1826 O-101 Half Dollar, PR64
1826 50C PR64 PCGS. O-101, R.8 as a Proof. We believe that
only two or possibly three proof 1826 O-101 half dollars exist,
along with two proof O-102 half dollars. Creating an exact census
of early proof coins, especially among Capped Bust half dollars, is
extremely challenging, as many prooflike business strikes have been
called proofs in the past. Even famous numismatic researcher Walter
Breen was incorrect regarding some coins that he called proofs. In
the Pittman catalog, David Akers writes:
Only Four Confirmed Proof 1826 Halves
"Attributions and pedigrees, and even whether or not a particular coin is actually a Proof, can be very confusing when it comes to the area of early Proof coinage. For this reason, it is very difficult to determine exactly how many Proofs exist of any given issue and which varieties are actually known in Proof."
Akers continued with a census of proof 1826 half dollars, which we have updated here:
1. O-101 PR65 NGC. Thomas Cleneay (Samuel and Henry Chapman, 12/1890), lot 1162; Colonel E.H.R. Green; Adolph Freidman Collection of Half Dollars/1946 ANA (Abe Kosoff), lot 786; Gustav Lichtenfels Collection (Kreisberg-Schulman, 2/1961), lot 2763; John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1485; Heritage (1/2006), lot 3187.
2. O-101 PR64 PCGS. 1997 ANA (Heritage, 8/1997), lot 6351; 2005 ANA Sale (Heritage, 7/2005), lot 10206; 2012 FUN (Heritage, 1/2012), lot 3231. The present specimen.
3. O-102 PR63 Uncertified. Heritage (9/1996), lot 5600. Believed to be ex: Ira Reed; T. James Clarke (New Netherlands, 47th Sale).
4. O-102 PR60. Gilhousen Collection (Superior, 10/1973), lot 930; Ruby Collection (Superior, 2/1975), lot 696; Hoffecker Collection (Superior, 2/1987), lot 3154; Worrell Collection (Superior (9/1993), lot 1279.
A. Proof. Allenburger Collection; McPherson Collection (Stack's, 2/1953); Empire Collection (Stack's, 11/1957), lot 1320. Unplated in the Empire catalog.
One of the most appealing aspects of this rarity is the phenomenal color. The margins have splendid cobalt-blue accents while the centers are primarily pearl-gray and golden-rose. The major design elements are frosted and provide ample contrast with the subtly reflective fields. Beneath the bust of Liberty, faint pinscratches extend nearly to the date, and they will serve to identify this coin in the future. An important rarity for the advanced Bust half dollar collector. (NGC ID# 27SF, PCGS# 6203)
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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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