QUARTERLY REVIEW: Bust Halves & Bust Dollars Active
BY JOHN FEIGENBAUM, PUBLISHER & PATRICK IAN PEREZ, EDITOR
This Quarterly II is the first issue in which we were able to survey market activity with our expanded listings of varieties of early half dollars and early silver dollars in place. One thing that was immediately apparent was that Capped Bust half dollars are very active, and we recorded many price updates in this series. Much of the activity is in the Very Fine to About Uncirculated grades. Specialists have long sought choice AU specimens of this type, and it is a series that has relatively large spreads between AU50 to AU58, making this series particularly difficult to price. As a reminder the prices within are specifically for AU50 coins. In the Draped Bust dollar series much of the updates are based on type coin prices in the circulated grades. Interestingly, many varieties of early dollars do not distinguish themselves by price until the mint state grade levels. This makes a major variety set in circulated grades an achievable task. Liberty Seated dollars also show significant activity -- especially proofs. While very scarce, a handful of these coins have sold a little soft in recent auctions as supply currently exceeds demand.
With regard to most early proof type, it is clear that in today’s rare coin market, the
coin’s eye appeal and originality are significantly more important than the surviving population. In gold coinage, we are in phase two of our longterm pricing project. As we wrote about extensively in previous Quarterly issues, phase one was to undertake a full review of all series covered. This resulted in over 10,000 price changes and provided us with a current, accurate foundation from which to report prices going forward, as coins sell at auction and dealers post fresh bids. The largest amount of activity can be found in early quarter eagles, with type prices updated throughout. The three dollar gold series also shows continued strength, especially among the later better dates. The upcoming World’s Fair of Money auctions will provide lots of new pricing to report for upcoming Quarterly editions.