Search articles

The Allure of Collecting Bust Half Dollars – Part II


Owner of Eastern Woods II PCGS Registry Set

Hello and welcome to part two of ’The Allure of Collecting Bust Half Dollars.’ In this segment, I will review some of my favorite Red Book varieties for Bust Half Dollars. Though most are scarce, I believe you need to own each of them in your lifetime. It won’t be easy to find these coins with exceptional eye appeal, but it will be worth it when you do. The following examples include images from my PCGS Set Registry, Eastern Woods II.

1807 50c Large Stars AU53. From the Eastern Woods II PCGS Set Registry.

1807 50c Small Stars & 1807 50c Large Stars – Both of these varieties are scarce. The Small Stars version almost always comes with a weakly struck reverse.

1809 50c XXX Edge – There are two experimental edge types. This one is a bit challenging to find, then the III Edge.

1811/10 50c – Never enough of this one to satisfy collectors demands.

1812/1 50c Large 8 – This variety is a challenge. You will have few to choose from.

1812/1 Small 8 – Now we are back to earth. Be patient with this one during your search. You will likely find a quality example.

1813 50c UNI – This one can be a real challenge but in time you can acquire. Take a look at 1813 50c Plain for often the UNI reverse has gone unnoticed.

1814/3 50c – This overdate is a great find when you do. An Overtone 101a example is your best shot with a weak strike and die cracks.

1814 50c E/A – This classic Red Book variety is on all the Bust Half enthusiasts want list. Note that in AU50 and below, this coin is readily available. The challenge will be to find an example in AU53 or higher.

181.7 50c Punctured Date – Another favorite on the list. To acquire this date and variety in AU or higher will take some time but don’t pass one up.

1817/3 50c – Every Bust Half collector must own an overdate. Though this variety is scarce, obtaining one is a lot less difficult that you may think.

1818/7 Small 8 – Try finding a nice AU or UNC vastly under rated.

1820 50c – Just 8 die varieties and 6 are in the red book. Long considered real finds in nice AU/UNC grades. Low mintage, never saved equals high prices.

1823 50c Ugly 3 & 1823 50c Broken 3 – It seems everyone wants one of these. Few around demand out strips supply. Many times, scarcer than the Patched-3 cousin.

1824 50c Various Overdates – of the 1824 overdates this one is by far the most desirable.

1827 50c Curl Base 2 MS64. From the Easter Woods II PCGS Set Registry.

1827 50c Curl Base 2 – One of my favorites. This coin is about 20 times scarcer than the Square Base 2 variety.

1828 Curl 2 with Knob – This is the second hardest to find variety for an 1828 50c but they are out there.

1828 50c Square 2 Small 8 Small Letters – This one is still underrated yet it is never cheap. Still has much upside. Underappreciated.

1832 Larger Letters – With the big reverse die crack only. 30x times tougher to find than the small letter variety. Grab one you won’t be sorry. Very underrated.

1836 50c 50/00 – The stepchild of Red Book varieties. If you have one, bet it took a while to find it.

I hope you enjoyed this read. Your feedback and comments are always welcome. Happy Collecting!

Early Half Dollars (1794-1839)