ID'ing the Cohen Variety of Draped Bust Half Cents

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by kanga, Sep 18, 2021.

  1. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    I spent 1½-2 hours doing 3 coins.
    They are all dated 1804 and there are 13 varieties.
    It wasn't working until I figured out a faster method.
    I was going through the PUPs of each variety trying to find the one that matched.
    After the best part of 1½ hours I found there was WAY too much info for my old brain to process.

    So what was the shorter method?
    Go through the PUPs of each variety and find the ones that definitely DIDN'T match.
    There's always one or two.
    That got rid of about two-thirds of the varieties in a couple minutes.
    Then I only had about 4-5 descriptions to go through.
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  3. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    Here is something I did in 1989/90. Maybe it will help you.

    Barry Murphy

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  4. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    And the rest. 8FDE11D7-8D13-451E-9F46-79515E8AF293.jpeg
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  5. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    Lots of work.

    I've got Fuhrman's new book so I'm set for IDing those coins -- once I learn to use the book correctly.
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  6. Razz

    Razz Critical Thinker

    A dichotomous key! Probably the simplest way to get to the answer unless you know the PUPs. Used for plant ID and very effective. Much better than the leaf method...leaf though the pages of a book trying to match the object you are IDing to a picture of the attribute, IMO.
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  7. NSP

    NSP Well-Known Member

    This is excellent! I’ve saved these to my phone and favorited these so I can use them the next time I want to attribute a draped bust half cent. I honestly wish that more coin reference books included dichotomous keys like this one, as they could greatly streamline the attribution process.
  8. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    I did these for large cents also. I’ll post them in another thread. In 89 or 90 I did these and sold them through Penny-Wise. I sold about 200 copies.
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  9. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    I started a new thread for anyone interested.

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  10. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Half cent varieties are a lot easier to do than large cent varieties. With the 1804, you start with the "4" to see it has a crosslet or not. Then you look for stems on the wreath. You and also look at the position of "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" relative to the wreath. Then if the "4" has a crosslet, you have to look at how it is positioned. This gets harder to figure out.

    Thirty years ago, I knew this stuff by sight. Since I sold my collection, I have let the memory fade. The hardest one is the 1806, Small 6, Stems. There are two varieties and the rarer one is virtually impossible to obtain.
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