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Choice Mint State 1815/2 O-101a Half Dollar1815/2 50C MS64 NGC. O-101a, R.2. A fantastic example of this rarity that is one of the top dozen known, and tied with several at this grade level. The toning adds greatly to the allure, with rich coppery-gold over luster spanning from rim to rim and framed by deep aqua blue around the stars and legend. Both dies show minor clash marks, as seen on a substantial number of those coined in 1815. Mintage plunged to 47,150 pieces during 1815, perhaps because of the just completed War of 1812 (which lasted until 1814) or perhaps very little silver was sent to the Mint in 1815 for coinage. Disruptions continued in January of 1816, when a disastrous fire struck the Philadelphia Mint outbuildings which housed the rolling equipment used for silver and gold coinage, and production all but halted for gold and silver until the equipment was repaired in late 1817. The disruptions of the War of 1812 brought coinage production virtually to a halt in 1815. No half cents, large cents, half dimes, dimes, dollars, quarter eagles or eagles were produced, just a handful of quarters and half dollars and a token amount of half eagles were coined. Most of the 1815 coinage produced was distributed through the Planter's Bank of New Orleans. Even the Economite Hoard, which contained 111,356 Bust half dollars had a scant 100 specimens dated 1815 which gives collectors a glimpse into the past to see how many of these are around as compared with more plentiful dates. Most of the coins from that famous Hoard were badly scrubbed, and today would grade in the XF to AU range. How this particular coin survived in such superlative condition is a mystery, but here it is in all its glory. NGC and PCGS have graded a combined eight pieces this high with a mere four coins seen finer of this date.
Ex: Bowers and Merena (1/03), lot 310.
From The Rocky Top Collection of Bust Half Dollars.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 24F5, PCGS# 6108)
View all of [The Rocky Top Collection of Bust Half Dollars ]
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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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