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Eliasberg Proof 1818 O-113 Half, PR661818 50C PR66 NGC. Ex: Eliasberg. O-113, R.7 as a proof. Walter Breen lists only six proof half dollars from 1818, four of this variety and two overdates. Not all those pieces were examined by Breen, and in all likelihood, several of those six pieces were prooflike business strikes. Which means, of course, that this date is even rarer than previously thought. This piece has been accepted as one of the few legitimate proofs since 1912, when Henry Chapman described it as: "Wide date. Proof. Short hairline scratch at throat. Sharp, even impression. Excessively rare." This hairline scratch is very faint, but when angled just so can be seen (magnification helps also). What is perhaps the most striking aspect on this coin is the incredible detail that was captured by the screw press that struck it. Fully struck in all areas except one, only star 13 shows any sign of weakness. The fields are also very deeply mirrored, but this is not immediately apparent as each side is so deeply patinated with multiple layerings of gray, rose, and golden toning with lavender around the margins. This is a wondrous example of an early proof Bust half, and as stated in the Eliasberg catalog, "Very few equals exist anywhere in the early American silver series." The reserve for this lot is $85,750.
Ex: George H. Earle Collection (Henry Chapman, 6/25-29/12, lot 2888, where it brought $5.75; John H. Clapp; Clapp Estate to Louis Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Collection (4/97), lot 1756. (NGC ID# 24G8, PCGS# 6193)
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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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