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Description

Near-Gem 1929 Half Eagle
Low-Survival Final Issue

1929 $5 MS64 PCGS. CAC. The gold coinage struck by the Philadelphia Mint from 1929 on shows how the vagaries of distribution prior to 1933 made certain coins available and others great rarities. The double eagles famously vary from challenging (1929) to "the government considers only one legal for private ownership" (1933), and while the 1932 eagles are popular type coins, the 1933 eagles are great rarities spared from legal complications only by a small documented output that year.
Similarly, the 1929 quarter eagle is a widely available issue, but the 1929 half eagle -- like the quarter eagle, the last of its kind, but also the first issue of its denomination struck since 1916 -- saw almost no distribution and was melted en masse. (Walter Breen gives 1934 as the year of melting in his Encyclopedia, though that date requires corroboration.) The 1929 half eagle, when it is found, usually is in AU or Mint State; while the most common grade in both the NGC Census Report and PCGS Population Report is MS64, this is due to the effects of resubmissions (a single grade-point boost would be hugely profitable), as reliable commentators through the later 20th century posited an MS60-to-MS63 band as the zone of greatest grade frequency.
This near-Gem is largely yellow-gold with aspects of apricot on its immensely lustrous surfaces. A copper spot is noted at the star to the left of the L in LIBERTY and small marks are scattered on each side, but the strike is solid in the centers and the overall eye appeal is quality. This piece previously was certified MS64 by NGC; the old insert accompanies the lot. PCGS has certified only eight examples as MS65 or better (6/12).(Registry values: N4719) (NGC ID# 2800, PCGS# 8533)

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Auction Dates
August, 2012
2nd-5th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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Page Views: 903

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