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Description

The Finest Known 1801 O-101 Half Dollar, MS63

1801 50C MS63 PCGS. O-101, R.3. The combination of a Draped Bust obverse and Small Eagle reverse appeared on the half dollars of 1796 and 1797. Four years later, the Mint again struck examples of the denomination, this time with the new Heraldic Eagle design that was patterned after the Great Seal of the United States. The mintage was a mere 30,289 coins in 1801, from a single obverse die and two reverse dies. Survivors are mostly in lower grades. The average certified grade is in the VF range.
Until the present coin made its appearance, we had never offered a true Mint State 1801 half dollar, with the exception of an Uncirculated piece hosting a number of obverse scratches. But this one is an amazing problem free example with satiny luster beneath mottled steel and champagne toning over light gray surfaces. Both sides have faint clash marks, and the reverse has lumps and scattered rust pits as always seen on this variety. The top four coins currently known are the present piece that is the finest known to us, the Eliasberg specimen that NGC grades MS62, an example that appeared in Stack's sale of May 2006 that they graded Choice Uncirculated and blatantly retoned, and the Queller specimen, mentioned above with obverse scratches. The Census drops sharply from there, with only a couple AU coins, before reaching the XF level where this date becomes more plentiful.
Ex: Stack's (6/1980), lot 304; Robison Collection (Stack's, 12/1982), lot 822; Hayes Collection (Stack's, 10/1985), lot 51; Bowers and Merena (1/2005), lot 525.
From The Joseph C. Thomas Collection.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 24ED, PCGS# 6064)

View all of [The Joseph C. Thomas Collection, Part Two ]

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2009
28th-3rd
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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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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