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1796 O-102 16 Stars Half, Fair 2
1796 50C 16 Stars Fair 2 PCGS. O-102, High R.5. The Draped
Bust Small Eagle half dollar, bearing the date 1796 or 1797, is
usually absent from even advanced type collections. When an example
does make an infrequent appearance at auction it may well exhibit
impairments such as whizzing, scratches, digs, plugs, graffiti, or
corrosion. On the other hand, a specimen without problems, even in
the grades of Good or Very Good, might put it out of the price
range of most collectors. The present Fair offering, showing just
honest wear, is therefore a wonderful opportunity for the collector
seeking to obtain this important key to a U.S. type set.
A Problem-Free Type Coin
Apparently an early die state with no visible evidence of the crack through stars 1 to 4. This well-worn example has a complete bust, a sharp date, and a dozen fully outlined stars, with a few border dentils visible at the lower edge. The reverse is worn smooth with no visible details. Most important about this piece, in addition to the sharp and complete date, is the surface quality. There are a few microscopic lines and marks, including a tiny reverse rim nick at 12 o'clock, but it is essentially a problem-free coin. Both sides are light tan with wisps of delicate blue on the obverse.
Ex: Bowers and Merena (11/1993), lot 335; Stack's (1/1995), lot 504.(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 24EA, PCGS# 6058)
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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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