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Lot
5063

1857 1/2 C MS64 Red NGC. C-1. The U.S. Half Cent passed ...

2002 November Santa Clara Signature Sale #304

 
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Auction Ended On: Nov 21, 2002
Item Activity: 4 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Santa Clara, CA
Description:
Final-Year 1857 Half Cent Rarity, MS64 Red NGC
1857 1/2 C MS64 Red NGC. C-1. The U.S. Half Cent passed into history by act of Congress in February 1857. By that time, copper prices had risen to the point that it was no longer profitable for the Mint to produce either Half Cents or large Cents. What's more, the former denomination had become so unpopular with the public that examples were seldom encountered in day-to-day commerce. Before passage of this act, the Philadelphia Mint delivered 35,180 Half Cents with the date 1857. Those coins that were not distributed before February were melted on orders from Mint Director Colonel James Ross Snowden.
The final-year 1857 has always been popular among early copper specialists. The date also has a reputation as being scarce to rare in all grades, with fully lustrous Mint State survivors definitely falling into the latter category. Warmly frosted in texture, the surfaces are richly endowed in cherry-red luster. The strike is razor sharp over the central features, and even the peripheral devices are uncommonly well impressed for the type. A little bit of carbon in the center of the reverse is all that seems to bar this important near-Gem from an even higher grade. Population: 4 in 64 Red, there is only one finer (7/02). (NGC ID# 26Z3, PCGS# 1241)

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