Bits & Pieces... by David Sundman
[photo: Obverse and reverse of an 1830 half dollar from our purchases]

Obverse and reverse of an 1830 half dollar from our purchase

Hoard of Bust Half Dollars

[photo: David examining a group of coins from this remarkable accumulation.]

David examining a group of coins from this remarkable accumulation.

For the past several months, our staff of skilled numismatic buyers have been hard at work purchasing the largest hoard of 19th- century U.S. type coins that they and I have ever seen. In fact, this is the biggest find that we've ever been offered in our 70-year history, consisting of hundreds of thousands of coins. It presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you to add some classic U.S. coins to your existing U.S. collection – or to branch out in a new direction – perhaps to a coin series that we have not been able to offer you before.

The hoard ranges from half cents to silver dollars, as well as selections of gold and U.S. paper currency. As we grade, classify and inventory the hoard, we'll be making select offers to you, both in catalogs and price lists, as well as in our clubs and approval programs.

Here's an example of a coin type we just purchased from the hoard: Capped Bust, Lettered Edge half dollars (1807-1836). These were struck exclusively in Philadelphia, at the first and second U.S. Mint facilities, and are very historic coins.

[photo: Stacks of early 19th-century Capped Bust halves from the hoard]

Stacks of early 19th-century Capped Bust halves from the hoard

Designed by John Reich, the Capped Bust half was the largest circulating coin of its time. The production of the larger silver dollar had stopped in 1804, and would not resume for decades. During their years of issue, Bust halves mostly sat in bank bags while they backed paper currency issued by the state chartered and private banks of the day. Much foreign coinage circulated during that time, as the output of the Philadelphia Mint was meager until many years after the U.S. Civil War. The U.S. Mint-produced Bust half dollar is a scarce U.S. coin type, and our inventory now features a number of dates and varieties. All of this is very exciting!

[photo: Edge inscription reads fifty cents or half a dollar]

Edge inscription reads fifty cents or half a dollar