Musings and Observations about Bust Halves and other Coins

October 2022
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A Truly Original 1806 Draped Bust Half
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 12:30 pm

Sometimes I like to take a chance. I tend to like original coins, as I have pointed out, with all the dirt, toning, food, grease, and whatever other historical substances that have been attached to a coin over its long life. Sometimes a coins beauty is in its ugliness. And sometimes I just can’t figure out why no one is interested in a particular coin that I happen to think may be a gem. Case in point, this 1606 Draped Bust Half. It appears to have all of its history attached to it, including some sort of orange substance obverse and reverse, and a black streak of grease (?) on the reverse, to go with its heavy toning. Below are the Heritage pics I bought off of:

I admit that at first I thought that this coin may turn out to be just plain ugly. But there are a few things about this one. First, it is not a plain 1806, but an 1806/5 overdate. Second, it has two neat die cracks, one obverse and one reverse. Third, my research indicates that this is the second best example offered for sale the past 10 years, and a few people have told me that this is a rather rare die state.
But when you get down to it, the coin looks great in hand, as the substances on the coin are less apparent. 100% of this coin’s history appears to be intact, and it has great details. Think of what was going on back in 1806. Napoleon was conquering Prussia (with ease I might add). Andrew Jackson killed Charles Dickenson in a duel, proving that men were actually men back then. The first strawberry was cultivated and Lewis and Clark return from their expedition to the Pacific Northwest.

In any event, I am guessing that bidders on this coin did not appreciate this coin’s originality and the fact that it is an overdate, as I won this for far less than it is worth. Below are my pics, which are more accurate:

It appears that this coin was one of the last minted from this die pairing, as there are many examples that exist with only the obverse crack. For the coin to be a true O-103 “a”, both cracks must be present. Complete information can be found on my main site here:

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