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Extremely Rare Gem Proof 1818 Half
O-113, The Hain-Byers Specimen

1818 50C PR65 NGC. O-113, R.8 as a Proof. Proof Bust half dollars are some of the greatest delicacies available to collectors of early U.S. Mint products. The 1818 (as opposed to 1818/7) proofs are all believed to be from the O-113 die pair; two overdated die pairs, O-101 and O-102, are responsible for a single proof each.
The roster of O-113 proofs reads as follows:

1. The Clapp-Eliasberg Specimen: George H. Earle Collection (Henry Chapman, 6/1912), lot 2888; John H. Clapp; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Collection (Bowers and Merena/Stack's, 4/1997), lot 1756; Superior (8/2004), lot 1124, not sold; Heritage (1/2008), lot 2871.

2. The Hain-Byers Specimen, the present specimen: Believed to be Green and Cleneay; Newcomer; Wayte Raymond; Gustav Lichtenfels Collection, Part I (Kreisberg-Schulman, 2/1961), lot 2741; confirmed Hain-Americana Collection (Stack's, 1/2002), lot 1302; George Byers (Stack's, 10/2006), lot 1038.

3. The Smithsonian specimen. Suggested as O-113 by Breen in his Proof Encyclopedia, though unseen by him.

A fourth coin, ex: Superior (7/2003), called a proof or specimen striking, sold at a steep discount compared to the results of the Clapp-Eliasberg and Hain-Byers pieces.
While there is doubt about that fourth coin, there can be little about this marvelous Gem proof, which is both profoundly mirrored under green-to-gold and aqua-gray field toning and lightly frosted on the high points of sharply struck devices. Surface preservation is excellent, with only a few disruptions in the field above the eagle's head and scattered elsewhere. As noted in other places, the strike is softly offset toward 2 o'clock on the obverse, so that the lower left obverse dentils are longer there than in other places, but this is a historical curiosity as opposed to any kind of problem. A great piece of numismatic history. (NGC ID# 24G8, PCGS# 6193)

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2011
27th-1st Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 12
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 7,166

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The Draped Bust Half Dollars of 1796-1797 by Jon Amato

The Draped Bust Half Dollars of 1796-1797 by Jon Amato is the culmination of more than 10 years of research into the Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar series, one of the most coveted type coins in American numismatics and one about which remarkably little has been written.

This work will be the premier reference for 1796-1797 half dollars for years to come. Institutions having an extensive numismatic library or coin cabinet will find it a valuable complement to their holdings, and catalogers charged with writing up specimens for auction can now have an indispensable source of background and pedigree information. Likewise, coin dealers seeking to purchase one or more '96 or '97 half dollars for a client or for inventory, and collectors who own, have owned, or desire to own one will want this important reference work for their libraries.

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