prouty Collection. Only four mint state examples of this popular redbook variety exist. The current finest known is a PCGS MS63 in a southern collection of Capped Bust Halves and is listed in the PCGS registry. This coin is tied or perhaps has bit finer surfaces than the Ex: Reiver NGC MS63 coin. The fourth condition census coin IMHO is Ex:Witham in a PCGS MS62 holder. This coin was obtained from Sheridan Downey Mail Bid Sale on 7/30/2008 of the Charlton Meyer Collection.
398601832 Small Letters50CMS671010 
398861832 Large Letters50CMS641061 
399061834 Large Date, Lg Let50CMS65+1012O.102 R1. Lovely original surfaces with radiant cartwheel luster. "The 3 in the date is repunched south. Cobalt-blue, golden-brown, and lilac toning graces this lustrous Gem half dollar. The cheek displays wispy contact but the fields appear immaculate. The strike shows softness on the right-side stars and selected portions of the eagle. Encapsulated in a first generation holder. Population: 12 in 65, 2 finer (11/13)," per cataloger. Obtained from Heritage Auction on January 9, 2014, Lot 4462. Upgraded by PCGS from MS65 to MS65+ on May 28, 2014.
399101834 Large Date, Sm Let50CMS671010 
399261834 Small Date, Sm Let50CMS661032 
39935183550CMS65+1131O.109 R2. Lovely original surfaces with blazing cartwheel luster. "A large mintage of 5.3 million Capped Bust half dollars was accomplished in 1835, with 10 die varieties known for the date. The date on this coin is in a straight line and the right side of I in PLURIBUS is under the left side of the second T in STATES, identifying the O-109 variety. Attractive shades of golden-brown and lavender-gray toning blanket both sides of this delightful Gem, with vibrant mint luster underneath. The design elements are sharply detailed, except for the usual flatness on the stars and some letters in the motto on the reverse, where some drawing lines or die striations prevent complete detail. No mentionable distractions are evident and eye appeal is outstanding. Stephen Herrman's list of auction appearances lists a single representative of the O-109 in MS65, with three finer coins, one of which appears twice in the listing," per Heritage cataloger. Only three coins graded MS65 at PCGS and one finer (Eliasberg 67+). Obtained from Heritage Galleries' US Coin Signature Auction #1191 on November 1, 2013, Lot 3615. PCGS upgraded on may 28, 2014. from PCGS MS65 to MS65+.
399481836 Lettered Edge50CMS66+1010 
399641836 50/0050CMS651020 
Hi Tom, thanks for the shout out. Great to see you terrific set continuing to build.
Posted @ 4/19/2016 6:38 PM By icrf03
Really glad to see your set back visible to us. Absolutely amazing, and almost every one finest known
Posted @ 4/5/2016 4:26 PM By Bustnut
Really glad to see your set back visible to us. Absolutely amazing, and almost every one finest known
Posted @ 4/5/2016 4:26 PM By Bustnut
Wow! The Redbook Set that the rest of us can only dream of. Thanks for sharing this amazing accomplishment in the "set coin album".
Posted @ 1/30/2015 12:50 PM By jross152
Only nine to go, and you could have a complete top POP set. I do understand, that in some cases, you like the look of your second best coin better than the look of best one.This set is simply unbelievable!
Posted @ 7/6/2014 3:19 PM By mozins
Thanks Bret and nice to speak with you last week.
Posted @ 4/14/2014 9:49 PM By icrf03
just a colossal set
Posted @ 4/12/2014 1:43 PM By bretleifernumis1
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