Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bust Half Dollars (1801 - 1839)


1806 Bust Half Dollar
The first half dollar was so-called “Flowing Hair” and featured the portrait of Liberty with stars alongside her on the obverse, and a small eagle surrounded by laurel branches on the reverse. After just two years, it was replaced by the “Draped Bust” design with Small Eagle Reverse minted only in 1796-1797. In 1801, Chief Engraver Robert Scot introduced the Bust Half dollar featuring a Heraldic Eagle on the reverse and Miss Liberty on obverse surrounded by 13 stars, representing the 13 original colonies. In 1807, the Draped Bust halves were replaced by the “Capped Bust, Lettered Edge (1807-1836)” Half Dollars – designed by John Reich. The obverse had Miss Liberty facing left instead of right and with curly hair tucked in a mobcap. Lettered Edge Capped Bust halves were issued until 1836, when they were replaced by the Capped Bust halves with a reeded edge. There are multiple major varieties of Bust Half dollars for almost every date. These varieties have captivated coin collectors for generations. In 1967, Al C. Overton spurred collectors' interest in Bust half dollars when he identified and codified over 500 die varieties and openly expressed his fascination for these beautiful coins in his book “Early Half Dollar Die Varieties 1794-1836.”

John Reich designed the reverse of the Capped Bust Half Dollar showing an eagle with outstretched wings as if it was getting ready to take off. On the obverse, besides wearing a drapery clasp, Liberty wore a headband with the inscription “LIBERTY” on it, just below her cap. Additionally, Chief Engraver Robert Scot reversed the positions of the arrows and olive branch held in the Eagle’s claws, putting the warlike arrows in the right claw and the peace symbol of the olive branch in the left claw. The inscription 50 C. appeared below the Eagle and the motto “E Pluribus Unum” was placed above the Eagle. In 1836, the Capped Bust halves with a reeded edge were issued. This new design was much like the older Capped Bust but showed some refinements: Liberty was slenderized, the motto on the reverse was removed, and the value sign of 50 C. was replaced with 50 CENTS in 1836 and HALF DOL. in 1837.

Buy Bust Half Dollars online from the Executive Coin Company, one of the top coin dealers in the United States. We offer a variety of Bust Half Dollars for sale in different grades: circulated, uncirculated, certified and graded by PCGS, NGC, and ANACS! Each coin is expertly photographed with color images of both obverse and reverse. Our half dollars selection includes the ever popular 1807 - 50 over 20 variety, and other sought out dates including: 1807, 1811, 1812, 1817, 1824, 1827 7 over 6, and 1837 Reverse 50 cents. Our inventory also includes the 1834 varieties with Large Date or Small Date, Large Letters Reverse or Small Letters Reverse. Each coin has been identified by Overton number. Please spend some time viewing our bust halves collection. We are hopeful you will find something you like. Purchase with confidence – your satisfaction is our ultimate goal.