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On the Block: The Finest Collection of Capped Bust Half Dollars Ever Assembled

Legend Rare Coin Auctions - Regency 28 Sale - Capped Bust Half Dollars

CoinWeek Staff Reports….

It takes a total of 73 coins to complete the PCGS Set Registry set of Capped Bust half dollars, Major Variety Set without Reeded Edges, Circulation Strikes (1807-1836), and to date only three collections have risen to the task and completed the set, and only one of them, the Konstantine’s Capped Half Dollar Set has done so with a weighted Grade Point Average over 60. The set composition is robust, including scores of varieties, some readily available and others so scarce that only a few are known.

What’s more impressive is that the Capped Bust half dollar is a popular series with a devoted following and ample reason to entice enthusiasm on the part of collectors. With the exception of a few coins, the set is collectible at a range of grades and price points. Struck from 1807 to 1836, the series spanned the was first struck during the administration of Thomas Jefferson and ended its run during the administration of Andrew Jackson.

A workmanlike coin, the issue spent a majority of its run as the highest denomination silver coin in the U.S. series.

On September 26, at 5:30PM PT, Legend Rare Coin Auctions will offer the complete Konstantine Capped Half Dollar Set, including rarities.

We saw highlights from the set at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia, earlier this year, where Legend also distributed a lavishly-produced booklet detailing each piece from the set.

To call the collection impressive would be an understatement.

In terms of provenance, the pedigrees attached to the pieces in Konstantine’s Capped Half Dollar Set read set like a “Who’s Who” of 20th century American numismatics. These are coins once owned by the likes of Eliasberg, Friend, Gardner, Green, Link, Newman, Norweb, and Pogue.

To each of these collectors, the hobby was not a mere act of accumulation, but a lifelong devotion to the minutia of numismatic study.

Konstantine Collection of Draped Bust Half Dollars
Konstantine Collection of Draped Bust Half Dollars. Image: LRCA / PCGS

Many coins in this set: the 1807 O-114 in PCGS MS65 CAC, the 1817/3 O-101A in PCGS MS63+, the 1820/19 O-101A Square Base 2 in PCGS MS64, the 1823 O-107 in PCGS M65+, and the 1824 Over Various Dates in PCGS MS64 can be accurately considered the standard bearers for their respective dates and varieties.

The most important rarity in the set is the 1817/4 O-102, graded PCGS VF35.

The 1817/4 O-102 in PCGS VF35 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With eleven known examples, this is by far the rarest Red Book variety Bust half dollar in the entire series. The overdate is one of two for the date, the other is the 1817/3.

Konstantine Capped Bust Half Dollar Collection 1817/4
Konstantine Capped Bust Half Dollar Collection 1817/4. Image: PCGS.

Even in its well-worn condition, the Konstantine 1817/4 is the finest known in an early uncracked die state. Remnants of the crossbar of the 4 are distinctive and intersect the leg of the 7 in the date.

Beyond the interesting overdate feature, another Mint blunder that makes this coin fascinating is the lack of bottom serifs on the “I’s” in UNITED and AMERICA. Al Overton commented that it made the letters appear as J’s and instead of I’s.

The variety was discovered in 1930 by California coin and stamp dealer Edward T. Wallis. And though it was seen by a small number of experts of the period, notably Pennsylvania collector and series specialist Martin Luther Beistle, who confirmed the coin’s authenticity, no photograph of the variety was published for several decades.

Al Overton, the author of Early Half Dollar Die Varieties 1794-1836, purchased the Wallis piece in 1951.

When last we saw this coin, it was offered for sale in the second session of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, where the coin brought healthy bidding and realized $282,000 with Buyer’s Premium.

Legend Rare Coin Auctions has set a reserve on the piece and estimates its price at $300,000 to $350,000.

Konstantine Capped Bust Half Dollar Set - 1809 and two 1814 specimens
Konstantine Capped Bust Half Dollar Set – 1809 and two 1814 specimens. Image: LRCA/ PCGS.

Beyond the numerous high dollar specimens, the Konstantine Capped Bust Half Dollar Set includes coins that are modest in price, but rich in character.

Lot 19 is an 1814/3 O-101A in PCGS AU58. This lustrous coin is lathered in die cracks and eludes to the faintest hint of wear. Pre-sale estimate is $2,000. Current Bid at the time of publication sits at $1,800.

The 1809 O-102 in PCGS AU55 CAC has the distinctive XXX edge boasts original unblemished surfaces and with only 16 graded finer, has just surpassed the pre-sale estimate of $4,000.

Konstantine’s 1814 O-108 E/A in STATES is graded PCGS AU58. This gem-AU piece has plus eye appeal and rich aquamarine toning with cobalt coloration wrapping around the rim. The reverse die has a corrected misspelling in STATES. Under glass, you can see an A under the E. Fun curiosities like this is what makes pre-Civil War U.S. coins so interesting.

Bidding for this piece have moved beyond the presale estimate of $5,000 and currently sits at $5,700.

Stretching the midrange collector budget a bit, but certainly for good reason, is Lot 30, a 1819/8 O-101 Small 9 in PCGS MS64+.

It didn’t take much notice to blow past the lot’s pre-sale estimate of $5,000. Current bid, after 21 bids have been recorded, is $8,250. This coin could hit $10k and we wouldn’t be surprised.

This 1819/8 is a vivid toner in as near gem as a coin can get without crossing into the MS65 threshold.

Legend describes the coin as having orange and blue coloration.

In hand, we can attest that the coin has a great look for an early U.S. silver coin with color. Its the kind of coin one pulls out to admire again and again.

To view the complete Konstantine Capped Bust Half Dollar Set and the entire 665-lot offering at Legend Rare Coin Auction’s Regency 28 sale, visit the company’s auction page. Pre-sale bidding continues until the auction goes live at 5:30 PM Pacific Time.

If you are in Las Vegas and plan to attend the PCGS Member’s Only Show, you can attend Half Dollar Day and see the set for one final time before it crosses the auction block.

Register to bid online or by calling Legend Rare Coin Auctions at 732-935-1168.




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