|Stack's Bowers||Auction||The March 2012 Baltimore Auction||Mar-2012||CAC||1809 Capped Bust Half Dollar. O-103. Rarity-1. MS-65 (PCGS). CAC. Incredible preservation for an 1809 half dollar as the fields show abundant luster and rich golden-rose iridescent toning on the obverse and reverse, well matched and even. The strike is sharp as well, as Liberty's curls and ear are full as are the eagle's talons and feathers, areas that are often encountered with softness. Of course the absolute and end all here are is the surface quality. Study the fields and devices, as they are virtually free of contact or handling marks, this is absolutely extraordinary for a large coin of this period, and hence has earned the Gem Mint State-65 grade from PCGS as well as the CAC seal of approval. Reviewing the PCGS Population Report notes only one example so graded of the date, although 3 grading events are noted a point finer at MS-66 by PCGS, these coins are not attributed by die variety (most likely O-106 or O-107 examples from the Eliasberg or Roper auction fame), allowing the conclusion that this piece is likely the Finest Known of the variety and one of the finest of the date to survive.
In Steve Herrman's publication of Auction & Mail Bid Prices Realized for Bust Half Dollars 1794-1839 the finest example recorded of the O-103 variety is an MS-65 (NGC) coin that has appeared at auction a few times in the past five years, with the current example just emerging from an old time collection and recently sent in for grading, having been off the market for generations. A sparkling jewel with a commanding presence that is certain to grace any collection.