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Description

Unique 1877 Half Dollar Pattern, Judd-1540, Second Die
Discovery Coin by Harry Bass, PR62

1877 50C Half Dollar, Judd-1540, Pollock-1711, Unique, PR62 PCGS. The central figure on the obverse is a rather small bust of Liberty facing left, surrounded by an arc of 13 stars, the date 1877 below. Liberty hair is tied in a bun with a ribbon inscribed LIBERTY in incuse lettering. The reverse features a stylized eagle with shield, clutching an olive sprig and three arrows. The eagle holds a scroll inscribed E PLURIBUS UNUM in its beak. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA arcs around the periphery, with the denomination HALF DOL. below. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
Roger Burdette and USPatterns.com cite a Mint archives document, dated March 20, 1877: "Anthony Paquet left pair of half dollar dies with Coiner to have them turned down to fit the mint's presses." Unfortunately, the dies broke early in the striking process. All examples known, except this single piece, feature a prominent die crack through stars 1 to 5 and extending through the date to stars 12 and 13. A second die was prepared, this one, with the date positioned with the bust point over the extreme left edge of the base of the 1. This is the only known example of this pattern from this second set of dies. The surfaces are brilliant and lightly hairlined. There is a contact mark in the lower left obverse field below the chin of Liberty that identifies this as the Bass specimen, a piece that he discovered was from the second die pairing.
Ex: Higgy Sale (Kosoff, 9/1943); C.E. Monroe; Armand Champa Collection (Bowers and Merena, 5/1972), lot 1079; Harry Bass; Harry Bass I (Bowers and Merena, 5/1999), lot 1241, where it brought $6,325. (NGC ID# 2AEP, PCGS# 61882)

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Auction Dates
July, 2010
8th-11th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 11
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