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Splendidly Preserved 1861 CSA Seated Half Restrike, MS63 PCGS

1861 50C Scott Restrike MS63 PCGS. Breen-8002. During the months of March and April, 1861, the New Orleans Mint produced Half Dollars for both the State of Louisiana and the Confederate States of America. These coins were produced from 1861-dated Union dies, most of which are indistinguishable from their federal counterparts that were struck earlier in the year. In April, 1861, however, Confederate Treasury Secretary Christopher Gustavus Memminger decided that the Southern government should produce Half Dollars with their own distinctive design. The approved design featured the federal Seated Liberty motif on the obverse and the Confederate coat of arms on the reverse. A. H. M. Patterson of New Orleans prepared a single working reverse die, which was burnished for proof production along with a federal obverse die. Sometime in late April, the New Orleans Mint delivered four proofs with these dies for presentation purposes. No further coinage followed, ostensibly because there was insufficient steel for the production of working dies. The New Orleans Mint was closed as a coinage facility on April 30, 1861.
Several years later the dies were sold by Chief Coiner Taylor to Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., a dealer, who in turn sold them to J. W. Scott. Scott then produced restrikes of the rare Confederate Half Dollar. He had only one reverse die, however, and was afraid that it would not withstand rigorous production in its rusted state. Nevertheless, Scott polished the die to minimize the rust and combined it with an obverse die of his own creation. These two dies produced 500 coins. Since the reverse die held up, Scott proceeded with his original plans to produce restrike Confederate Half Dollars. Accordingly, he obtained 500 1861 Half Dollars, planed off their reverses, and overstruck them with the Confederate reverse. As the only readily obtainable representatives of Confederate coinage, these restrike Half Dollars are popular and cherished reminders of the Civil War South.
The manner in which they were produced resulted in flattened features on the obverse of all restrike Confederate Half Dollars. This coin is no exception. The obverse shows soft definition and light-gray toning. The CSA reverse is crisp and bright, with semi-prooflike fields and scattered die rust (as struck). (#340402) (PCGS# 340402)

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Auction Dates
August, 2004
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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