1892-O Micro O Half, MS63
1892-O 50C Micro O MS63 NGC. The 1892-O Micro O is the most
famous rarity in the Barber half series. Untold numbers of
collectors have gingerly turned over an 1892-dated Barber half,
hoping to see any mintmark but especially a Micro O
mintmark. Most Micro O halves are either heavily worn or
Uncirculated, although collectors have searched for the variety
since Augustus G. Heaton mentioned it in his landmark 1893
reference, Mint Marks.
A Rarity Known Since 1893
This satiny example has peripheral golden obverse toning and a virtually brilliant reverse. When the coin is rotated just right, a few faint slide marks appear on the cheek, but the near-absence of bagmarks ensures the eye appeal is exceptional for the MS63 level.
Only a handful of Mint State 1892-O Micro O half dollars have appeared at auction since third-party certification began in 1986. The most complete list we have been able to compile includes:
1892-O Micro O Half Dollar Roster
1. MS68 PCGS. J. Colvin Randall (Lyman H. Low, 7/1903), lot 969; J.M. Clapp; John H. Clapp; Clapp Estate (1942); Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Estate (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 2965; unidentified collector; Dale Friend; Heritage (1/2009), lot 3867.
2. MS67 PCGS. William C. Atwater (B. Max Mehl, 6/1946), lot 581; James A. Stack (Stack's, 3/1975), lot 572; Queller Family Collection (Stack's, 10/2002), lot 723; LaBelle Collection (American Numismatic Rarities, 7/2005), lot 1186.
3. MS65 PCGS. Hollinbeck Coin Co. (5/1960); R.E. Cox, Jr. (Stack's, 4/1962), lot 2044; later, David Akers (2004); Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor.
4. MS65 PCGS. Superior (1/1989), lot 4524; Superior (10/1989), lot 3770, $20,900; Heritage (5/2008), lot 743, $92,000; Dr. and Mrs. Peter K. Shireman.
5. MS65 NGC. Long Beach Sale (Paramount, 1975), lot 870; Auction '86 (Paramount, 7/1986), lot 1659; Dr. Thaine B. Price (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 125, $55,000; John C. Hugon (Heritage, 1/2005), lot 4200, $69,000; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2011), lot 5571; Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 6/2011), lot 3674.
6. MS63 PCGS. Auction '81 (Superior, 7/1981), lot 755; George "Buddy" Byers (Stack's, 10/2006), lot 1312.
7. MS63 NGC. Fern E. Wagner Trust/Heritage (6/2008), lot 1056, $34,500. The present coin.
8. MS62 NGC. Bowers and Merena (10/2000), lot 1339; George "Buddy" Byers (Stack's, 10/2006), lot 1313; Heritage (5/2007), lot 2138.
9. AU55 PCGS. David Lawrence (7/2004), lot 3136; Bowers and Merena (8/2009), lot 1457; Stack's (1/2010), lot 3237.
10. AU55 ANACS. Joe Flynn, Jr. (11/1971); James Bennett Pryor (Bowers and Merena, 1/1996), lot 253.
These examples may be included among those above.
A. MS63 PCGS. George J. Szatkowski PCGS Registry Collection.
B. MS63 PCGS. Michael F. Hayes PCGS Registry Collection.
C. Mint State. Stack's (11/1957), lot 1487.
D. Mint State. Stack's (8/1973), lot 320.
From The Owen Collection, Part I.(Registry values: P8) (NGC ID# 24LH, PCGS# 6463)
View all of [The Owen Collection, Part I ]
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The Draped Bust Half Dollars of 1796-1797 by Jon Amato is the culmination of more than 10 years of research into the Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar series, one of the most coveted type coins in American numismatics and one about which remarkably little has been written.
This work will be the premier reference for 1796-1797 half dollars for years to come. Institutions having an extensive numismatic library or coin cabinet will find it a valuable complement to their holdings, and catalogers charged with writing up specimens for auction can now have an indispensable source of background and pedigree information. Likewise, coin dealers seeking to purchase one or more '96 or '97 half dollars for a client or for inventory, and collectors who own, have owned, or desire to own one will want this important reference work for their libraries.
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