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Exceptional 1845 Half Dollar, PR66
1845 50C PR66 NGC. Ex: Pittman-Kaufman. Of all the
remarkable early silver proof coins in the Kaufman Collection,
these 1845 proofs are the finest, overall. Each of the five pieces
stands alone as the finest that has been certified! The half dollar
is two points finer than the next best example that NGC has
The Finest of Four Certified Examples
Discussing the 1845 half dollar in their Liberty Seated Half Dollars guide, Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert say that less than six of the proofs "are known; and Walter Breen, in his Proof Encyclopedia, cites three separate 1845 proof half dollar appearances. He then goes on to say: "Two others seen, so badly cleaned as to render their original proof status dubious."
Only four 1845 proof half dollars have been certified by NGC and PCGS. The former service graded a PR66, which is the Pittman-Kaufman coin, and two PR64's. The PCGS example is a PR63.
As part of his May 1998 cataloging of the John Jay Pittman 1845 proof half dollar, David Akers writes:
"The 1845 Half Dollar in Proof is one of the great Liberty Seated Proof rarities of the 1840's. It is the rarest silver denomination of this year and it is also one of the two rarest Proof Half dollars of the decade along with the 1840. All 1845 silver denominations, except the Silver Dollar, were struck in Proof only for inclusion in the 10-15 Proof sets issued that year. I have been able to confirm the existence of only four distinct examples of the Half Dollar but, of course, it is always possible that one or more additional specimens exist."
Our research of auction records has added at least one more known 1845 proof half dollar, illustrated in the following roster:
1. PR66 NGC. The Kaufman coin. James Kelly (1946); John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1711, as part of a complete 1845 proof set, the Seated Liberty coins kept intact by Phil Kaufman.
2. PR64 NGC. F.C.C. Boyd; World's Greatest Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 4/1945), lot 273; Stack's (3/1965), lot 447; Superior (5/1989), lot 5371; Superior (10/1990), lot 3662.
3. PR63 PCGS. Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Estate (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 1929; Phil Kaufman; Bowers and Merena (1/1999), lot 1142; Richmond Collection (David Lawrence, 3/2005), lot 1789; American Numismatic Rarities (6/2006), lot 1487.
4. Proof. New England (7/1978)
5. Proof. Smithsonian Institution.
A. Proof. RARCOA (1/1973), lot 872.
Beautiful toning adorns each side of this Premium Gem. Light to medium cobalt-blue concentrates at the peripheries, then yields to violet, and finally to champagne-gold in the centers. A solid strike results in every individual die element being intricately and impeccably detailed. Additionally, the design elements possess a light frosty finish, resulting in mild contrast with the mirrored fields. Well cared for surfaces are devoid of contact marks, and reveal just a few faint, inoffensive hairlines in the fields. This outstanding coin exudes exceptional technical quality and aesthetic appeal.
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Two. (NGC ID# 27T7, PCGS# 6389)
View all of [The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Two ]
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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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