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Description

Superlative 1855-S Half Eagle, Mint State
Elusive Early S-Mint Issue

1855-S $5 MS61 NGC. This is a marvelous memento of the San Francisco Mint's fledgling years, a sort of "1854-S half eagle plus one." While it is far less elusive than the 1854-S half eagle, which is one of the legendary rarities of U.S. numismatics, it is nonetheless extremely rare in Mint State. Since so few half eagles were made in 1854--268, to be precise--the 1855 San Francisco issue was effectively the first circulating issue of the most popular denomination in the Old West. Despite the 61,000 coins produced, most circulated extensively, in the best hard-money tradition of the region.
At first glance this piece appears considerably finer than its nominal grade, and second and third glances do not dispel that impression. The strike is quite close to full, with all peripheral stars but star 1 well struck up. Some planchet roughness near star 1 and the 1 of the date is as made, although it appears to be the determining factor in the grade. Post-strike contact is of the most trivial sort. A marvelous example of this issue. Census: 2 in 61, 0 finer (3/10).(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 25UU, PCGS# 8265)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2010
28th-2nd
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
Members Tracking: N/A
Page Views: 514

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