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Census Level 1812/1 O-101 Half
1812/1 50C Large 8 AU53 PCGS. O-101, Low R.5. The obverse is
the 1812/1 overdate with a large 8 in the date. The reverse has a
stray serif at the bottom of the N in UNITED, described as
recutting in Overton, but actually from an unidentified punch. Its
location is incorrect for a recut N or an inverted N, unless the
original punch was drastically out of position. The reverse die was
also used for 1812 O-102, the Small Overdate variety.
Large Overdate, AU53
This early die state piece has no evidence of die cracks, clash marks, or other die anomalies on either side. Later states exist, identified as O-101a.
The 1812/1 Large 8 ranks among the most important half dollar varieties in the Capped Bust series. In addition to its Low R.5 rating, with only about 60 to 80 examples surviving, it is also an important Guide Book variety that further increases the demand. In the 1970 second edition of Overton, the O-101 and O-101a die states were listed as R.7, meaning four to 12 pieces exist. At the time of his purchase in 1974, Don Frederick considered this piece the finest known as did the catalogers of the Ruby Collection. Today this piece still ranks among the top two or three examples known.
The large overdate variety was first published in a December 1969 New Netherlands mail bid catalog. The current Ruby-Frederick specimen could have been the discovery specimen, according to the cataloger for Superior in 1974 who wrote: "This could have been the discovery specimen had either its cataloguer or Dr. Ruby taken a close look at it; it came from the William P. Donlon collection, November 1956, lot 730, merely catalogued as an overdate."
As a sign of the times some 36 years ago, the Superior cataloger also wrote: "Sharp enough that it is likely to be dipped and resold as 'Uncirculated.'" Fortunately, the buyer was Don Frederick, an avid collector and student of the series who preserved the coin exactly as it appeared in 1974.
Both sides of this lovely piece exhibit sharp design details with slight traces of high point wear. Considerable luster is visible through warm gold, blue, and iridescent toning over silver-gray surfaces. Only slight handling marks are present on both sides.
Ex: William P. Donlon Collection (Abe Kosoff, 11/1956), lot 730; Dr. Charles Ruby Collection (Superior, 2/1974), lot 1349.
From The Donald R. Frederick Collection of Early U.S. Coinage: Bayside Part II.
View all of [The Donald R. Frederick Collection of Early U.S. Coinage: Bayside Part II ]
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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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