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The Complete Overton: A 30-Year Quest for 453 Capped Bust Half Dollars

Overton Set

The final coin of the massive 453-coin Overton set reached the grading room of Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS.com), capping off a collector's search that spanned three decades.

Collector Chuck Link recently submitted a 1829 0.120, completing his Capped Bust Half Dollars Prime Die Variety set by Overton, Circulation Strikes (1807-1836) on the PCGS Set Registry. Link's set also includes three crushed lettered edge proofs, bringing the total to 453 coins.

Overton obverse
The obverse of the 1829 50C 0-120, graded PCGS VF25, which completed the 453-coin Overton set.

These Capped Bust Half Dollars, detailed in the 1967 book "Early Half Dollar Die Varieties 1794-1836" by Al C. Overton, are highly sought after, especially amongst variety collectors.

Overton's chronicle of Capped Bust Half Dollar varieties inspired many collectors throughout the decades to seek out coins to complete the set, in which collectors can obtain one representative for each of the "master" numbers.

Link's set contains every Overton variety and is the first complete set graded by PCGS.

The goal of completing the coveted Overton set started in 1986 for Link and finally concluded by way of an unlikely online discovery.

Link was put in contact with a seller who cherrypicked the rare 1829 0.120 at a fraction of its value and bought the coin from him.

"It was discovered on eBay as a new variety. My understanding is that it cost less than $100 on eBay as a cherry. One of the greatest cherries ever," said Link.

Link, eager to complete his set and aware that there are only three of these coins known, quickly bought the coin, which was graded VF25 by PCGS.

Overton reverse
The reverse of the 1829 50C 0-120, graded PCGS VF25, which completed the 453-coin Overton set.

Link's Overton set was complete, and after 30 years of painstaking search, it contains many of the finest known examples of specific dates and varieties of the coin, with an average coin grade of MS63.

One of Link's early inspirations that led him to complete a set of such fine Overton examples was a set by PCGS President Don Willis, who was a coin dealer at the time. Willis' Premium AU58 Redbook set caught Link's eye early in his three-decade-long journey.

"That was a lot of fun putting that set together," said Willis. "I think it was a good example of how beautiful these coins can be."

Aside from his groundbreaking Overton set, Link is the proud owner of multiple number 1-ranked sets across PCGS Set Registry. But that does not mean Link will slow down after this achievement.

"There's still more collecting to do," said Link. "But my first love has always been the Capped Bust Halves. "

The PCGS Set Registry is home to 79,000 coin collections, many of which are the finest in the hobby. Learn more and join for free at www.PCGS.com/SetRegistry.

Founded in 1986 by distinguished numismatic experts, Professional Coin Grading Service is the most respected coin authentication and grading company in the world and has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Paris and the United States.

Early Half Dollars (1794-1839)