A survey of 19th century business strike coin
50C DRAPED BUST, LARGE EAGLE (1801-1807)
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||HALF DOLLARS - DRAPED BUST, LARGE EAGLE
||50C 1806 POINT 6 WITH STEM O-115a
||NGC AU 58
After the mint issued a very small number of the half dollars in 1797, the facility did not strike another half dollar until 1801. From the 1801 until the middle of 1807 the obverse featured the same draped bust design that appeared on the 1796-7 half dollars, but the heraldic, large eagle reverse, replaced the small eagle that appeared on the earlier issues. The mintages were limited to around 30 thousand half dollars in 1801 and 1802 and increased to 188 thousand in 1803. After President Thomas Jefferson halted the coinage of the silver dollar in 1804, half dollar mintages increased dramatically. With the silver dollar off the table those who deposited silver coinage turned to the half dollar as the next most convenient denomination. As a result more than 1 million half dollars were minted over the 1806-7 period making those two dates the most common examples of this design. The coin shown here 9+s Overton variety 115a. The most striking characteristic of this variety is the “TY” “LIBERTY” is double cut. This is a common variety. The coin is very lustrous with golden toning on both sides and just a hint of wear on the highest points. I purchased this coin at the 1975 Grand Central auction that was held in New York City by Paramount International Coin Corporation. The Grand Central coin show was once a much anticipated event that was held each fall.