thatcoinguy's Blog

13 Aug 2022

Sleeping Sleepers: Capped Bust Half Dimes

| thatcoinguy

Finding “sleeper” coins or series is something lots of coin collectors, inventors, and dealers attempt to do. The idea of buying an underpriced coin that is very likely to go up in value is something everyone wants. The late John Jay Pittman was particularly good at this. He spent about $75,000 over his lifetime on coins, and when his collection was auctioned off, it went for over $30 million! I have seen lots of suggestions on which series or date/mintmark coin is a sleeper, and some of them I believe to be right, but most I believe are incorrect. But here’s a series I think no collector can go wrong with: Capped Bust Half Dimes.

The first thing anyone asks when you tell them that they should collect a certain series is, “How much is the key date?” Most of the time, this is the coin that stops collectors from assembling the series because they just can’t afford that one coin. Well, let me tell you; the key date of the series is the 1837 half dime, and it is almost just as cheap as every other coin in the series.

One of the advantages of collecting Capped Bust half dimes is that it is a short series. The coins in this series were only minted at the Philadelphia Mint, and they were only issued for nine years! That means to have a complete collection of Capped Bust half dimes, you only need nine coins! And even the major varieties for the series are cheap and affordable.

So, I keep saying cheap and affordable. How much are they actually? Every date in the series is usually the same price, so the G-4 coins will usually run about $75, the F-12 grade half dimes will cost you about $115 each, and EF-40 coins will make you shell out the meager sum of $225. This is the cheapest series from the 19th century, and is cheaper than most complete 20th century series in any grade as well! I’m not telling you to collect them, but…

If you just finished your silver Washington quarters or Capped Bust half dollars and can’t decide what to collect next, send me a message! I have lots of ideas and lots of time, and I would love to help you pick out which series is right for you that fits in your budget. It’s no problem, and I actually enjoy it!

Keep collecting,



Long Beard

Level 5

In my earlier days I leaned towards the half-dimes, now the small sizes makes it tougher to enjoy through older eyes. Although a magnifying glass does wonders! I like any of the Capped Bust denominations.

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