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C.D. Harrell's Blog

06 Apr 2020

Tales Of The C.D. Harrell Early Half Dollar Collection

Coins-United States | C.D. Harrell

The C.D. Harrell Early Half Dollar Collection

Tales of the collection

C.D.H | Numismatics | 4/6/2020

Numismatics

“Fortunately, numismatics, like some aspects of astronomy and natural history, remains a branch of learning in which the amateur can still do valuable work, and it is on the great collecting public, or rather on that part of it which is interested in the subject at a scientific level, that the progress of numismatic science largely depends.”

-Philip Grierson, professor of numismatics at Cambridge University.

How I began collecting

I have been interested in numismatics since my early childhood. The earliest memory I have of truly being interested in numismatics was in the year 2005. I would have been eight years old at the time. My father brought me into the basement of our home where he kept his safe. He brought out a box of miscellaneous things he had collected over the years, and part of this collection included coins that I had never seen before. I remember one coin in particular catching my eye. It was the 1943 steel wheat cent. He gave me a handful of coins from his small collection to keep. This included the 1943 steel cent. A few days later Polly, who came once every two weeks to help clean the house, was wiping down the counters. The steel cent my father had given me laid on the counter waiting to be wiped onto the floor never to be seen again. Polly, who was extremely trustworthy and diligent in her cleaning, sat the coin to the side. The thought of what if Polly had thrown the penny in the trash, still crosses my mind to this day. Polly was the one who mentioned something about the potential of the coin being valuable. I remember her mentioning she heard on the news that recently a 1943 penny had sold for close to one million dollars. Within the minute, my mother was on the phone calling a local coin shop. Within that same minute we were all three informed that it was not the 1943 steel cent that sold for the large sum of money but rather the 1943 copper cent. Although the coin I held was not worth a million dollars, it allowed me to become aware of a coin that was. It sparked an interest in numismatics that continues to flourish in me today. The 1943 steel cent my father gave me currently resides in a grey wheat cent coin album in my safe. In the same basement where it began its journey.

How I began collecting early half dollars

It was some time ago, so I will have to estimate the age in which this particular event occurred. I am going to say I was 16. This would put the time period around the year 2013. I was walking around the Myrtle Beach South Carolina flea market when I came across a booth selling various collectibles. At this point in time, I was more focused on buying coins for their silver billion value rather than their numismatic value. I asked the man running the booth if he had any silver coins, and he did. What he pulled out of the case for me to take a look at was capped bust silver half dollar. The exact year slips my mind but it was a fairly common date. The coin was well worn and not in the best of condition. He was asking $55.00 for the coin. After back and forth negation I ended up purchasing the coin for $35.00 Just a few hours later I was at a local antique shop. The shop had a sign located at the front of the store the read “buy, sell trade.” I went out to my truck and grabbed the capped bust half I had purchased a few hours earlier. I ended up trading the coin for a handful of silver walking liberty half dollars’ worth well over $120.00. This was the moment I realized the potential value of capped bust half dollars. It would be sometime until I would realize the beauty and historical significance of the coin series.

THE PURPOSE

As many fellow numismatist would agree, it is the history and culture that you can learn from coins that make collecting such great hobby, the value that potentially comes along with it is an added bonus. I have focused my collection primarily on early United States half dollars minted between the years 1794-1839. The reason being, this time period of United States history interest me most. At this time I am 22 years old and still in the infancy of my collecting years. I look forward to growing my collection and acquiring the knowledge that comes along with it. This being my first blog, I intend for these notes to tell the story behind the coins and how they were acquired.

Comments

Nice story, you got a great profit on that half!

CopperCollector

Level 4

Great story.

Kepi

Level 6

Great blog! Really enjoyed reading it ; )

C.D. Harrell

Level 4

Thank you for the kind words!

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Ihave a thing for the capped bust design myself. Bought 4 half dollars earlier at auction. I have a capped bust quarter and am working on a type set

C.D. Harrell

Level 4

It truly is a great representation of early American design!

JudeA

Level 4

Great blog! I wonder how many calls coin shops get about the 1943 steel cent every day! It must get tiresome telling everyone that their coin is basically worthless!

C.D. Harrell

Level 4

I am sure it is! "Sorry but you can't retire just yet."

Long Beard

Level 5

I began the same way. Started with Lincoln's to fill an old Whitman (which I still have 46 years later) in the hopes of finding that 1909s VDB. Sadly, the hole is still empty. But, it turned me on to Winged Liberty Dimes. With that set complete, I finished the Roosevelt, Barber and now nearly two-thirds through the Seated. But, enough about me. Very nice, well written blog about the importance behind coin collecting. Sometimes it's good to simply reflect on who we are, where we came from and why. Only those in numismatics understand how a simple round disc of metal accomplishes just that. Keep plugging away at those Capped Busts.

C.D. Harrell

Level 4

Wow! Very impressive. Good luck finishing up your seated set, beautiful coins they are.

Longstrider

Level 6

Great blog. I enjoy reading how members got stated in our hobby. Thanks.

C.D. Harrell

Level 4

Thank you !

It's Mokie

Level 6

Nice Job C.D. I really enjoyed both your stories. I am looking forward to your future efforts.

C.D. Harrell

Level 4

I appreciate the kind words, thank you.

Mike

Level 7

Thats a cent worth looking for. 1943 copper. The 1943 steel do ok in high grades ifyou can fipnd all three . Thats the trick.. Most are in poor condition. If i find one in food shaoe its usally a philly. I do have a set. Good grades but you must be careful. Many have been done over. Thanks.

C.D. Harrell

Level 4

Hoping to pick up a MS steel cent soon if one presents itself at the right price.

Golfer

Level 5

Very nice post and exciting 1943 cent story. A recent post on the 1943 cent made me find my fake copper coin and with a magnet find out it was steeel. I may of tested it years ago, but needed to test it again. My 1943 copper looking cent was found in pocket change years ago. Thanks for the post.

C.D. Harrell

Level 4

I bet that one got your heart racing.

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