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HomeUS Coins1828 Classic Head Half Cent : A Collector's Guide

1828 Classic Head Half Cent : A Collector’s Guide

1828 Classic Head Half Cent. C-2. Image: Heritage Auctions / CoinWeek.
1828 Classic Head Half Cent. C-2. Image: Heritage Auctions / CoinWeek.

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek Notes …..
 

The United States Mint did not produce half cents in 1827 but resumed their issue in 1828. The 1828 Classic Head Half Cent has a reported mintage of 606,000 pieces, a sizable total second only to the series’ inaugural issue of 1809.

For this issue, Mint Chief Engraver William Kneass made a few slight modifications to the obverse, most notably adjusting the chin.

Specialists have identified three die marriages for the issue, but none of the three are chained together in a way that can determine the die sequence. Of the three die marriages, the Cohen-1 die marriage is by far the scarcest in Mint State and is quite possibly undervalued in the current market.

Following the Cohen-1 is the less scarce Cohen-2. By contrast, multiples of the Cohen-3 survive, including many pieces with Red Brown (RB) or Red (R) designations. These are attributed to a coin hoard of approximately 1,000 pieces discovered in 1884 and sold by Washington, D.C. Treasury Department employee-turned-coin dealer Benjamin Collins.

It’s not possible to determine how many 1828 Classic Head Cents entered into circulation. Many did, but Mint records also indicate that many unwanted examples were melted down in 1832.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

1828 Draped Bust Half Cent, Cohen-1

1828 Classic Head Half Cent, C-1. Image: Heritage Auctions.
1828 Classic Head Half Cent, C-1. Image: Heritage Auctions.

Eckberg 3-C. Breen-1. Guide Book variety (along with Cohen-3): “13 Stars.” Rarity-1. 13 Stars, 7×6. Closely spaced date obverse of 1838 paired with re-used Reverse B of 1836. Cohen sequenced this coin as the first die marriage of the issue based on the re-used reverse die. Half Cent specialist Bill Eckberg counters with an argument that the Mint would have used the old reverse die only after exhausting new ones. Therefore, he places the die marriage as likely the third one produced. Other pickup points include the repunching of the tip of Star 2. HALF CENT is outlined. Long spines extend from the wreath’s left leaf tips.

As stated earlier, this die marriage is the scarcest 1828 die marriage by a large margin.

  • PCGS MS64RB CAC #30451292: Paramount, April 8, 1977, Lot 33. As PCGS MS64RB CAC #30451292. “The James R. McGuigan Half Cent Collection,” Heritage Auctions, August 22, 2022, Lot 3096 – $8,400. McGuigan on insert.
  • NGC MS64BN #656376-012: James R. McGuigan, March 12, 1987. As NGC MS64BN #656376-012. “The Jules Reiver Collection,” Heritage Auctions, January 24, 2005, Lot 19110 – $1,725.
  • NGC MS63BN #5747056-004: Milton Holland; Jon Hanson, by sale, July 4, 1976; As NGC MS63BN #5747056-004. Heritage Auctions, April 2021, Lot 3711; Heritage Auctions, May 4, 2022, Lot 3161 – $4,560. Donald G. Partrick Collection on insert. Copper spot at the base of the ribbon. below 8 in date, scattered throughout field. This example has been referred to as a Proof in the past.
  • NGC MS62BN #3193276-001: EAC Sale, May 2006, Lot 45; “The Colonel Steven Ellsworth Collection of U.S. Half Cents,” Heritage Auctions, May 29, 2008, Lot 1715 – $1,495.
  • NGC MS61BN #5747096-006: “The Donald G. Partrick Collection,” Heritage Auctions, August 28, 2023, Lot 53131 – $528. Donald G. Partrick Collection on insert. Marbleized streaks of dark discoloration across the left side of the obverse.

1828 Draped Bust Half Cent, Cohen-2, 12 Stars

1828 Classic Head Half Cent. C-2. Image: Heritage Auctions / CoinWeek.
1828 Classic Head Half Cent. C-2. Image: Heritage Auctions / CoinWeek.

Eckberg 1-A. Breen-3. Guide Book variety: “12 Stars.” Rarity-1. 12 stars are configured in a 7×5 formation. Top of H is closed.

  • PCGS MS65RB CAC #04595348: “The Byron Reed Collection,” Spink, October 1996, Lot 241; “The Red Headed Copper Collection,” Heritage Auctions, August 16, 2018, Lot 5032 – $37,200.
  • PCGS MS65RB #32707979: Jon Hanson; R. Tettenhorst Collection, by sale, November 1977; Eric P. Newman and R. Tettenhorst; “The Missouri Cabinet Collection of U.S. Half Cents,” Goldberg Auctioneers, January 2014, Lot 114; “The D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part V,” Stack’s Bowers, March 31, 2017, Lot 5071 – $39,950.
  • PCGS MS65BN CAC #30451297: “The Wyatt Collection,” Superior, September 1985, Lot 188; As PCGS MS65BN CAC #30451297. “The James R. McGuigan Collection,” Heritage Auctions, August 2022, Lot 3098 – $16,800. McGuigan on insert; Bruce Gimelson; Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2024, Lot 3064 – $16,800.
  • PCGS MS64BN #21276266: American Numismatic Rarities, October 2004, Lot 19; Heritage Auctions, August 13, 2006, Lot 124 – $2,760; “The ESM Collection,” Stack’s Bowers, March 19, 2020, Lot 3040 – $3,600. Dark area disturbs the bottom of the left field.
  • PCGS MS64BN #3702086: Heritage Auctions, September 8, 2011, Lot 3103 – $4,312.50.
  • PCGS MS64BN #16637200: Heritage Auctions, August 11, 2011, Lot 3031 – $2,850. Small fleck to the left of the lips.

1828 Draped Bust Half Cent, Cohen-3

1828 Classic Head Half Cent. C-3. Ex: Eliasberg. Image: Heritage Auctions / CoinWeek.
1828 Classic Head Half Cent. C-3. Ex: Eliasberg. Image: Heritage Auctions / CoinWeek.

Eckberg 2-B. Breen-2. Guide Book variety (along with Cohen-1): “13 Stars.” Rarity-1. Thirteen stars on the obverse and date unevenly spread. Seventh star is repunched. Top of H is connected due to a die defect. Most Red examples are traced to a coin hoard sold by Washington, D.C. dealer Benjamin Collins. All hoard coins were C-3.

  • NGC MS66RB #3345775-001: Heritage Auctions, March 25, 2010, Lot 48 – $7,762.50.
  • PCGS MS66BN #32707980: Heritage Auctions, March 2010, Lot 44; “The D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part V,” Stack’s Bowers, March 31, 2017, Lot 5072 – $5,287.50.
  • NGC MS66BN #4265168-003: Heritage Auctions, August 12, 2015, Lot 3068 – $4,935. Blue and magenta hue. Strike through at the top of Liberty’s neck.
  • PCGS MS65RD CAC #4466149: Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; “The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection,” Bowers and Merena, May 1996, Lot 440; “The Red Headed Copper Collection,” Heritage Auctions, August 16, 2018, Lot 5033 – $18,000.
  • NGC MS65RD #3260299-001: As NGC MS65RD #1951298-001. Bowers and Merena, August 2006, Lot 62. Misattributed on the insert as C-1; “The Joseph C. Thomas Collection,” Heritage Auctions, April 30, 2009, Lot 2024 – $10,925. As NGC MS65RD #3260299-001. Heritage Auctions, May 31, 2012, Lot 3053 – $10,925. Small carbon fleck behind Liberty’s head. Small horizontal mark above 82.
  • NGC MS65RB #1270496-001: Heritage Auctions, March 25, 2010, Lot 47 – $3,220.
  • PCGS MS65RB #2356309: Heritage Auctions, June 2001, Lot 7475; “The Aspen Collection,” Heritage Auctions, July 31, 2008, Lot 984 – $3,220; Heritage Auctions, January 7, 2009, Lot 155 – $2,817.50; Heritage Auctions, April 23, 2014, Lot 3892 – $3,055. Old holder. Hints of red in the right obverse field. Magenta and blue toning on the reverse.
  • NGC MS65RB #1623349-003: Heritage Auctions, November 29, 2006, Lot 59 – $2,645.
  • PCGS MS65BN #3696426: “The Menlo Park Collection,” Heritage Auctions, September 17, 2008, Lot 125 – $1,092.50. Dark area on the obverse over the bottom portion of the portrait.
  • NGC MS65BN #1635584-013: Heritage Auctions, September 22, 2005, Lot 679 – $1,035.
  • PCGS MS64+RD CAC #30451294: Stack’s, June 2005, Lot 1006; “The James R. McGuigan Collection,” Heritage Auctions, August 22, 2022, Lot 3097 – $15,600. McGuigan on insert.
  • PCGS MS64RD #1373941: “The Temecula Collection, Part Two,” Heritage Auctions, May 9, 2007, Lot 112 – $4,600; “The J&H and R&R Gobrecht’s Raisinet Collection,” Heritage Auctions, January 10, 2024, Lot 3065 – $4,080.
  • PCGS MS64RD CAC #40276025: Howard Rounds Newcomb, privately in 1935; B. Max Mehl, privately in 1935; “Colonel” E.H.R. Green, June 8, 1936; The Green Estate, to Eric P. Newman and B.G. Johnson (as St. Louis Coin & Stamp), April 1943; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society; “The Missouri Cabinet Collection,” Goldberg Auctioneers, January 2014, Lot 115. As PCGS MS64RD #40276025. “The Bob R. Simpson Collection, Part IV,” Heritage Auctions, February 23, 2021, Lot 3001 – $9,600. Pedigree information assisted by Heritage Auctions. Simpson novelty insert. Small copper fleck at 3 o’clock at denticles and 1 o’clock in obverse field.
  • PCGS MS64RD #3690151: “The ESM Collection,” Stack’s Bowers, March 19, 2020, Lot 3041; Stack’s Bowers, August 7, 2020, Lot 2283 – $3,000. Carbon flecks on denticles at 10 and 11 o’clock. Carbon spot on star 2.
  • PCGS MS64RB CAC #3107131: Heritage Auctions, November 9, 2018, Lot 3355 – $3,120; Stack’s Bowers, December 18, 2020, Lot 2097 – $2,880. Large carbon spot in the left obverse field. Mostly red.
  • PCGS MS64RB #21782970: Heritage Auctions, January 2005, Lot 6977; W.J. Edwards, by sale December 2005; “The Colonel Steen Ellsworth Collection of U.S. Half Cents,” Heritage Auctions, May 29, 2008, Lot 1717 – $3,220. Cluster of diagonal scrapes to the left of stars 12 and 13.
  • NGC MS64BN #5747096-009: Dr. James O. Sloss; ANA Auction, August 1946, Lot 1409; Donald G. Partrick; “The Donald G. Partrick Collection,” Heritage Auctions, April 2021, Lot 3707. Donald G. Partrick Collection on insert; Stack’s Bowers, August 2022, Lot 2037; Stack’s Bowers, March 23, 2023, Lot 6012 – $3,120.

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Coin Specifications

 

Country: United States of America
Year of Issue: 1828
Denomination: Half Cent (USD)
Mintmark: None (Philadelphia)
Mintage: 606,000
Alloy: Copper
Weight: 5.44 g
Diameter: 23.50 mm
Edge: Plain
OBV Designer: John Reich, modified by William Kneass
REV Designer: John Reich

 

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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