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The Finest Known Proof 1830 Capped Bust Half Dollar1830 50C PR64 NGC. O-111. This is an extremely rare date to find in proof. The present writer (JMM) cataloged this coin when it was offered by the Goldbergs in June, 2002. Fully and boldly struck by the dies, with very sharp definition seen on the stars and Liberty's clasp and most of the curls, with similar qualities found on the reverse devices. Fully mirrored fields, with complete reflectivity from the highly polished dies, including within the shield stripes. A no nonsense proof issue, which carries its own credentials and would not find its proof status questioned by any knowledgeable numismatist.
As to quality, this is a particularly satisfying example as the surfaces are toned with deep coppery-gold with darker shades of blue and purple near the rims. The fields and devices show a few wispy lines from handling, and we note a couple of very minor scratches in the small field below the right wing of the eagle. There are two tiny specks below TE of UNITED, one is a planchet flake, and while seemingly unimportant, these two tiny specks confirm that this coin is from the Terrell Collection.
Turning to the all important rarity issue. The 1830 Capped Bust half dollar is an extremely rare coin in proof condition. The combined NGC and PCGS population reports note just two examples have been seen, this coin and a PCGS PR62. Other reported offerings are noted below, and these are likely earlier appearances of these two or three coins. The known census for 1830 proofs reads as follows:
1) The present coin, Terrell Collection (O-111). Bowers and Ruddy, May, 1973, lot 837 with two tiny specks below TE of UNITED; Gary Burghoff Collection (Superior, January 1980), lot 205; November Sale (Bowers and Merena, November 1994), lot 2252; Bowers and Merena Rarities Sale, August, 1999, lot 125; ANA Sale of the Millennium (Bowers and Merena, August, 2000), lot 4111; Benson II (Goldbergs, February, 2002), lot 966; 2003 ANA Sale (Bowers and Merena, August, 2003), lot 1503.
2) Proof 63 (raw) Kagin's 1977 ANA, lot 1460; Paramount Auction '84, lot 663; Superior, February 1987, lot 3158; Bowers and Merena, January 1992, lot 347
3) Proof 62 NGC (O-103), Heritage, October, 1989, lot 602; Superior, January, 1990, lot 3531
4) Brilliant Proof (O-110), Merkin's February 1971, lot 720 Stack's Reed Hawn Sale, August 1973, lot 93; Stack's February 1982, lot 1589
Other appearances not plated and likely from the list above, Stack's April 1954, lot 519; 1949 ANA Sale, lot 1460; Stack's November 1957, Lot 1330; New York Coin Sale, June 1890.(#6209) (NGC ID# 2AKC, PCGS# 6209)
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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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