Capped Bust Half Dollars


The Capped Bust Half Dollars are an interesting and popular series to collect. With the exception of a few key dates, most issues had large enough mintages that a sufficient supply of coins remains for present day collectors to assemble collections in circulated grades. Advanced collectors have the choice of pursuing a collection of higher mint state grades, which can be scarce, or building a collection based on die varieties.

Capped Bust Half Dollar

The original design for the coins was created by John Reich. Liberty appears on the obverse, facing left and wearing a cap. There are thirteen stars surrounding, with seven to the left and six to the right. The date is inscribed below with the word "LIBERTY" on the cap. The reverse features a bald eagle grasping an olive branch and bundle of arrows. A scroll above reads "E PLURIBUS UNUM". Additional inscriptions are "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" and the denomination.

The Capped Bust Half Dollar was originally issued with a lettered edge reading "FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR". In 1936, modifications were made by Christian Gobrecht to the original design and the edge was changed to reeded.

Some important issues of the series include the 1815/2 Capped Bust Half Dollar, which had the lowest mintage for the initial portion of the series. The most famous rarity of the series is the 1817/4, a rare die variety for which only eight examples are known to exist.

This site will provide further information on the series of Capped Bust Half Dollars, along with a selection of coins available for sale for each date of issue. Enjoy building your collection of this classic U.S. coin.