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Important Condition Census 1797 O-102 Small Eagle Half Dollar

1797 50C VF30 PCGS. O-102, R.5. Long known to be the most difficult type coin of the denomination, these Draped Bust, Small Eagle Half Dollars have enjoyed nearly legendary status and are perhaps the most avidly sought type in all of U.S. numismatics. This design was coined for only two years, 1796 to 1797, with a total mintage of 3,918 pieces. Of this extremely limited production, there are perhaps 150 to 200 survivors, most in well circulated grades. Offered here is a pleasing mid-grade example that is predominately light silver-gray, although traces of pale violet and olive-gold toning gravitate to the margins.
Of added significance, the Overton-102 die marriage which is easily distinguished by the position of the leaf below the second T in STATES, is nearly on par with the 1796 16 stars as the most conditionally challenging of four pairings utilized for both years. In the Condition Census published in the Early Half Dollar Die Varieties 1794-1836 revision, the top six examples include coins from VG10 to XF45, so this coin handily garners a Condition Census ranking. A tremendous opportunity to obtain one of the most cherished early American silver issues and a particularly fine example of the scarce O-102 variety. Population: 10 in 30, 13 finer (4/03). (NGC ID# 24EC, PCGS# 6060)

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Auction Dates
July, 2003
26th-30th Saturday-Wednesday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 478

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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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