Rare half dollar variety found

A newly discovered example of an 1817 “7” over “4” Capped Bust half dollar will be offered at the Stack’s Bowers World’s Fair of Money auction in August.

The firm reports that this 11th known example was the happy find of the anonymous consignor.

He had purchased it misattributed as a “punctuated date” variety from a dealer at a local coin show. After reviewing the coin at home, the owner realized that despite light tooling at the date, there was a strong possibility that it was the 1817 Overton-102 variety, which is the most sought after coin for Bust half dollar collectors, and one of the major Red Book varieties missing from the majority of collections.

The owner brought the coin to the March 2014 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo to be authenticated, and after a few experts confirmed his attribution, he submitted it to the Professional Coin Grading Service for certification. The coin was returned to the owner in a VF Details-Tooled holder.

“For the truly adventurous and patient, the goal of completing a collection by die marriage according to Overton varieties is a pursuit attempted by some, but completed by very few,” said Q. David Bowers, chairman emeritus of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

This is the fourth example to be discovered since 2005.

“We expect much excitement among specialists of early U.S. silver coins,” said Brian Kendrella, president of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

According to Coin Market, a VF-20 has a retail value of $200,000.