The year 1834 was a transitional one for the half dollar. Several obverse diesutilized the older bust introduced in 1832, while others featured the revised bust which debuted this year. The newer portrait of Liberty is somewhat more slender and youthful in appearance. In addition, older reverse dies having Large Letters (the same size called Small Letters for 1832 halves) alternated with the new style Small Letters of 1834-36. Though the bust styles are seldom mentioned in popular catalogs, there are three popular varieties which resulted from different combinations of date size and letter size. These are of approximately equal availability, and they are priced about the same. None of the 1834 die marriages are rare or even scarce.
This proof 63 rarity is an extremely attractive piece with deep gunmetal-blue toning. There are five reported Capped Bust proofs considered originals, each from a different die pair and therefore each unique. These rarely come up for sale and when they do their always high in demand with collector/investors worldwide.
It was March of 1807 before the fourth Mint Director, Robert-Patterson, finally hired the German born John Reich as second engraver. At that time the dime was still unfamiliar to...