Important 1797 Half Dollar
1797 50C O-102, Low R.6 Fine 15 PCGS. It is a cause for
excitement when a mid-grade, problem-free Draped Bust Small Eagle
half dollar crosses the auction block. Many coins of this two-year
design type (1796-1797) are in low grade and/or plagued with
problems, such as deep scratches, harsh cleaning, corrosion,
tooling, repairs, or the like. At the other end of the spectrum,
the price tags for Mint State, About Uncirculated, or even
Extremely Fine examples put them out of reach for most
Fine 15, O-102, Low R.6
The present Fine 15 offering is thus an important opportunity for the collector attempting to put together a type set of U.S. coinage, or for the early half dollar specialist seeking to complete a date or variety collection. A delicate blend of lilac and light golden-gray patina covers both sides. The design elements display strong detail for the grade designation, particularly on the obverse, where many of Liberty's hair strands show. Indeed, the obverse might lay claim to VF definition. On the reverse, about one-third of the feather detail is visible. There are faint adjustment marks at the right obverse border between the stars and the rim, and a scattering of light marks over each side is consistent with a coin having seen moderate circulation. An inoffensive pinscratch running from the eagle's neck to the right (facing) leg is mentioned solely for pedigree purposes, as is one from the leg to the upper part of the palm leaf.
The Overton 102 variety of the 1797-dated half is the rarest of the four 1796-1797 die marriages. The laurel leaf extending beneath the base of the second T in STATES and the palm leaf terminating at the lower left serif of the F in OF confirm the variety.
Ex: Gary L. Burhop and Mel W. Davis Collections and other important properties (Bowers and Merena, 10/1996), lot 2011.
From The Glenwood Collection. (NGC ID# 24EC, Variety PCGS# 39266, Base PCGS# 6060)
View all of [The Glenwood Collection ]
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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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