Census Level 1795 O-130 Half Dollar1795 50C 2 Leaves AU58 PCGS. O-130, Low R.5. The variety is most easily identifiable by the unique 7-10 berry arrangement on the reverse, the only such layout on 1795 halves. On the obverse, faint clash marks can be seen, along with a diagonal ridge from Liberty's temple to the ear lobe and the hair curls behind the neck. In all likelihood, this is probably the result of a defect in the head punch. The reverse has a series of short die cracks: from the final S to the center of OF, from the tops of OF to the center of A, and from the top of A to the top of MER.
An impressive example, one of the finest known, with natural lilac-gray surfaces enhanced by iridescent toning on both sides. The surfaces have nearly full luster beneath the toning. The only trace of wear is located in the center of the reverse.
The Condition Census in Overton for this variety is woefully inadequate. The finest coin listed there is an AU50. Stephen Herrman's Auction & Mail Bid Prices Realized list six auction appearances of Mint State coins, but these include duplicates. The current Census appears to include an MS63, an MS60, and this AU58. The MS63 coin has noticeable obverse adjustment marks, and the MS60 appears to be no finer than this piece. In fact, this example is the most attractive of the Census pieces, despite the lower grade of PCGS.
Haseltine-22; Beistle 13-U; Overton-63; Hilt 13-K; PCGS# 6052, 39242; Encyclopedia-4558.
Purchased by John Jay Pittman from F.K Saab on 1/19/1955 for $55; John Jay Pittman Collection (Akers, 5/98), lot 1441; Hain Family Collection, Part II (Stack's, 1/2002), lot 1217; Jim McGuigan (1/2002).
From The Westmoreland County Collection of Early Bust Halves, 1794-1807.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 24E7, PCGS# 6052)
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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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