Tag Archives: 50c

1829 Bust Half Dollar O-114

This coin has been seen a lot of history. I only hope that I look as good going into my second century! I’d grade it a G4 or a VG8 on a generous day. There’s a large X scratched into the reverse that significantly harms its eye appeal.

1829 Bust Half Dollar Obverse 04

1829 Bust Half Dollar Obverse 04

The obverse shows lady Liberty facing to the left, with a lot of cleavage showing. She wears a rather crushed looking liberty cap, and has curls of hair down to her shoulders.  She is surrounded by 13 six-sided stars; 7 run from her bosom at 8:00 to her temple at 11:00 and 6 run from the back of her head at 2:00 to her back at 4:00. The date is at 6:00.

1829 Bust Half Dollar Reverse 03

1829 Bust Half Dollar Reverse 03

On the reverse, an emblematic eagle sits on a nest of arrows. The eagle has a shielded chest, a rather serpentine neck (facing to the left) and spread wings. The legend “United States of America” runs from 8:00 to 4:00. A banner scroll reads “E Pluribus Unum” between the legend and eagle’s head from 10:00 to 2:00. The denomination “50 C” is at 6:00.

Date: 1829

Mint Mark: n/a (so Philadelphia)

Mintage: 3,712,156

Country of origin: United States

Composition: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper

Size: 32.5mm

Weight: 13.48 grams

Other details: The dies on these are all attributed by Overton. I don’t know all the differences between varieties, but they mostly have to do with the spacing of letters on the reverse. On some, the “I” in Liberty is further to the left or right of the “T” in United States.

1829 Bust Half Dollar Reverse with Overton attribution to O-114

1829 Bust Half Dollar Reverse with Overton attribution to O-114

I was told that this is an O-114 variety. Overton varieties start with 001 and were numbered based on their order of discovery. Typically, this means that the higher Overton numbers are scarcer. In this case, the O114 variety is rated as a R3 (which I believe is based on the Sheldon rarity scale below):

R1 is common (1000+ pieces known)
R2 is Slightly uncommon (501-1000 pieces known)
R3 is Scarce (201-500 pieces known)
R4 is Very Scarce (81-200 pieces known)
R5 is Rare (31-80 pieces known)
R6 is Very Rare (13-30 pieces known)
R7 is Extremely Rare (4-12 pieces known)
R8 is Unique or nearly so (1-3 pieces known)

Estimated Value: $60 to $90 with silver at ~$21/oz