Newly Discovered 1817/4 Half Dollar, Offered in August by Stack’s Bowers Galleries

Author: Stack's Bowers Galleries / May 15, 2014
IRVINE, Calif. (May 8, 2014) — Advanced collectors of U.S. silver coinage will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a newly discovered and recently certified example of this classic Capped Bust half dollar, the 11th known example of this important rarity, at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries August 2014 Official Auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money.

The coin comes from an anonymous consignor who 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 the coin to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) for certification. The coin was then returned to the owner in a VF Details-Tooled holder, and was promptly consigned to the Stack’s Bowers Galleries August 2014 Official Auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money.  

Among early U.S. coins, only large cents have a larger following than Capped Bust half dollars, and there are many collectors who are looking to complete sets of the major varieties listed in A Guide Book of United States Coins.

“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. “The inclusion of an 1817/4 in any collection of Capped Bust half dollars automatically places it among the historic collections of the past, including The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, and The George ‘Buddy’ Byers Collection.” 

In 2005, only seven specimens of this coin were known to the numismatic community. Since then, three examples have been discovered, and now, the 11th known example is being introduced to the market.

“We expect much excitement among specialists of early U.S. silver coins,” said Brian Kendrella, president of Stack’s Bowers Galleries. “In recent auctions, we have offered several newly found examples of major rarities, all bringing very strong prices, including the fourth known 1853-O No Arrows half dollar, and an 1808/7 C-1 half cent, both sold at our August 2012 ANA Rarities Night Auction. Once again, it is a privilege to offer an important numismatic discovery to collectors.” 

The coin will be available for lot viewing at upcoming Stack’s Bowers Galleries auctions, including the June 2014 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo, and at the company’s Irvine, California, and New York City locations. For more information, or to schedule a lot-viewing appointment, please call 800.458.4646 (West Coast), 800.566.2580 (East Coast), or email

Stack’s Bowers Galleries is currently accepting U.S. and world coin and paper money consignments for its Official Auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money. For more information, please call 800.458.4646 (West Coast) or 800.566.2580 (East Coast) to speak to a consignment specialist.


About Stack’s Bowers Galleries

Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducts live, Internet and specialized auctions of rare U.S. and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company’s 80-year legacy includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block — The John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection and The Battle Born Collection — to name just a few. World coin and currency collections include The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, The Guia Collection, The Thos. H. Law Collection, and The Robert O. Ebert Collection.

Topping off this amazing numismatic history is the inclusion of the world record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a rare coin, the 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar graded Specimen-66 (PCGS) that realized over $10 million, part of their sale of the famed Cardinal Collection. The company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with offices in New York, Wolfeboro, Hong Kong, and Paris. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is an Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including American Numismatic Association events, the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Professional Numismatists Guild New York Invitational, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Expos, and its April and August Hong Kong Auctions.


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