COINage Profile: 1834 Capped Bust Half Dollar

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1834 Capped Bust Half Dollar

The Capped Bust half dollar is one of the most widely collected early United States coins. Large, heavy, scarce, yet also affordable and approachable, the Capped Bust half dollar is a type of “Goldilocks” coin for those who admire early types that are both challenging yet not too costly. The 1834 Capped Bust half is one of the most common of its series, with a mintage of 6,412,004 struck; however, Professional Coin Grading Service CoinFacts suggests that perhaps only 7,000 or so survive today across all grades.

There are three distinct varieties of 1834 half dollar, including:

  • 1834 Large Date, Large Letters
  • 1834 Large Date, Small Letters
  • 1834 Small Date, Stars, and Letters

While there are no known mintage figures to tell us how many of each was made, all three varieties are more or less equally scarce today. Many people collect Capped Bust half dollars as a type coin, though as a series they are reasonably affordable (in the relative sense) and available enough that deep-pocketed collectors could assemble a complete set.

The most common Capped Bust half dollars are rather uniform in price with one another, and the 1834 is a good representative of these common-date prices. In Good-4, examples trade for around $60 to $70, while those grading Fine fetch about $100. Those in gradually lesser states of wear aren’t dramatically more expensive, with the VF-20 and XF-40 specimens going for around $120 and $200, respectively. Even in uncirculated condition, it’s possible to locate specimens at a low-end Mint State starting price of around $1,100.

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