Classic 1817/4 Half Dollar Rarity, Key to the Series, Second Finest PCGS Coin

Classic 1817/4 Half Dollar Rarity, Key to the Series, Second Finest PCGS Coin

D. Brent Pogue Collection Part 2 Update

As you read these words we are busy creating a memorable catalog for our sale of the D. Brent Pogue Collection Part II. This will be held with Sotheby’s in New York City on September 30. Many of the numismatic treasures will be on view before then, including at the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo in Baltimore in mid-July and at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Chicago in early August. In the meantime, information will be posted on our website.

If you have not already done so, we invite you to order one or both of the beautiful deluxe hardbound books showcasing the most valuable collection of early classic American coins ever formed: Treasures of the D. Brent Pogue Rare Coin Cabinet and The 1822 Gold Half Eagle. For more information, visit our website

Each volume is one of a kind and has much information not only about the Pogue Collection but about rare coins in general, much of which is not available in any other book.


The Landmark 1817/4 Half Dollar

1817/4 half dollar. Overton-102. Rarity-7. VF-35 (PCGS)

The general rule for a D. Brent Pogue Collection coin is that it is choice or gem Mint State or Proof and is among the finest of its kind—often the very finest. There are a few exceptions, and this famous half dollar rarity is one—simply because there are none known in Mint State or even close. This lovely VF-35 (PCGS) is the second finest known and is not far from being the finest! It displays deep silver gray in the fields with nuances of violet detected under close examination. The higher areas of the relief are light gray. Essentially, this is exactly what a Capped Bust half dollar of this grade should look like and there is little more to be said in this respect.

Collecting Capped Bust half dollars of the 1807 to 1836 years has been a passion for a long time. The enthusiasm has been accelerated by the works of the late Al Overton, by members of the John Reich Collectors Society, and by scattered auction appearances over the years, including the discovery coin that we featured in our sale of the Louis E. Eliasberg Collection in 1997. With fewer than a dozen known the 1817/4 has been the definitive coin in the Capped Bust series, the Holy Grail. As noted, the Pogue Collection coin stands high among the finest of these and offers a rare opportunity.

The Pogue coin traces its provenance to a coin dealer in Oakland, California, to Al Overton; illustrated in his advertisement in the June 1962 issue of The Numismatist, page 793; Empire Coin Company; Hazen B. Hinman; Paramount Century Sale, May 1965, lot 1112; our Rare Coin Review, several issues, 1973-1975; Charlton E. Meyer, Jr.; and featured on the cover of the 4th edition of Overton’s United States Early Half Dollar Die Varieties, 1794-1836 edited by Donald L. Parsley.

Nearly all of the Pogue Collection coins are accompanied by such provenances or “pedigrees.” In addition to collecting this coin, the fortunate next owner will “collect” a lot of history. A pleasant afternoon could be spent checking out the history of the Empire Coin Company (formed by Dave Bowers and Jim Ruddy on April 15, 1958), learning about the Century Sale, reviewing past issues of our Rare Coin Review, and researching Charlton Meyer, who formed the greatest collection of 1807-1836 Capped Bust half dollars ever assembled. The life and times of Al Overton, a Colorado professional numismatist, would make interesting reading as well, should someone compile it.

Coming next week: A Gem 1794 silver dollar—an American treasure!

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