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"Affordable" 1797 Half Dollar, Good 61797 50C Good 6 NGC. O-101, High R.4. It is not that often that a low-grade Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar without impairments of one sort or another makes an appearance at public auction. This is what makes this Good 6 example so special. The savvy advanced collector will quickly recognize that this is a rare opportunity to acquire an "affordable" specimen of what is considered to be the most coveted of all United States type coins (we do not want to imply, however, that it falls into the "bargain" category).
Semi-bright surfaces display a golden-gray coloration in the centers, and a medley of sky-blue and lavender patination around the borders. Liberty's hair displays nice detail for the grade designation, and the ear and eye show clearly. With the exception of the right side of the eagle's left (right facing) wing, the bird is fully outlined and raised; separation is seen between the torso and both wings, and between the torso and right (left facing) leg. The 1 of the fraction is strong, while the 2 shows at the top. Some of the typical softness associated with the 1797 is noted along the right obverse and reverse borders. The surfaces are quite clean for a heavily circulated coin, revealing just a stray, inoffensive pinscratch or two. No adjustment marks are seen on either side. This coin will fit comfortably in a low to mid-grade collection of early United States type coinage. We mention again that is unusual to find a low-grade specimen such as this that does not have significant impairments.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24EC, PCGS# 6060)
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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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