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Lot
2386

1795 50C 2 Leaves MS64 NGC....

2009 April-May Cincinnati, OH (CSNS) US Coin Auction #1124

 
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Auction Ended On: Apr 30, 2009
Item Activity: 8 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location:

Duke Energy Center
525 Elm Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Description:
Eliasberg's 1795 O-113a Half Dollar, MS64
1795 50C 2 Leaves MS64 NGC. O-113a, R.3. E over A in STATES. The obverse die is immediately recognized by the heavy die chip between the 5 and final star, and the blundered reverse die is quickly recognized by the engraving error with the A in STATES punched over the E. Who knows what the engraver may have been thinking when he produced this die. Perhaps he thought he was already up to the second T in STATES, and grabbed the E punch by mistake. Most likely, it was a simple mistake that he punched an E instead of an A. The TE letter sequence appears twice on the reverse, perhaps helping to explain the engraving error.
Remember that the engraver had to work in reverse, on an extremely small surface, with hand tools rather than the various hubs that are used today. Most likely he punched the final S at the top of the die first, then added he adjacent letters, one at a time, until he had completed the legend. This challenging work procedure resulted in a few other, similar blunders, including the 1806 STATES over STATAS half dollar, the 1814 A over E half dollars, the STATES over STATED half dollar, and the similar S over D half eagle.
The obverse is cracked through the tops of LIBERTY. Actually, there are three different die cracks: (1) through the tops of LIB, (2) through the tops of ER, and (3), through the tops of TY. Cracks 2 and 3 join between R and T. A heavy die chip is positioned between the 5 and star 15, below the bust tip, with additional cracks or die flaws through the last four stars on the right. Light clash marks are evident in the obverse fields. The reverse has light die rust and faint clash marks, and the appearance of a fine die crack trapped between the eagle's rock and the branch below. Hidden in the details, the reverse crack is extremely difficult to see.
This is the Eliasberg specimen, considered the finest known 1795 O-113 half dollar, of either the early or late die state. Only two or three Mint State examples are known. An example sold in the Fivaz Collection sale in 2002 may be the second finest known. Faint champagne toning over brilliant and frosty silver surfaces. Peripheral obverse and reverse rim disturbances are from the edge lettering process and are strictly as made. Considerable central obverse and reverse weakness is evident, with stronger peripheral details. In the Eliasberg catalog, this writer wrote: "Brilliant and highly lustrous with just a whisper of delicate golden toning. An extremely pleasing coin from a visual aspect. This coin could not have appeared much different during the era in which it was struck!" Today, a dozen years after the Eliasberg catalog was written, the coin remains virtually unchanged, and still looks little different from its appearance over 200 years ago.
From The Joseph C. Thomas Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (PCGS# 6052)

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The Draped Bust Half Dollars of 1796-1797 by Jon Amato

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.

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