The GFRC Open Set Registry Community Project

Capped Bust Half Dollars - Ultimate Set

A set of Capped Bust Halves Ultimate Business Strikes Set is truly a Herculean task regardless of one's means – almost 700 coins including various die states identified by an 'a' or 'b' following the die marriage number indicating they are later die states not listed in Overton or Prime varieties indicated by a single quotation mark after the die marriage number. It includes R8s and R7s - one of the rarest varieties is the 1817/14 found on the cover of Overton's book. Members of the Bust Half Nut Club (BHNC) have banded together to collect this entire series. Membership requires enthusiasm demonstrated by owning a minimum of 100 different Bust die marriages by Overton attribution, and should be genuinely interest in obtaining new die marriages for their set and must be sponsored by a current member who has verified the attributions and grades on their application. I call this Bust Half "fever". Dr. Glenn Peterson in his book refers to "17 collections from the BHNC with generally over 400 varieties in each." Many of these coins are difficult to find in grades above AU although VG-EF examples are more readily available.

The standard reference book used to attribute them has been Early Half Dollar Die Varieties 1794-1836 by Al C. Overton. The third edition seems the preferred edition - published in 1990 - and with some effort it can still be obtained. (The current version is the fifth edition and was published in 2013.) The book is 676 pages and is in black and white. This book covers earlier halves too, but this is beyond the scope of Capped Bust Halves. What the Overton book does not cover is the last few years of Capped Bust Halves. Earlier coins were of lettered edge design, but starting in 1836 reeded edge coins were produced. Even so, to attribute one's coins by Overton number there is a better choice in numismatic references - The Ultimate Guide to Attributing Bust Half Dollars by Dr. Glenn R. Peterson in its fourth edition, printed in 2012. It is easy to find and user friendly with wonderful close-up pictures, year graphs and a pictographic chart. New and experienced collectors alike benefit from Dr. Peterson's work.

For an ultimate set of Capped Bust Halves, varieties of Reeded edge coins are necessary. Dick Graham's A Registry of Die Varieties of Reeded Edge Half Dollars 1836-1839 printed in 2012 is the go-to book for them. It does a very fine job with the varieties known to exist. Jules Reiver's Variety Identification Manual for United States Reeded Edge Half Dollars 1836-1839 has additional information and varieties. His 1988 work seems to have been the starting of Dick Graham's work.

- John Okerson

Click Collection Name to view its composition. The Blank Collection is an empty version.

Collection Rating Complete Weighted Grade Last Updated
The Blank Collection
Collection Rating Complete Weighted Grade Last Updated
The John Okerson Collection 1.8 6% 36.9 0% May 11, 2018
The kcs Collection 0.3 2% 19.7 8% April 25, 2021
The Motor City Collection 0.1 0% 49.3 33% February 27, 2017
The Blank Collection

Rating: The weighted average of all coin grades (i.e. aggregated sum of each coin grade + CAC premium multiplied by its rarity factor divided by the sum of all rarity factors). Missing coins are included and assigned a grade of 0. This metric is the basis for order rank.

Complete: The number of coin entries divided by the total number of coins in the Set.

Weighted Grade: The weighted average of all coin grades (see calculation above), but excluding any missing coins.

%: The ratio of coins certified by CAC (either green or gold sticker). Calculated as the number of CAC coins divided by the total number of entered coins.

Rarity Factor: The rarity assessment for each date/variety uses the Sheldon scale of R1 through R8 with a R1 weight being the most common while an R8 weight being the most difficult to locate. Rarity estimates are by John Okerson.