The 1817/4 Capped Bust Half Dollar (Buy on eBay) is an extremely rare and valuable variety with only eleven examples known to exist. All known examples are found in circulated grades.
It was common practice for the early Mint to reuse old dies by changing the last digit of the date. For the production of the 1817 half dollars, two old obverse dies dated 1813 and 1814 were overdated with a 7 in place of the last digit. The 1817/3 half dollars were struck in higher numbers and remain readily available. However, the die for the 1817/4 half dollar broke early in production, resulting in an extremely limited mintage.
The 1817/4 overdate was not discovered until 1930. Interestingly, four of the eleven known specimens have been found during the past two decades, which keeps dealers and advanced collectors on the hunt for new discoveries. The finest known example is a single AU53 specimen, which sold in July 2009 for a realized price of $356,500.
- Designer: John Reich
- Composition: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper
- Weight: 13.48 grams
- Diameter: 32.5 mm
- Edge: Lettered (“FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR”)