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Pleasing 1796 16 Stars Half Dollar, VG8 NGC1796 50C 16 Stars VG8 NGC. O-102, High R.5. The usually seen die crack that extends from the rim between the date and star 1, and then connects the first four stars, shows clearly on this specimen. It is struck from a later state of the die, as evidenced by an additional heavy crack from the lower point of star 1 to the rim, and another lighter crack that extends from a break in the middle of the lower right point of star 2. Another light crack is noted beneath the heavier crack that connects stars 2 and 3.
Both sides display pleasing natural gray toning, with the devices being just a shade lighter. Liberty's ear and the hair strands beneath it are relatively well defined, as are the curls behind the shoulder. On the reverse, the eagle's left wing and the adjacent palm leaves in the middle of the wreath are weak. The design elements on both sides are nicely centered on the planchet, and about one-half of the dentilation shows on the obverse, and roughly one-quarter on the reverse. The surfaces are remarkably clean for the grade, and reveal no mentionable impairments. A minute J-shaped indention on Liberty's temple identifies the coin.
This piece will make a welcome addition to an early U. S. type set or to a date/variety collection of Bust halves. Lower to middle-grade Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollars do not usually possess the attractive, unimpaired surfaces that are seen on this lovely specimen.
Ex: Julian Leidman (9/1983).(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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