1794 Half Dollar, AU55
1794 50C AU55 NGC. O-101, High R.3. Ex: Jules Reiver
Collection. Taken from our January 2006 auction, where it was
O-101, Pleasing and Attractive Appearance
"The first year of the two-year Flowing Hair half dollar type. On December 1, 1794, Chief coiner Henry Voigt delivered 5,300 half dollars, followed by 18,164 more on February 4, 1795, from 1794-dated dies. This relatively low mintage, combined with a low survival rate, makes the 1794 a scarce date coveted by early half dollar collectors. The O-101 marriage is now thought to be one of the last varieties of the 1794 Half Dollar to be coined, despite Overton's order of listing, and is probably part of the 18,164 pieces delivered February 4, 1795 from 1794 dated dies. This die pairing features the 21 berry reverse (arranged 10 left and 11 right), the only such reverse of this desirable premier issue.
"In addition to this O-101 variety, which is clearly the most plentiful of all 1794 die marriages, the obverse die was also used for O-102, and the reverse die was also used for O-106, 107, and 108, each an important rarity. To determine the order of striking, students of the series consider that the obverse die was used with a different reverse for O-102, and that reverse was then used for several 1795-dated half dollar varieties. This relationship suggests that O-101 and O-102 half dollars of 1794 were the last two to be coined, both in 1795.
"The obverse die has minor clash marks near the dentils outside of stars 6, 7, and 8. The reverse is lightly cracked between D and S, and through F. This balanced representative exhibits natural steel-gray and golden-brown toning, which lends the piece a strikingly handsome appearance. Aside from a few minor abrasions and several faint scratches in the upper reverse field, both sides are refreshingly pleasing and attractive. We believe that this example is probably one of the top couple dozen survivors among the entire population of 1794 Half Dollars still existing today."
Ex: Jules Reiver Collection (Heritage, 1/2006), lot 22472, where it brought $69,000.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24E6, PCGS# 6051)
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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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