Capped Bust 1809 half dollar opinions

Discussion in 'What's it Worth' started by waybrig, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. waybrig

    waybrig New Member

    I'm curious to get any opinions on the possible grade/value of this coin. According to the original auction info from the early 1970's it is an Overton-103 variety. I don't see a way of confirming this but it doesn't seem to add to it's value as it is a common variety apparently. I want to send this in for grading services but I would like to have some idea of value before I ship it off so I can insure it properly and request the correct level of service. Any experts on these out there?

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  3. Stevearino

    Stevearino Supporter! Supporter

    Just posting so I get notices when the experts weigh in. Just curious.

  4. atcarroll

    atcarroll Well-Known Member

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  5. Nathan401

    Nathan401 Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Supporter

    Sweet coin!! An AU58 could go for a couple grand. I’d like to hear from members already summoned.
  6. gronnh20

    gronnh20 Well-Known Member

    The 1809 O-103 on the obverse has the mark in the field by star 5. Just to the right of the star. On the reverse the M in AMERICA is not in line with the other letters or rotated. You should also check the edge lettering for XXXX or |||||. It looks like it has some wear on parts of the coin. I would say AU-58. Maybe you will get the cabinet friction exemption. Nice coin. Have it graded.
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  7. Nathan401

    Nathan401 Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Supporter

    DEFINITELY have it graded, for both value confirmation and protection!
  8. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member

    AU55. Value dropping on these.... $1100 give or take. O 103 is a plain edge
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  9. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    I'll go with 55 as well. Nice coin. I would insure it for $1000 and send it to PCGS.
  10. waybrig

    waybrig New Member

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. It sounds like you all are seeing what I did regarding wear with my very beginner eyes. I'm posting more pictures here with the wear areas that I think are present numbered with most severe to least (in my opinion). If this is not what everyone else is seeing I would love to learn more. I know sending this coin in for official assessment is the ultimate answer but I have around 70 other half dollars from the 1800's that I also need to look at and I think it would be good for me to be able to identify really strong or weak candidates before shipping them all off.

    One thing that really confused me with this coin was pictures I saw on PCGS's website with examples of MS66 and MS62 coins of this variety. They seem to show wear in the same areas and possibly even worse than mine so I'm thinking there must be something I am not looking at. Here is the page I'm referring to for the curious:

    Attached Files:

  11. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal Well-Known Member

    Wow! Welcome to Coin Talk. That’s quite a nice first post. Nice pics too. AU 55 looks about right. Looking forward to seeing more...Larry
  12. okbustchaser

    okbustchaser Just plain busted Supporter

    This is an old-time AU-50 (which is what I suspect it was sold as back in the 70s era auction you reference.) Today it would go somewhere between 55 to 58. (Based on pics I say 55--I don't see enough luster for 58.)

    Yes, it is the O-103--one of if not the most common die marriage for the year. I would expect to pay somewhere around 1100 to 1200 dollars.

    Edit to add...By the way, back in 1973 when I bought my first 1809 O-103 an AU was about 150 bucks.;)
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  13. buckeye73

    buckeye73 Well-Known Member

    I am AU 55, probably dipped based on photos...not at all unusual for a Bust Half in that grade.
    Very nice coin.
  14. Browns Fan

    Browns Fan Active Member

    AU-53 possibly cleaned. Love it!
  15. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    Very nice coin! By old standards, I'd call it a sharpness AU-50. Current TPG Market Grading will take it from AU-58 to MS-62 on sharpness alone. They might knock it down by 1 to 3 points for the dings in the neck - this is, after all a focal area.

    It has been cleaned at some time in the past but not so harshly that I think the TPG's will reject it or Detail it. They are usually more lenient on older silver and copper that has been cleaned but not damaged in the process.

    Definitely send it in. The coin is worth decent money, especially if it has the XXXX edge which is the most rare of the three edge varieties. This refers to the markings between some of the edge lettering. The other two are the |||| type and then no marking between the edge letters (called "normal").
  16. okbustchaser

    okbustchaser Just plain busted Supporter

    It will not have either of the experimental edges. All O-103s are the plain edge.

    For future reference...

    Here are the differing edges in the order of production for 1809. The mint started the year using the plain edge (112, 113, 114, 115, and 111); started using the IIII edge (111'a', 109, 107, most 108); switched to the XXX edge (108a, 101, 110, 102, a few 102'a') then went back to the plain edge (102'a', 104, 105, 103 , 106).

    108's are known with both the |||| edge and the XXX edge; 102 'a's are known with both the XXX and the plain edges.
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  17. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the correction and I apologize if I led anyone astray. I was looking at the reference for O-109, not the O-103.
  18. NYandW

    NYandW Makes Cents!

    Nice thread!
  19. waybrig

    waybrig New Member

    Lots of great comments and info here, I'm learning a lot! There seems to be a consensus that it would have been graded a few slots lower back in the 70's, but now it is in the AU55 range. Here are the actual comments from the auction card I have on this coin:

    "Stack's Auction. March 18, 1978.
    1809 0.103. Brilliant Uncirculated (MS-60+). Sharply struck, with pale gold toning about the edges. A few contact marks on the lower face and neck, and a minute rub on a couple of high spots. Really a very choice example. Ex Merkin, lot 135, February 1972 sale. $440"

    I believe every coin I have claims to be uncirculated or a proof but without the grading services in operation back then there was likely more variability in grading. I'm not sure if my father in law ever saw these coins before purchasing or just bought them based on the descriptions. They were still in the original sealed packages straight from the sale so I doubt that any additional wear took place after his purchase. He seems to have been an investor more than a true coin collector since I assume collectors like to have the coins somewhere attractive so they can admire them at least occasionally. These were stuffed away in boxes and some still may have never even been looked at since they were bought.

    If anyone wants to see a particular year half dollar from ~1809 to 1900, let me know and I'll see about posting a pic if I have it. I don't believe there are any ultra rare varieties in this collection but nearly every year is represented and the vast majority seem to be high AU/low MS or Proofs.

    I'm taking them to a dealer Wednesday morning to assist me with getting these graded and liquidated. The more I look at them the more I start getting drawn in by their mysteries so I need to get them out of my hands. There are a few I may end up keeping, not because of value necessarily but because of the history and beauty of the coins in general.
  20. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

    Wow. Me like. Love those crazy nines
  21. Nathan401

    Nathan401 Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Supporter

    WOW!! Seems like you were left quite a collection!! Please post some more pics, 1810- onward! Any Bust Half will do!
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