Valuing Varieties - 1809 Half Cents

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by kanga, Jun 21, 2021.

  1. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    I'm trying to put values on coins in my collection.
    I'm going to use the Grey Sheet so that I don't let the values get too far out of hand.

    The 1809 half cent comes in 6 Cohen varieties.
    Here they are listed with their Rarity values as reported in Manley's book:
    C-1 R-5+
    C-2 R-3
    C-3 R-1
    C-4 (has Grey sheet value)
    C-5 (has Grey sheet value)
    C-6 R-1
    The Grey Sheet only lists 3 values: C-4, C-5 & other.
    I can use "other" to value the two R-1's.

    How do I value the R-3?
    How do I value the R-5+?

    Is there a table/chart somewhere for them?
    Or am I stuck with searching auction results?

    And this is just one date for the Classic Head half cents.
    There are other dates for this set with varieties.

    And then I'll have the same difficulties with a few other sets.

    Suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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  3. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    R-1 is super common, so I'd use the generic date value.

    R-3 doesn't usually have much of a premium.

    What is the rarity of the C-4 and C-5?

    For the R-5+, your best bet is going to be looking at recent auction sales. Sometimes, R-5s are popular and garner a nice premium, sometimes they fly under the radar.
    Omegaraptor likes this.
  4. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    Pretty much what I thought about R-3.
    The C-4 is an R-3 and the C-5 is an R-1.
    But they are both obvious die errors from the Mint and thus popular so they tend to go for a bit higher than one would think if based just on rarity.
  5. Long Beard

    Long Beard Well-Known Member

    Perhaps base it on a percentage between the known values? I think it would get you close. Or, you could do some research on previous auction prices for an indication.
  6. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The trouble with putting values on the 1809 C-1 is that most of the examples I have seen had problems, sometimes big problems. The only piece I owned had VF sharpness, but was very slightly polished. It was not bad, but it was not problem free.

    Most of the other ones I have seen would have been called "fillers" if they had been any other 1809 variety. Those items can really on be priced on a case by case basis.
  7. JimsOkay

    JimsOkay Member

    Have to ask, what does a C-1,R-5+ look like?? Curious.
  8. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Spotting it is not easy. Generally the six varieties of the 1809 half cent offer the biggest challenge if you are out at a show, not using the book.

    Here is the sharpest example that Heritage has auctioned. It is interesting to note that all off the pieces that Heritage has sold have problems. This one sold for $1,560.

    1809 C-1 Half Cent All.jpg 1809 C-1 Half Cent Slab.jpg

    Here is the description from the second edition of Roger Cohen's half cent book:

    "Obverse: The curl of the bust of Liberty is over the space between the zero and 9 in the date. As there are three other dies of this date which also exhibit this feature, this die is sometimes difficult to identify. The 1 and 8 are close. The zero is high and not double punched. The zero and 9 are close. On Specimens in Very Good or higher condition, the upper left star should be examined. The two left points well show evidence of the being repunched"

    "Reverse: The high leaf of the wreath is below the final S in STATES. The point of this leaf does not extend beyond the S. There is a berry in the wreath below the tail of R in AMERICA. On higher condition specimens upper and lower arcs are seen between the words of the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The E and I are repunched in AMERICA."

    The obverse on the 1809 C-1 was also used for 1809 C-2, but the reverse is quite different with respect to the S and the top leaf on the wreath.

    I got most confused and excited when I saw an example of the "overdate" the piece with the 9 over the 6 in the date. It is quite similar to the C-1.

    This is not a variety that jumps out at you. You have to know where to look.
  9. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Here is my only 1809 half cent after owning all six of them at one time or another. This one is Cohen variety 1809-3. This is an EAC grade MS-60. Good luck finding an MS-60 graded coin like this in a holder.

    1809 HC Brown.jpg
    JimsOkay likes this.
  10. JimsOkay

    JimsOkay Member

    Thank you!!
  11. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    As @johnmilton indicated 1809 C-1 half cents are generally problem coins.
    Mine is a PCGS-Genuine VF-Scratched.


    Don't know offhand what I paid for it.
    Probably in the low 4-figures.
    I'll have to look through my records.
    JimsOkay likes this.
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