1822 Capped Bust Half Dollar

1822 Capped Bust Half Dollar. O-105. Rarity-3. MS-66 (PCGS). CAC

An incredible and superior Gem surely destined for a top-tier PCGS Registry Set or cabinet of early half dollars.

The brightest of blues is made brighter at the rims as the lustrous cartwheel passes it, corralling deep golden centers that turn orange and violet before the azure frame. A coin of exquisite aesthetic appeal, richly lustrous and colored no less beautifully than a tropical bird. The detail is complete on both sides, with full star centers and each fine interstice of the devices well realized. The surfaces are fascinating, as both obverse and reverse show fine raised texture indicative of a rusted die face. Die rust is typically a misnomer, a misunderstanding of spalling, which involves a steel surface chipping, not oxidizing, but the dies used to strike this coin appear to show actual rust. Die rust as here is very unusual, making this an especially fascinating coin to study.

A vertical planchet striation was not completely struck out at the center of the obverse, visible to the right of the corner of Liberty’s eye and descending to her cheek. A similar artifact is noted on her shoulder curl. The surfaces are free of significant post-striking defects, with just a short hairline visible on the bust. The reverse die is cracked in a broad arc from above TES of STATES, through OF AMERICA and past the arrowheads, before intersecting with the stop after C and stopping at the C itself.

Extraordinary in both its aesthetic and technical excellence, this piece is ranked atop the Overton-Parsley census for the variety. Precious few 1822 half dollars of any variety have survived in such a remarkable state of preservation, and fewer still exhibit this kind of visual presence. The only other PCGS MS-66 in the Normal Date category is the prooflike Eliasberg Overton-114.

Additionally, our only auction record of a PCGS MS-67 comes from RARCOA’s session of Auction ’90, stressing the truly elusive nature of this issue in high grades. Our offering of this coin and the Pogue 1822 Overton-101 represents just the third and fourth recorded auction appearances of any PCGS-certified 1822 half dollar in a grade higher than MS-65. It is an absolutely stunning survivor from the early United States Mint that is sure to be the envy of any advanced specialist. Approval by CAC adds further desirability.

PCGS# 39590. NGC ID: 24FG.



PCGS Population (All 1822 Normal Date Varieties): 1; just 2 finer in MS-67.

Ex Thomas Elder’s sale of the E.J. Woodgate Collection, March 1911, lot 299; Wayte Raymond’s sale of February 1947, lot 508; our (Stack’s) sale of March 1990, lot 125; Phil Kaufman Collection; Phil Kaufman to Joseph C. Thomas, via Heritage, by sale, July 2008; Joseph C. Thomas Collection; Heritage’s sale of April 2009, lot 2428, via Larry Hanks, our/Sotheby’s sale of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part II, September 2015, lot 2040.


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