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Description

Sharp 1797 Half Dollar, O-101a, Fine 15
The Peter Mougey Specimen (1910)

1797 50C Fine 15 PCGS. CAC. O-101a, High R.4. The Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar, with its minuscule production of 3,918 coins and bearing the dates 1796 or 1797, is perhaps the most desirable and sought-after type U.S. type coin. In fact, a type set of U.S. coinage is incomplete without the inclusion of this piece of Americana. Our research to date has accounted for only 240 or so extant specimens, an extremely small number when one considers the demand from not only type collectors but from date/variety specialists as well. It is little wonder that the 1796-1797 half consistently reveals a higher value than any other type coin (copper, nickel, silver, or gold) in most levels of preservation.
The O-101a Choice Fine example offered here exhibits the reverse cracks typical for the later die state of the variety, along with the diagnostic light crack through the second star to the hair curl. Light gray hues are seen on the motifs, which are highlighted against the darker gray-violet fields. The design elements display relatively sharp definition for the designated grade. Indeed, many of Liberty's hair strands are delineated, and there is overall sharpness to the facial features and the bust. The usual strike weakness is noted along the right obverse and reverse borders. It is our opinion that PCGS downgraded the coin because of an old, toned-over horizontal pinscratch on the obverse. It is almost imperceptible, however, until the piece is examined with a magnifier. Close inspection reveals no significant abrasions or mint-made adjustment marks. Overall, this example exhibits considerable appeal, appropriately recognized by the CAC green label, and will fit comfortably into any mid- to high-grade type or date/variety collection.
Ex: The Peter Mougey Collection (Thomas Elder, 9/1910), lot 425; Heritage ANA (8/1995), lot 5170; Heritage (2/2006), lot 1146.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24EC, PCGS# 6060)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
Jul-Aug, 2009
31st-2nd
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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Page Views: 1,021

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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.

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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My family and I would not have this amazing keepsake memory of my dad's collection without all the hard work, beautiful photos, tasteful layout and eloquent descriptions that you and your team did.
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