As part of their October 8 online auction of classic and rare U.S. coins, GreatCollections is offering an original 1841 Braided Hair half cent graded Proof 63 Red Brown (RB) by PCGS and approved as strong for that grade by CAC. It is stored in a PCGS Original Green Holder (OGH).
The Braided Hair design, created by Chief Engraver Christian Gobrecht, was the last design produced for the half cent denomination. For the first nine years (1840-48) of the coin’s run, the Philadelphia Mint struck only Proofs. Afterwards, both business strikes and Proofs were made from 1849 until production stopped in 1857. As demand for the half cent was waning in commerce, mintages for all of these dates are low not only for the denomination but also for all United States coinage.
Having said that, the 1841 is relatively common – “relatively” being the key word, as PCGS gives an estimate of only 30 surviving coins. All 1841 half cents feature a die crack that starts between stars two and three and curves through stars four to six before stopping at the rim to the left of star seven. Restrikes and second restrikes were made of the Proof coins, which is why half cents of the initial mintage are referred to as “Original”. Red Brown examples are harder to find than Brown, but easier to find than Red.
The record price for an original 1841 half cent is $35,250 USD for a PR67 Brown specimen offered in a March 2017 auction. At the time of publication, the starting bid for this original 1841 Braided Hair half cent is $11,000.
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