A couple low mintage half cents!

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Vertigo, Nov 4, 2022.

  1. Vertigo

    Vertigo Did someone say bust?

    This popped up recently. I couldn't let it go. You don't see these very often. 1811 half cent. There is only 2 in fr02 at pcgs. I have another, 1825 in fr02. The 1811 has a mintage of 63,140 and the 1825 a mintage of 63,000. It is even hard to find these in straight holders. Most are damaged in some way. Screenshot_20221104-125104_eBay.jpg Screenshot_20221104-125109_eBay.jpg Screenshot_20221104-125116_eBay.jpg Screenshot_20221104-130926_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20221104-130932_Gallery.jpg
    NSP, KSorbo, Eric the Red and 6 others like this.
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  3. bqcoins

    bqcoins Olympic Figure Skating Scoring System Expert

    Makes you wonder just how many hands they passed through to get that way.
  4. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The Director of the Mint in 1811 didn't think much of half cents. He had the mint strike all of the half cent planchets that the mint had on hand at that time, included many that were shall we say, the bottom of the barrel. For once, the claim "struck on a porous planchet” had some truth to it. That’s why it’s such hard date to find in nice condition. There are two minor die varieties.
    Vertigo likes this.
  5. Vertigo

    Vertigo Did someone say bust?

    And the population of both at pcgs is only 2 each. I already had the 25. There was no chance I was going to miss this one. Otherwise I would have to find this coin. Send it in. Wait forever. And hope to get the right grade. I was going to do a lowball set after I got the 25 in fr02. This makes it so much sweeter. Fr02 will be easier to acquire cheaper than doing the set in po01.
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  6. Omegaraptor

    Omegaraptor Gobrecht/Longacre Enthusiast

    It is true that you do not see the 1811 half cents very often. There are two varieties, C-1 in all die states is R-4- and C-2 is R-3-, which would add up to about 600 total 1811 half cents extant. Per the mintage figures much fewer of them survived than the 1825s.

    I would not be surprised if a portion of the mintage reported for 1811 was actually coins dated 1810, and the true mintage for 1811 dated coins was lower than 63,140. At this time the Mint reused old dies and any coins struck in that calendar year would go to that year's mintage figure regardless of date. For example about 900,000 large cents were struck in 1799, however, in no place does it mention they were dated 1799 (the vast majority of them were in fact dated 1798).
  7. Omegaraptor

    Omegaraptor Gobrecht/Longacre Enthusiast

    I also found this from a very very old post on the PCGS forums:

    "The reason Classic Heads come scummy is that most of them were melted for their copper. What was left was the odd piece or two that was saved or stragglers still in circulation.

    Historical records show that during the War of 1812 the price of copper soared from 20 cents to 80 cents per pound. At 80 cents per pound, a cent was worth nearly twice face value as metal. As the price of copper soared, manufacturers and traders grabbed up any copper they could find, including cents and half cents.

    This lead the Treasurer of the US, Thomas Tucker, to recommend the MInt cease distributing copper coin on Nov. 13, 1814. However, it was already too late and the Mint didn't listen anyway.

    In 1816, Congressman Elias Root raised a bit of a stink about this (see Annals of Congress, 14th Congress, 1st Session, pp. 694 - 695) but by then the price had dropped and no one paid heed.

    In all, an my best guess is that 7 - 8 million cents and perhaps 1- 2 million HCs disappeared into the melting pot.

    But then this was only one of the melts of copper coin. During what I've called "The Great Mint Melt" from 1857 - 1880, the Mint records detail the melting over 38 million LCs and 1 - 2 million HCs were melted by the Mint for use as copper in new cents or as alloy of silver and gold.

    In sum, we're lucky there's any early copper left at all."
    johnmilton and H8_modern like this.
  8. Vertigo

    Vertigo Did someone say bust?

    I heard or read somewhere they were generally scarce. So that's why I decided to do this one on lowball. My original intent with the 1825 was to do po01 and down-grade that later... but after this find I'll shoot for a fr02 set. Then once I get it done I'll send it back in and have gold shield added to the set to give the coins all truview.
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