It is always exciting when a new hand-made, die struck circulating contemporary counterfeit (CCC) U.S. coin is documented. And in my opinion, it doesn’t get better than when that new variety is a Capped Bust half dollar (CBH) because so many of these were made and have been subsequently documented surviving to the present-day.
In early June 2021, Robert Powers created a post on the PCGS Message Boards asking if he found a previously unidentified hand-made, die struck CCCCBH dated 1823. Since I am not a member of the PCGS Message Boards and I don’t frequent them often, I was unaware of the post until a fellow enthusiast, Mark Glazer, sent me an email about it. Excited to see and document a newly identified variety Mark put me in touch with Mr. Powers. Shortly thereafter Mr. Powers sent me an email about this 1823 CBH, and I sent Robert as much information I could share about this variety.
This variety was definitely new as it had a previously undocumented obverse paired with a reverse shared with another 1823 and an 1827 variety belonging to the Medalist family. As of this posting, this 1823 variety is the 295th confirmed hand-made, die struck CCCCBH documented.
Additional varieties of this production type are certainly out there waiting to be documented. Thus, if you have or think you have a previously undocumented CCCCBH please contact me so we can list it here. At the rate of new CCCCBH discoveries, the 300th variety should be identified before the end of 2022! Will my Bad Metal: Silver book be published before that time? Let’s hope so.
Finally, everyone reading this blog post (including myself, guilty) should order a copy of Mr. Powers’ recently published book titled, US Large Cents 1793-1814 Variety Identification Guide. A link to where you can order a copy of this book is found below.