Why would someone hole a Capped Bust Half in the 19th Century?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Andrew619, Nov 28, 2022.

  1. Andrew619

    Andrew619 New Member

    Greetings Cointalk folks,

    Over the years, I've been collecting Capped Bust Halves that have been holed. For no other reason that I like them. They are relatively inexpensive and I've always been curious as to why someone would hole a 50 cent piece.

    I've heard that since there were no pockets at the time, they were often holed and sewn into shirts or coats. I've also heard that they were hung over doorways as good luck. I've also heard that maybe some were hung around the neck as jewelry but I tried that myself and it wasn't all that comfortable. I can see that for a 25C or maybe a dime.

    I'm thinking that given the wear around the holes that the hole would have been contemporary with the coin. I have some with square holes so I'm guessing those might have been over thresholds or in barns.

    Does anyone know any history behind the practice of holing coins?
    Can you link any resources?
    Does anyone else collect holed coins?

    Thanks in advance for your time.
    -jeffB and Inspector43 like this.
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  3. ddddd

    ddddd Member

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  4. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal Well-Known Member

    Waiting on an answer
    This was given to me by my neighbor 21B71C8D-72F7-4368-A162-B422E05B93EE.jpeg ED8994AC-A3EA-4E89-846F-4C255AD38658.jpeg
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  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Supporter! Supporter

    Interesting question. I hope members here can enlighten us.
    -jeffB and Inspector43 like this.
  6. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    Almost looks like a 22cal bullet hole
  7. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    All of the reasons stated above, and then some.

    Collect holed coins, you say?
    I might have been known to do that, once upon a time... ;)[​IMG]




    In fact, I'm kind of at it again...

    Bust halves? I used to have a nearly complete holed year set of 'em, lacking only a few dates. Ditto for the large cents.
    KeyHunter, Oldhoopster, dwhiz and 7 others like this.
  8. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Hey brother can you spare a half dime?

    They answer is quite simple.... " no self control"
    Its a good answer that fits quite a few circumstances.

    Why do boy's fight ? No self control
    Why do girls gossip? No self control
    So you see ....it's all about self control.... masters of their domain...
    So if you got a drill.... feeling a little out of control....and need the feeling that you just drillled something...remember self control...go feed the squrrels...now talk about control.... ;)
  9. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    To wear as jewelry is one reason.
    johnmilton and dwhiz like this.
  10. KBBPLL

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    The ones holed near the rim and in a specific location such that the coin would hang a certain way, one would think had to have been done for a necklace. They’re too big for a bracelet I’d think. The ones with square holes most likely nailed in a barn or above a door for luck.
    dwhiz likes this.
  11. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal Well-Known Member

    Pretty sure mine was holed with a small knife
  12. Andrew619

    Andrew619 New Member

    Thanks for the information. I'll work on getting pictures and post a couple of them later tonight. I need to look up the Overton attributions for these at some point.

    Full confession, I must admit that I'm guilty of holing a coin myself (with a power drill). I like Abe Lincoln so when the silver dollar commem was released in 2009, I picked up a couple of the uncirculated version. I drilled a hole in one and made it into a key fob. It's been with my keys for the last 13 years.

    IMG_7515.jpg IMG_7516.jpg
    CircCam, dwhiz, Joshua Lemons and 3 others like this.
  13. Andrew619

    Andrew619 New Member

    When I first got into coins back in 2006, one of the first things I did was to get a copy of the RedBook and read it from cover to cover. Then I picked up a 7070 album and started learning about the different coins as I started to fill the holes.

    At one point, I was thinking about putting together a 7070 with just holed coins but I ran into a problem finding authentic holed versions of some coins. Not wanting to make a hole in a coin just to fill a hole (felt like cheating), I abandoned that idea but not before picking up some of the small gold coins (with holes) to begin the gold page.

    IMG_7517.jpg IMG_7518.jpg IMG_7519.jpg IMG_7520.jpg IMG_7521.jpg IMG_7522.jpg
    Oldhoopster, dwhiz and ddddd like this.
  14. Jeffjay

    Jeffjay Well-Known Member

    IMG_20221128_191030085.jpg IMG_20221128_191037653_HDR.jpg IMG_20221128_191044969_HDR.jpg IMG_20221128_191118776.jpg IMG_20221128_191146562.jpg My holed type set that I've been working on for a few years. IMG_20221128_191030085.jpg IMG_20221128_191037653_HDR.jpg IMG_20221128_191044969_HDR.jpg IMG_20221128_191118776.jpg IMG_20221128_191146562.jpg IMG_20221128_191030085.jpg IMG_20221128_191037653_HDR.jpg IMG_20221128_191044969_HDR.jpg IMG_20221128_191118776.jpg IMG_20221128_191146562.jpg

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    Last edited: Nov 28, 2022
  15. Andrew619

    Andrew619 New Member

    Awesome album there. Those are some beauties.

    Where did you find the Kennedy half? Looks like it was a bracelet or necklace at one time. I've seen some love token drilled like that.

    I love those buffalo nickels. I really need to work on a set of those. I love that design.
  16. Andrew619

    Andrew619 New Member

    Disappointing but I'm not able to post and holed busts tonight. I'm not sure where the album is. What I thought was the busts turned out to be two Thalers, a Italian Scudo and a Silver cob 4 Reales from Seville. Darn. Where the heck are the busts?
  17. Jeffjay

    Jeffjay Well-Known Member

    The Kennedy half was a gift from a fellow collector. A lot of people want nothing to do with holed coins, I like them.
    KeyHunter likes this.
  18. KBBPLL

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    Lots of interesting posts but no images of a holed Capped Bust half?
    My only half dollar remotely relevant was made into a watch fob, a perhaps equally interesting practice back then.
    -jeffB likes this.
  19. mrweaseluv

    mrweaseluv Supporter! Supporter

    I've actualy got a holed coin the the $20 LC set...
    1823.jpg 1823r.jpg
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  20. dwhiz

    dwhiz Collector Supporter

    I collected 1876 holed coins at one time.
    It was fun and a challenge. 1876 Holed set.jpg
  21. Clawcoins

    Clawcoins Damaging Coins Daily

    how about a Draped Bust Dollar ?
    upload_2022-11-29_6-44-23.png upload_2022-11-29_6-44-36.png

    I always thought the hole was to let the worm get to the other side ?

    just done for jewelry, just as people drill holes into coins today for jewelry.
    Oldhoopster and Mainebill like this.
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