First described by E.T. Wallis (California Stamp Company of Los Angeles), in the 10/1930 edition of The Numismatist and on the back cover of his second auction catalog (2/14/1930) - Pratt Collection - “rediscovered” by Al Overton in 1951 - Overton 1/1953:200, unsold, then sold privately later in the year for $1,500 - Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:1735, $209,000 - Donald Kagin & Andrew Lustig, sold privately in 6/1997 for a reported $250,000+ - Dr. Juan XII Suros - Superior Galleries 2/1999:180, $184,000 - Jay Parrino & Don Kagin - Bowers & Merena 7/2003:1443, unsold - Richmond Collection - David Lawrence 11/2004:1388, $333,500 - Stack’s 10/2006:1031, $310,500 - Stack’s 7/2009:542, $356,500 - Charles Link Complete Variety Set (PCGS Set Registry) - subsequently graded PCGS AU53 25359636
Pictured on the cover of the 1990 edition of Overton's Early Half Dollar Die Varieties, 1794-1836, and the second known at the time
Oakland, California coin dealer, sold privately in 1962 - Al Overton, sold privately - Empire Coin Company (Q. David Bowers and James Ruddy), sold privately in 1962 - Hazen B. Hinman Collection, sold privately - Paramount 5/1965:1112 (bought in?) - Bowers & Ruddy's Rare Coin Review, 1973-1975, sold privately in 1975 - Gloria Meyer, purchased as a gift for her husband's collection - Charlton E. "Swampy" Meyer, Jr. Collection - Mrs. Gloria Meyer, sold privately in 9/2006 - Sheridan Downey, sold privately in 4/2008 - D. Brent Pogue Collection
Discovered in 2005 by contractor George Williams in a pile of fill dirt - Heritage 1/2006:3184, $253,000 - Joseph C. Thomas Collection - Heritage 4/2009:2418, $109,250
VF details, tooled at date
Discovered unattributed in late 2013 or early 2014 - Stack’s/Bowers 8/2014
The 1817/4 Overdate Half Dollar is the most famous and valuable of all the Capped Bust Half Dollars. Only ten examples are known of this variety, several of which have been discovered within the past decade. Most of the known examples are of the Overton 102a variety, which means they show a somewhat vertical die crack on the obverse. This crack, and the eventual removal or destruction of the die, is believed to be the cause of this variety's exceptional rarity.
The finest example is the PCGS AU53 from the Eliasberg Collection (and, coincidentally, the first example of the variety discovered by E.T. Wallis circa 1930). Wallis' asking price of $2,500 in 1934 pales in comparison to the $356,500 it realized in its last auction appearance in 2009!
For anyone who thinks that all of the great coins have been found, it is important to realize that four of the eleven known 1817/4 Half Dollars have been discovered since 2005, and that the most recent find was in late 2013 or early 2014, when an example was purchased as a Punctuated Date 1817!
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