Marvelous 1846 Select Proof Half Dollar1846 50C Medium Date PR63 PCGS. While mintage figures for the 1846 proof half dollar were not reported, it is likely that no more than a dozen have survived to the present day. Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert, in their Seated Liberty half dollar reference, suggest less than 10 examples are known. Similarly, David Akers, cataloging the John Jay Pittman 1846 proof set (lot 1712) for the May 1998 sale, estimates that 10 to 12 specimens of the half dollar are extant. Interestingly, NGC/PCGS population data for this issue deviate significantly from estimates provided by the foregoing researchers, as the two services have seen a total of 21 1846 proof half dollars (4/2008). A number of these are undoubtedly resubmissions or crossovers, however.
The half dollar of this year displays two date sizes--Medium Date and Large Date. The two varieties are easily distinguished by inspection of the 4 in the date. The Medium Date 4 is connected between the lower serif of the crossbar and the base, whereas the Large Date 4 has a noticeable separation in this area. With one exception, all proof 1846 half dollars are apparently of the Medium Date variety. A proof Tall Date coin was recently sold at auction where it was described as "possibly unique."
A solid strike lends bold definition to the design elements of the present Select specimen. This includes complete separation of Liberty's sandal straps and foot, and fullness in her hair, the stars, and the eagle's plumage. A melange of sky-blue, orange-gold, and violet patina adorns both sides, with slightly deeper hues on the reverse. A few unobtrusive hairlines that only appear under high magnification are all that preclude the attainment of a higher grade. Housed in a green-label PCGS holder.
Ex: The Thomas S. Chalkley Collection (Superior Galleries, 1/1990), lot 3574.
From The Silbermünzen Collection. (NGC ID# 27T8, PCGS# 6390)
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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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