1859 P50C Half Dollar, Judd-238, Pollock-294, R.5, PR65 Brown NGC....
Glossy 1859 Fifty Cent Pattern, PR65 Brown, Judd-2381859 P50C Half Dollar, Judd-238, Pollock-294, R.5, PR65 Brown NGC.
Design. Referred to as Longacre's "French Liberty Head" design. A Romanesque bust of Liberty faces right, with a crown of intertwined oak and vine leaves. Around her neck is a scroll inscribed with the word LIBERTY. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA fills the peripheral fields with the date below. An ornate wreath of cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, corn, wheat, and oak leaves dominates the reverse, with HALF / DOLLAR enclosed. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.
Commentary. This die marriage was used to strike two varieties: one in silver and one in copper--the current offering--both with a reeded edge. Both are common relative to other patterns of the era, but finding eye-appealing examples can be challenging. The ninth edition of United States Pattern Coins by Judd elaborates: "Copper strikings are apt to be dull, cleaned, and otherwise unsatisfactory."
Physical Description. A pleasing Gem proof. Walnut-brown surfaces reveal traces of electric-blue iridescence when viewed under direct light. A circular toning spot under the LL of DOLLAR on the reverse provides a simple yet undistracting means of future identification. Although correctly designated as Brown by NGC, much original red coloration remains, especially on the reverse. NGC Census: 2 in PR65 Brown; 5 finer including 2 PR65 Red and Brown. PCGS Population: No piece has been awarded a Gem grade (12/08).
Provenance. Ex: Auction '87 (Stack's, 7/1987), lot 827.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (PCGS# 11969)
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