An opportunity for a couple of 1/2 cents

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by NorCal, Mar 3, 2021.

  1. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Early copper is outside of my expertise but lately I have come across three half cents. After doing some research I can not believe how inexpensive these coins seem. I know that they are all scarce. I bought a VG 1835. Today at my lcs I found a 1832 in low AU shape and a beautiful red brown 1857. I am tempted to get these too. 1/2 cents rarely show up. Are 1/2 a good investment or should I just stick with the one for a type set?
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  3. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    I like them, but most of mine are not in very good shape... BTW, I would buy them. If they never become popular, they are still a scarce coin, and if the interest develops then you could turn a buck.
  4. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    What makes it tough for me is that I can get scarce high grade coins for low three figures. I’m a sucker for overlooked coins
    charley and Kentucky like this.
  5. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Derp, derp, derp!

    Coins are horrible investments regardless of which coin it is. Typically.
  6. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 Casual Collector / error expert "in Training "

    I think it comes down to a personal preference , simply put . I live in New England . Iv'e been all over Connecticut Metal detecting and have found my share of Coppers and Large Cent .
    The one Coin I always wished to find or own was The Half Cent. They just seem to be getting more scarce as time goes by. I say at least buy one half cent before it's too late .
    charley and Kentucky like this.
  7. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    As your name implies, a very sensible choice. One day soon, all half cents will only be seen in museums or large collections
  8. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member

    Half cents are an incredible value for such low mintages. Even some dates in RB can be had for well under $1000.
    charley likes this.
  9. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Half cents have a small but dedicated following. They are all scarce, as the Red Book has stated for many years, but collector interest is limited. The big problem is that there are many date gaps in the series that can’t be filled, either because the coins were not made (e.g. 1812 to 1824), or the coins are so rare and expensive that most collectors can’t find or afford them (e.g. 1840 to 1848).

    Looking at the three coins that you bought, here is my experience. VG is a very low grade for an 1835 half cent. Most of them are VF or better. The coins did not circulate that well after the series was resumed in 1825. The 1832 in AU is probably a nice coin. I have always liked the 1857 half cent because it’s the last of its kind. I hope that you found a piece that has real red and one that has been dipped or cleaned.

    Generally the Braided Hair Half Cents (for most collectors, collectible era 1849 to 1857, less the 1852) are not that popular with collectors for reasons I don’t understand. I think that they are more attractive than their large cent counterparts, but I’ve heard dealers say that they are “slow sellers.”
  10. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    My view of the braided hair series is they are simply too ugly. Compared to all earlier types, the braided hair to me and most collectors I talk to is they are simply unattractive. I like half cent. Never really collected them but picked up pretty examples when I saw them in AU+, but only begrudgingly bought a couple of braided hair types.

    My advice for the OP is to buy what you love and gives you pleasure. That is the only kind of "return" you should ever hope for with coins. Buy/sell spread too wide to make money on them generally. Unless you want to be a dealer, or invest in 5+ figure coins, "return" is a misnomer in numismatics. Sure, we may get some principal back when we sell, but spend hobby money on coins, not investment money.
  11. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    IMO that's a good reason for them being underpriced.
    Which is fine by me since I've started working on a Draped Bust half cent set.
    I'll start it out as a Red Book set but later may broaden it to a full Cohen variety set (or as much of it as I can afford).
    I already have a full Cohen variety set of the Classic Head half cents and a Red Book set of the Braided Hair half cents (not counting the 1840-1849 proof-only coins).
    kountryken, GoldBug999 and charley like this.
  12. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I paid a reasonable price for the 1835 that started me down this rabbit hole.
    kountryken and charley like this.
  13. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    I’ll post pics when I can. I know that there are some major 1/2 cent collectors on here
  14. RogerC

    RogerC Member

    I enjoy my 11 half cents. In my 60 collector years, my favorite is my type coins set. I was particularly fascinated by the many different coin types minted in 1837. I was disappointed there was no half cent that year so I bought this to fill the void. An 1837 half cent HT token for $120. 1837 Half Cent Token.jpg
    NSP likes this.
  15. halfcent1793

    halfcent1793 Well-Known Member

    Like any coin, you should collect what you like and enjoy.

    Part of the reason they're inexpensive is that there aren't enough of them for the "promoters" to promote.

    They are great history. Most were made during the presidencies of Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison.
  16. potty dollar 1878

    potty dollar 1878 Florida girls have to love walking there sharks.

    I don't have any half cents but I do like them any type after draped but designs are very common (except for some key dates and high grade examples) and carry little premium over cull value which most of them are but do collect what you like my opinion.
  17. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    Of all my coins this is one of my favorites.
    Die breaks and cuds always appeal to me.
    It's an 1811 Classic Head half cent, Cohen-1, Die State 5.0 (4-star cud).
    Oddly enough the Die State 4.0 (2-star cud) is the more expensive variety.
    I guess it didn't last long before it became a 4-star cud.
    halfcent1793, NSP, beaver96 and 2 others like this.
  18. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I love this one. Looks like a drunken sailor punched the date in. :)
  19. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Coins are a collection not an investment
    beaver96 likes this.
  20. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    That 1811 is a beauty.
    johnmilton likes this.
  21. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Some people have speculated that he was left handed.
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