• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Is There Any Information As To The Magnitude Of R1 Capped Bust Halves?

6 posts in this topic

Perhaps the title was not clear.


I have been doing a novice statistical analysis of the Overton-covered half dollars and one limiting factor in my conclusions is that R1 varieties have a lower limit, however, they do not an upper limit. So, any coin with an estimated extant population of 1000 or more is automatically an R1 but, to twist a quote from George Orwell's Animal Farm-


Are some R1s more equal than others?


I understand that the raw designation itself is equivalent throughout the length of the series. Is there a point where it is assumed that larger numbers of R1 pieces are extant than in previous issues? If so, is that point based upon total mintage, average mintage per die marriage or year issued?


Any help, including questions as to what it is I actually want, would be greatly appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



In terms of value it doesn't matter if a die marriage is an R.1, R.2, or R.3. The intent of the rarity ratings is to help define value for R.4 and up die marriages, so most collectors don't care about upper limits of R.1's.


But this is still an interesting question, if it can be answered somewhat accurately then survival percentages can be determined. Reported mintages are not considered to be accurate for some years, such as 1807, 1834, 1835, and 1836, which makes it more difficult. Auction records have disproportionately lower numbers for lower grade R.1's that don't make the auctions. Census records are just the tip of the iceberg for R.1's. So it is a difficult question that no person can accurately answer, but long time dealer specialists and collectors with 20+ years of experience might be able to state which R.1's are the most common. There was a JRJ article that discussed 1829 O.105 as being the most common bust half.


I calculated survival percentages for the preturban 1794-1807 years using the midpoint of the revised rarity ratings, which showed 1794's as about 2% survivors, 1795's about 1%, and the 1801-1807 draped bust, heraldic eagle as about 1%. The 1796-1797 small eagles are about 5%, which makes sense as these were the first to have numismatic value (and probably some deceptive fakes mixed in with the survivors). These surviving percentages are only as good as the reported mintages and rarity ratings (I used 1500 for the 3 preturb R.1's, although '06 109 shows more auctions). I believe the BHNC rarity ratings are very accurate, as they are based mostly from actual coin numbers of census reports and 30+ years of auction records/sales, and ARE NOT based off of assumed mintages and survival percentages.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the response, Bill. I was just about to send you a PM on this issue at PCGS because no one had responded to me.


As for my intent, I am not doing this to somehow link value to particular coins. I was hoping to do an analysis that might infer whether certain published mintages might be called into question. Specifically, I agree with you regarding the published mintage of the 1807 CBH as I think there are fewer coins extant than would be expected if the published figure were correct.


I have also calculated the survival percentages of CBH and pre-Turb halves that have no R1 designated varieties according to the August, 2004 BHNC revised findings. My analysis also employed the mid-point value for each R rating. The numbers I have obtained are-


1794 2.1% extant

1795 1.1% extant

1796 and 97 5.7% extant

1801 1.6% extant

1802 1.2% extant

1803 0.7% extant

1805 1.6% extant

1815 1.6% extant


Where I appear to differ from you is that my estimations of R1 survivorship are linked to average coins produced per die marriage for each year and normalized by the year that produced the fewest coins per die marriage, the 1807 DBH. The 1807 DBH is given a pseudo-arbitrary R1 survivorship of 2000 pieces and all other dates are then linked to that. Using these parameters, I have come up with what I believe are some interesting charts. If you have any interest, send me your email and I will send them to you. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Honestly, I didn't know you cared a whit about this stuff. Haven't read your post in depth, but would be willing to discuss in person in Baltimore if you wish. You know how to look me up. Hopefully I'll find the time to read your post carefully before December. (I've been so tired lately.)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tom' This is a very complex statistical question. One test; and I haven't thought this through, is to assume all coins in mint state were collected at the time without regard to rarity (ie just date sets as was done back then). Then the ratios of mint state survivers by Overton # are at least not biased. These ratios could then be applied to infer a total population ratios of each of the surviver R-1 coins (of course most have not been submitted to be graded, so we really don't know a total). This ignors how you estimate total gross number of survivers verses reported minted numbers. But the issue you're addressing isn't actual numbers existant, it's RELATIVE numbers between each Overton R-1 variety. As a test, it will be interesting to see what is finally reported from the S.S. Republic recovery which at least will give a sample population to test your estimates. Also, I would speculate that economic conditions each year may affect the mint state population survivals just as these data are seen reflected in 20th century depression era coinage survival rates vs. mintage. This would be a good general interest story in a major numismatic publication. Good luck. 893crossfingers-thumb.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites