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1892-O Half Dollar, MS68
1892-O 50C MS68 NGC. CAC. This remarkable half dollar was
cataloged in its 1997 Eliasberg collection appearance as "a superb
prooflike gem, no doubt made for special purposes or perhaps as a
presentation piece. Delicate splashes of heather and gold toning
over satiny motifs and mirrored fields, the latter being mirrored
in all areas including among the letter spaces.
Single Finest at CAC
"It is not difficult to envision a scenario in which on the first day of striking this new design at the New Orleans Mint some special pieces were made for presentation. The importance is incredible, and the beauty is memorable - and the opportunity is likewise. Certainly this will be one of the highlights in the Barber half dollar collection of its next owner, just as it is in the Eliasberg Collection."
NGC has certified a single 1892-O half dollar as MS62 Deep Mirror Prooflike. It would be interesting to compare that coin, wherever it might be, with the Eliasberg specimen to determine if they are from the same die pair and die state. Half dollars had not been struck at New Orleans since 1861, before the travails of the Civil War. Certainly, the resumption of half dollar production with the new Barber design would have been worthy of a ceremony at the facility.
Population Data (5/14): NGC shows one as MS68 (this lot) and one in MS68 . PCGS lists one in MS68 with none finer. The CAC census is one in MS68.
Heritage Commentary: The present lot is one of only two MS68 1892-O Large O half dollars to appear at auction. The other, an NGC MS68 example previously from the Dr. Thaine B. Price Collection, appeared in our 2005 FUN Signature as lot 4199 and realized $103,500.
Eugene Gardner purchased the present half dollar from a 2005 A.N.R. auction, where it was cataloged sans pedigree. However, the catalogers have closely compared the toning with that of the high grade prooflike Eliasberg specimen, and we conclude it is the same coin.
Provenance: Fred Porter Collection (Charles Steigerwalt, 12/1893); J.M. Clapp; John H. Clapp; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 2064; Drew St. John Sale (American Numismatic Rarities, 6/2005), lot 78.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 27UW, PCGS# 6462)
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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.
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