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Description

Prohibitively Rare 1877 Half Dollar Pattern, Judd-1539, PR65 Red, One of Only Two Known

1877 50C Half Dollar, Judd-1539, Pollock-1708, R.7-8, PR65 Red NGC. A rare and unusual design on both obverse and reverse. The obverse shows a large head of Liberty with a wide band in front of a Liberty cap that has the word LIBERTY incused. The reverse shows a large eagle standing on a tablet inscribed with E PLURIBUS UNUM. The eagle awkwardly supports a large shield, which distinguishes the reverse from Judd-1537 and Judd-1538. Struck in copper with a reeded edge. Designed by William Barber, perhaps as an alternative to the Morgan Dollar that was eventually adopted in 1878.
The present specimen has a needle-sharp strike and seemingly unabraded surfaces. Dusky orange-red and aqua colors are predominant, although the obverse has a few miniscule toning flecks.
All examples from the Judd-1539 family are extremely rare. Three pieces are known struck in silver (J-1539a), and only two exist in copper (J-1539). The other example, formerly owned by Dr. Judd, currently resides in an NGC PR66 Brown holder and made its last appearance in Heritage's July 1994 ANA Sale. It is distinguished by a small spot between UN in UNITED.
Ex: (Stack's, 9/1999), lot 1087, which realized $11,500; earlier, Anderson Dupont, Part II (Stack's, 11/1954), lot 2480, which realized $100.(#81880) (PCGS# 81880)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
November, 2003
7th-10th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
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Page Views: 331

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