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Near-Mint 1805 Half Dime, Tied For Second Finest Known

1805 H10C AU58 NGC. Ex: Price / LM Plate Coin. V-1, LM-1, the only variety, R.4. The 1805 is the final date in the Heraldic Eagle series and it is also the last half dime struck for 24 years. Only one die marriage is known for this date and high grade examples are extremely rare. It has been estimated that only 100 pieces are known of this date in all grades. As such, the 1805 is probably the second rarest date of the Heraldic Eagle type, only trailing the legendary 1802. As with many AU-MS coins over the past 30+ years, grading and provenance is somewhat uncertain and open to a certain amount of opinion. However, the finest known is clearly Lot 129 from Lester Merkin's 9/68 auction, which currently resides in an NGC MS65 holder. A Choice AU example appeared in the John Jay Pittman Collection. That coin "only" brought $14,300 when it was sold in 1997. Two of the five certified AU58 coins that were sold in 2002 and 2004 brought $21,850 and $43,700 respectively.
This piece is easily identifiable as the LM plate coin by the oval-shaped planchet void in the right obverse field in front of the neck of Liberty. The striking details are irregular, as seen on the LM plate (page 135), with strong definition on Liberty's hair curls and ribbon, but softness is seen along the front of Liberty's profile, and as one would expect, also on the stars, clouds, and tip of the eagle's right (facing) wing on the reverse. Both sides show deep, mottled blue, gray, and rose toning. The only other surface mark that is worthy of mention is a shallow scratch along the outline of the portrait of Liberty.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 232A, PCGS# 4272)

Service and Handling Description: Coin/Currency (view shipping information)

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Auction Dates
January, 2006
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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