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Sharp 1841 Half Dollar, PR64
Perhaps 7 or 8 Known

1841 50C PR64 NGC. Ex: Eliasberg-Kaufman. Our roster suggests that about eight 1841 proof half dollars are known, mostly in the lower numeric range. The Kaufman specimen is probably second finest of those that are known. Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert, in their Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars, write of the 1841 proofs that there are "less than 6 known." Similarly, in their description of the Louis Eliasberg, Sr. specimen, to which the present NGC-graded PR64 Phil Kaufman coin is pedigreed, Bowers and Merena say in their April 1997 catalog:

"Apparently about a half dozen Proofs are known, and quite possibly only four or five. Such pieces were mostly (but not entirely) issued as part of silver Proof sets in the year 1841, distributed to a very limited circle-probably not more than a dozen sets at best-and in the meantime widely dispersed. Later, as American numismatics became popular, a number of collectors desired to acquire Proofs of the 1840s, but most of this fascination was with half cents (which were rare in just about every account) and Proof Liberty Seated dollars. Generally, Proofs of the half dime, dime, quarter dollar, and half dollar were ignored or made in smaller quantities, and today these are far rarer than their dollar-sized cousins (which themselves are rare).

A total of seven 1841 proof half dollars have been certified by NGC and PCGS. NGC has graded three PR64 coins and one PR65, while PCGS has seen a PR61, a PR62, and a PR63.

The following is a roster of 1841 proof half dollars:
1. Proof. Smithsonian Institution.

2. Proof. American Numismatic Society.

3. PR65 NGC. James Kelly (privately, 1946; John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 10/1997, lot 1522, $44,000; Richmond Collection (David Lawrence, 3/2005), lot 1786, $47,150; American Numismatic Rarities (9/2005), lot 413; Goldberg Coins (2/2006), lot 1472, $55,200.

4. PR64 NGC. The present Kaufman piece. John G. Mills (S. H. and H. Chapman, 4/1904); J.M Clapp; Clapp Estate (1942); Louis Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Estate (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997, lot 1919, $18,700.

5. PR64 NGC. Superior (5/1990), lot 3803, $30,800.

6. PR62. Charles A. Cass; Empire Collection (Stack's, 11/1957), lot 1352, $110; Reed Hawn (Stack's 8/1973), lot 137, $2,100; Auction'81 (RARCOA), lot 137, &1,550; Auction '90 (Stack's), lot 210, $8,800; Stack's (3/ 2007), lot 849.

7. PR62 PCGS. Dr. R. H. Wilson; 1952 ANA (New Netherlands), lot 310; Elliot Landau (New Netherlands, 52nd Sale, 12/1958; lot 575; Dr. James O. Sloss (Bowers and Merena, 1/1999), lot 1137.

8. PR61 PCGS. Bowers and Merena (7/2005), lot 550, $16,675.

Additional Appearances
A. Proof. David Golding (Stack's, 6/1952), lot 232.
B. Proof. Gustav Lichtenfels Collection (Kriesberg and Schulman, 2/1961), lot 2806. "Brilliant Proof. Sharp square edge. One of the very few in existence. Rare." Not plated.
C. Proof. Amwest (7/1981).
D. Proof. George H. Earle (H. Chapman, 6/1912), lot 2970.

On the reverse, several of the vertical lines in the shield extend entirely through the horizontals, to the top of the shield. Otherwise, both dies are exquisitely engraved.

Exquisite design definition is visible on the design elements of this lovely near-Gem proof example from the Eliasberg and Kaufman collections. Moreover, they are impressively highlighted by the deeply mirrored fields, standing out amidst them when the coin is rotated under a light source. Delicate powder-blue and lilac toning resides on each side, and the well preserved surfaces reveal just a few faint hairlines interspersed among die polish lines in the fields. The only pedigree marker that we can locate occurs on Liberty's right (left facing) arm above the elbow.
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Two. (NGC ID# 27T3, PCGS# 6385)

View all of [The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Two ]

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Auction Dates
January, 2008
9th-12th Wednesday-Saturday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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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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