From the NGC Archives: 1838 Capped Bust Half Dollar

Posted on 9/20/2011

In 1836, Christian Gobrecht updated John Reichs's vintage design of 1807 for use with the mint's new steam presses.

The revised edition of this coin type also employed a reeded edge, whereas previous issues were coined in open collars with lettered edges.

It's unfortunate that this beautiful design was employed for only four years before its retirement. Viewing this superb gem reveals just how attractive and ornate Gobrecht's work truly was. Lesser quality examples of the 1838 Philadelphia Mint half dollar are fairly available, but a gem of this superlative condition is a major rarity. Despite some shallowness in its borders, this jewel is otherwise fully struck and richly detailed. Dazzlingly white luster radiates from both sides, producing a fine cartwheel effect. Entirely untoned, this fabulous coin is near perfection.

Are you interested in Half Dollars? Click here to visit the NGC Coin Encyclopedia and read more.

Articles List