Who doesn’t like a cud on early US coins? When it comes to bust half dollars it’s slim pickin’s, none in the capped bust series, 1807-1836. The reverse die of the 1805 O.112 was first used on the 1803 O.103. In its terminal die state a cud develops from the rim through TES of STATES, obliterating most of the letters and weakening the first two digits of the date. The die state was unknown to Al Overton. Jules Reiver is credited with spotting the first “O.112a” to appear at auction. He acquired it in Heritage’s February 1986 auction, lot 2706. That coin, graded VF 20 by both NGC and PCGS, has since appeared twice at auction: the Reiver sale in 2006 at $1,840 (lot 22539) and Heritage’s sale of Chuck De Olden’s collection (lot 1362) in January 2008, where it brought $2,990. I can account for only 7 examples of this rarity. There may be a couple of others. The roster of owners reads like a BHNC hall of fame: Jules Reiver/Charles De Olden (same coin), Ivan Leaman/Jerry Schertz (same coin), Michael Summers/Brad Higgins (same coin), Barry Broyde (aka E. Horatio Morgan) and Charles Link. Dr. Link acquired the example offered here in January 2014 from Harry Laibstain. This is its inaugural appearance at auction. It earned a CAC sticker despite some unfortunate toning spots. Natural toning and smooth surfaces provide the necessary compensation.
Estimate: $1,000 and up
Sheridan Downey, Numismatist 4400 Keller Ave.,
Suite 140, PMB 398 Oakland, California 94605 email@example.com (510) 479-1585