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Lot
30

1796 1/2 C No Pole--Scratched, Burnished--NCS. Fine Details....

2009 May Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction #1125

 
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Auction Ended On: May 28, 2009
Item Activity: 10 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
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Location:

Long Beach Convention Center
100 S. Pine Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90802

Description:
Important 1796 C-1 No Pole Half Cent, Fine Details
1796 1/2 C No Pole--Scratched, Burnished--NCS. Fine Details. C-1, B-1, R.6. Still Rarity-6 after all these years, there are approximately 20 known examples of the 1796 No Pole rarity in existence. The grade distribution is interesting, as the 20 or so survivors include four pieces that are more or less Mint State, followed by five or six middle grade Fine to VF examples, and eight to 10 lower grade pieces. The following abbreviated census is certainly incomplete but it provides an idea of known coins:

1. MS65 Red and Brown Eliasberg, lot 407; 2. MS64 Brown Whitney, lot 1705; 3. MS62 Brown McGuigan Collection; 4. MS60 or finer Missouri Cabinet; 5. XF Details Corroded Heritage (5/2007), lot 56; 6. VF Details Robison, lot 313; 7. Fine 15 Norweb, lot 22; 8. Fine 15 Heritage (2/2000), lot 5281; 9. Fine Details Lester Merkin (3/1969), lot 596; 10. VG, porous 1997 ANA, lot 8087; 11. VG Davis Graves, lot 87; 12. VG. Dr. Charles Ruby, Part I, lot 202; 13. VG 1976 ANA, lot 142; 14. James A. Stack (Stack's, 11/1989), lot 31; 15. AG Bowers and Merena (9/1992), lot 1022; 16. Damaged Dr. Charles Ruby, Part I, lot 203.

In addition to those 16 pieces, there are eight other auction records that are unmatched to the above coins, and the present piece is an entirely new specimen that has never previously been auctioned, to the best of our knowledge. In fact, it has an accompanying brown envelope that indicates a grade of Fine, and a purchase price of $250. The price dates the transaction to sometime in the 1930s.
The present specimen has been off the market for several decades, and it is clearly a new example to the present generation of collectors. What an exciting opportunity. We highly recommend that serious bidders give higher consideration to the coin than to the adjectives on the holder. The surfaces are deeply toned, about the color of a black olive. Most of the scratches are found at the center of the reverse, with the obverse having an exceptionally clean appearance. There is a single old scratch across the hair curls, but it is so well blended with the surrounding surfaces that most collectors will give it little attention. The surfaces are slightly glossy, a result of minor surface manipulation that NCS describes as burnishing. This piece probably ranks about 10th finest of those we know of. EAC 8.
From The Collection of a Dallas Gentleman.(Registry values: P9) (NGC ID# 2226, PCGS# 1030)

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