1808/7 Draped Bust Half Cent. C-2. Rarity-3. AU-53 (PCGS). Type: Type IV: Draped Bust.Design: Obv: A draped bust of Liberty faces right, her hair tied with a ribbon. The word LIBERTY is above and the date 1808 is below. Rev: Design of 1802 to 1808. A wreath surrounds the denomination HALF CENT, the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around the border and another expression of the denomination, 1/200, below. A ribbon knot with double bow binds the base of the wreath.Weight Standard: 84 grains (5.44 grams).Diameter: 23.5 mm.Die Variety: Cohen-2, Breen-2, Gilbert-1. Obv: The 1808/7 overdate. This die was used earlier in the rare 1808/7 C-1 pairing. Rev: There are five berries on each branch, a bold engravers scratch joins the right branch stem to the final letter A in AMERICA, a short spine extends from the tip of the leaf below the letter R in the same word. The outer leaf in the cluster of two at the right extends just past the first letter A in AMERICA, an inner berry is opposite the top of the letter T in CENT. This die was used later in the 1808 C-3 pairing.Cohen-2, along with the rare C-1 die pairing, corresponds to the 1808/7 half cent listing in the <em>Guide Book</em>.Die State: Manley 1.0. Obv: Appears perfect, close examination with a loupe reveals an extremely faint crack through the top of the letters TY in LIBERTY. Rev: Perfect.Edge: Plain.Mintage: The reported half cent mintage for calendar year 1808 is 400,000 coins, achieved in two deliveries:-Late March: 64,000 coins-June 30: 336,000 coinsMany of the coins delivered that year were from 1807-dated dies, the exact mintage from 1808-dated dies unknown.Estimated Surviving Population for the Issue: More than 2,200 coins in all grades.Estimated Surviving Population for the Die Variety: Rarity-3: 200 to 600 coins in all grades.Strike: Nicely struck overall with strong detail remaining to most design elements. The impression is drawn trivially to the upper right obverse and lower right reverse borders, the denticulation thin to absent in those areas. Softness to the upper right of the reverse wreath is noted solely for accuracy.Surfaces: Warm medium brown surfaces with hints of gold and chestnut. Pleasing to the eye, though careful magnified inspection reveals a few scattered marks. A few areas of faint porosity are noted, probably in the planchet when struck; during this era obtaining good copper for the Mint was difficult at best. Obverse with an old struck through error, perhaps a piece of wire, at the letters BERT in LIBERTY, a few other ticks present, overdate details plainly evident.Commentary: Cohen-2 is by far the more readily obtainable die marriage of the 1808/7 half cent, its C-1 predecessor a notable rarity with perhaps just 16 to 20 coins extant. This variety is scarce in its own right, as the obverse suffered a terminal cud break at the upper right border that forced the Mint to retire the die. The reverse went on to strike normal date examples in the C-3 pairing, that variety clearly accounting for the majority of 1808-dated half cents produced.The 1808 C-2 is a noteworthy condition rarity in all grades above VF; the sole Uncirculated survivor, the PCGS MS-64 BN from the Missouri Cabinet Collection, was auctioned by Ira & Larry Goldberg for $483,000 in January 2014, lot 90. This noteworthy AU represents the finest realistically obtainable for most advanced half cent enthusiasts and is sure to see spirited bidding.Half cents, never popular or plentiful in commercial channels, began to accumulate in earnest at the Mint by the end of 1807. At that time, according to Breen, 167,000 examples were on hand waiting to be distributed. The author questioned the need to strike an additional 400,000 coins during calendar year 1808 and, indeed, by years end 356,930 half cents were still stockpiled at the Mint, the years distribution into circulation amounting to just 212,070 coins. This lack of popularity would continue to plague the half cent through the series end in 1857, causing a halt in production on more than one occasion. From the ESM Collection. Earlier from Heritages CSNS Signature Auction of April 2006, lot 220; our (Stacks) Orlando Sale of January 2009, lot 35; our (Stacks) Treasures from the S.S. New York sale, July 2009, lot 68; our (Stacks) Eliasberg & Krause Collections sale, March 2010, lot 485; Heritages CSNS Signature Auction of April 2010, lot 2009.