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Rare and Attractive 1796 16 Stars Half Dollar, VF25 NGC1796 50C 16 Stars VF25 NGC. O-102, R.6. The Draped Bust half dollar with a Small Eagle reverse bears the dates 1796 and 1797, with each date consisting of two varieties. The first variety of the 1796 issue has 15 obverse stars (Overton 101), while the second variety has 16 stars (Overton 102). The 16 star variety apparently commemorated Tennessee's June 1, 1796 admission to the Union as the 16th state. On the present example, medium gray fields, accented by aqua green toning along the left borders of each side, highlight lighter gray design elements. The devices are well centered, and the dentilation is relatively strong over both sides, with the only weakness being along the upper obverse border. Most of Liberty's hair strands are well defined from the ear on down, and at the very top of the head. Likewise, about one-half of the feathers show in each of the eagle's wings, though most of the remainder of the bird is weak. Light adjustment marks are apparent along the upper right and the left obverse borders, and on Liberty's neck and hair just beneath the middle curls. A few unobtrusive hairline scratches are located on Liberty's face, neck, chest, and bust, but none are bothersome. Overall, this is a very attractive middle grade coin that should elicit spirited bidding among advanced collectors trying to complete a type set of U.S. coinage.
Ex: Queller Family Collection of U.S. Half Dollars (Stack's, 10/02), lot 23, which realized $32,200.(#6058) (Registry values: N7079) (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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