First half cent purchase
I have been collecting large cents, mostly late dates, for the last two years but recently got interested in half cents. I was looking around on ebay and found one I liked, put in my bid, and won the item for a little under my max. It's an 1804 C4, here are the pictures:
As I learn more about the series, thanks to the Manley book, they are becoming more and more appealing. I find the number of varieties is manageable, compared to large cents. With a little bit of study I can identify varieties without the books which make it a very enjoyable series, quickly becoming an addiction
Any thoughts on grade, I have it as 5 net 3? Also, I think it's die state 1 as there is no die crack by the denominator, any thoughts?
Last edited by beef1020; 02-14-2013 at 09:16 PM.
I also like the little coppers. I also have the large cents. I have 28 half cents so far. I try to buy the best grade I can for the limit I have to spend. I know that sounds strange, but if I have $200 to spend on a weekend at the coin show, I look for the best coin that will fit in my coin book or one I can sell and make a profit on ebay for $200.00. So if you look, you can get a nice 1804 for $200. I also try to buy the best coin I can for my budget. I have a choice AG 3/ G 4 1804 Large Cent. I paid a $1,000.00 to have it. For that coin, that was the best condition I could afford. If I wanted a 1818 S.10, I can get a MS 63 for $500.00. I hope this is somewhat clear. I would rather have a nice coin that I love to look at than a bunch of beat up coins. Also, if you make an effort and go to lots of shows, or look on ebay; the good coins will "come to you". I hope this helps...Steve
I appreciate your advice and sharing your approach to coin purchases. I know it's a beat up coin, and I know I can get a much nicer 1804 for the money I paid for this one, however considering the rarity of this variety I think I did pretty well. This coin without the dings/scratches would cost 20 times what I paid for it.
Originally Posted by 3steven2
I certainly appreciate how much of a premium problem free early copper has, and would love to have my entire collection be such. But I also find with some of the rare early date cents/half cents there is a very big trade off between detail and condition. For me, this coin was on the right side of that tradeoff.
Last edited by beef1020; 02-19-2013 at 01:03 AM.
Thank you for your kind reply. I didn't see your coin before I opened "MY BIG FINGERS" and would not have written what I did. It is your coin and your cash, but your coin will be difficult to sell when the time comes. In most cases, rarity does not trump condition. It is OK to not fill all the holes in the coin book. Dr. Sheldon made certain coins NCs and I feel that each person can make his own NCs. Just my thoughts and best wishes to you.............Steven
Not with my OCD, that is like doing 998 of a 1000 piece puzzle Again, thanks for your comments, it's food for thought. And, I realize the likelihood of me completing, whatever that means, a half cent variety collection is basically zero.
Originally Posted by 3steven2
The whole key is to what level of coin makes you happy. Of course, everyone wants coins that are 30, 40 or better but its impossible for some of us (and on some varations). My key is to be able to see what makes the coin that variation on the tougher ones. I usually avoid coins with totally worn backs, but was offered a S-53 (R6 - detail is clear on front for variation) with no detail on back at a price I could afford. I never dreamed to have a S-53.
I'd much rather fill that hole if possible!
Hi Beef1020- welcome to the half cent world. I've been a collector/hoarder of half cents exclusively for 13 years now and sometimes you have to buy the rarer ones when you can regardless of condition unless you have a money tree in your back yard. Yes , I have many MS examples, but I also have some coins that most other non-half cent collectors would think were junk. I generally try to avoid deliberate damage but it is not a hard fast rule if it fills a hole . As an example, I have a 1794 c-7 fine detail, beautiful light brown color and remarkable mark free EXCEPT two deliberate gouges right across the face- but I still love it and I didn't drop $7000 or even close on it. Bottom line, if you can enjoy it- that's all that should matter
I would say the sharpness grade is a little better than 5 - maybe 7. but, the scratches and rim issues definitely put this one in 3-territory for net. I wonder if that is a rim clip on the rev., to the right of STATES, or just something related to a rim bump?
Thanks for the comments everyone.
Sheldon-52, thanks for the thoughts on grading. I dont think it's a rim clip, it almost looks like the coin was in a vice, with those dents on opposite sides of the coins. I wonder if someone was testing the sharpness of a blade and put the coin in a vice.
That is the cool thing about a worn coin, wondering where it has been and what may have caused each of the bumps and bruises. I also like to ponder whose pocket it may have been in during the wild 1800's! I love Q. David Bowers writing for this reason, grab a copy of Adventures with Rare Coins or his numismatist's companion series for some romantic stories about coins along this line. My thought on lower grade coins is it is far better than a hole and I don't worry about upgrading it if I still have other empty holes to fill. The cool thing about early copper is that you certainly are not limited to one of each date, or even one of each variety if you collect die states. The only coins I regret selling are the coins I have sold, all the rest of them I am happy with! My strategy is to buy at least one high grade example of each major type, I am actually working on a full US type set in addition to my copper (lifelong pursuit I think). I pick the more common years for the type set to save money, then collect the rarer varieites in whatever grade I can afford.