Elusive 1797 O-101 Fifty Cent, XF Details
1797 50C --Obverse Graffiti--NCS. XF Details. Ex: Jules
Reiver Collection. O-101, R.5. The total production of 1797 half
dollars was accomplished with a single obverse die and two reverse
dies. The reverse die of the 1797 O-101 variety is a carry-over
from the 1796 production. The fine die crack on the 1796 16 stars
variety from the milling through the O in OF to the tip of the palm
leaf below F now extends to the tip of the middle leaf adjacent to
the wing on the 1797 O-101. This reverse then develops myriad
cracks, giving rise to the 1797 O-101a variety. Far fewer 1797
O-101 pieces than 1797 O-101a coins were apparently struck, as the
former appears at auction much less frequently.
The Jules Reiver Specimen
The present XF Details coin displays a mix of light gray, mauve, and rose-gold patination. The design elements exhibit relatively strong definition and are well centered on the planchet. Most of the dentilation is strong, except along the right obverse border. Faint adjustment marks appear along the upper right obverse margin. Short, toned-over pinscratches in the left obverse field account for the NCS disclaimer. We hasten to mention that they should not intimidate prospective bidders, as they are not all that bad.
Despite the minor impairment, the rarity of 1796-1797 half dollars is sure to draw serious bidder interest in this piece. Many coins of this design type possess problems of one sort or another, some of which are far more serious than those encountered on the present specimen.
Ex: Paramount (3/1969), lot 2638; The Jules Reiver Collection (Heritage, 1/2006), lot 22514.
From The Joseph C. Thomas Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 24EC, PCGS# 6060)
View all of [The Joseph C. Thomas Collection, Part One ]
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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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