Important 1846 Seated Half Dollar, PR641846 50C Medium Date PR64 PCGS. CAC. Light champagne toning covers both sides of this gorgeous near-Gem proof, with deeply mirrored fields and satiny devices. On both sides the toning deepens slightly to light gold. Every design element is extremely sharp, including the star, head, and sandal details on the obverse, and the feather, claw, and leaf details on the reverse.
The die notes that Breen recorded for proofs of this date are all visible on this specimen, along with heavy die lines in the spaces between the vertical shield stripes on the reverse. The obverse has the 4 minutely doubled below its crossbar at its left corner. Otherwise, there is nothing unusual or notable about either die.
The following roster is the most complete that we have presented for the 1846 proof half dollars, including one proof Tall Date and 12 proof Medium Date specimens:
1. PR63 PCGS. Stack's (6/1999), lot 2222; George "Buddy" Byers Collection (Stack's, 10/2006), lot 1138. Apparently the only known proof 1846 Tall Date half dollar, although two others have been described in auctions over the last 20 years.
A. PR63. Superior (1/1988), lot 1802. Described as a Tall Date, but it does not match the Byers coin (#4 above), so it is either a second known proof Tall Date, or it is a prooflike business strike.
B. PR60. Heritage (10/1994), lot 6450. The coin illustrated is a Tall Date and was withdrawn from the sale. It was most likely not a proof.
1. PR65 PCGS. Superior (2/1974), lot 1623; Auction '79 (Paramount, 7/1979), lot 79; Bowers and Merena (9/1988), lot 275; Heritage (10/2008), lot 922; Superior (10/1989), lot 3711; Heritage (5/2008), lot 721.
2. PR65 NGC. Numismatic Gallery (7/1949); John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1712; Phil Kaufman (Heritage, 4/2008), lot 2386.
3. PR64 PCGS. Prior provenance unknown. The Present Specimen.
4. PR64 PCGS. Central States (Heritage, 5/2005), lot 7208; Stack's (2/2008), lot 3270.
5. PR64 NGC. Phil Kaufman; Bowers and Merena (8/1999), lot 202; Superior (10/2000), lot 4374.
6. PR63 Cameo NGC. Mid American (1/1990), lot 608; David Lawrence Rare Coins (3/2005), lot 1790.
7. PR63 PCGS. Reed Hawn (Stack's, 8/1973), lot 153; Superior (1/1990), lot 3574; Heritage (6/2008), lot 720.
8. PR63 PCGS. Lester Merkin (2/1971), lot 744; Stack's (1/1974), lot 1440; Stack's (2/1982), lot 1629; Queller Collection (Stack's, 10/2002), lot 497; Heritage (2/2007), lot 3509.
9. PR62 NGC. R. McAusland (6/1953); James Butterfield Collection (Mid American, 5/1987), lot 2543; Heritage (1/2002 FUN Sale), lot 6997; Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 7/2005), lot 552; Superior (11/2005), lot 779; Goldberg Coins (5/2006), lot 2923.
10. PR61. The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 1935.
11. Proof. James A. Stack Collection (Stack's, 10/1994), lot 512; George "Buddy" Byers (Stack's, 10/2006), lot 1137.
12. Proof. Smithsonian Institution.
Additional appearances recorded in the Breen Proof Encyclopedia, Auction Prices Realized, and John Dannreuther's auction record are:
A. Proof. George H. Earle (Henry Chapman, 6/1912), lot 2989.
B. Proof. F.C.C. Boyd, WGC (Numismatic Gallery, 4/1945), lot 285. Unplated.
C. Proof. Newcomb, Part Two (J.C. Morgenthau & Co., 5/1945), lot 857
D. Proof. Frederic Geiss (B. Max Mehl, 2/1947), lot 532
E. Choice Proof. Terrell (Bowers and Ruddy, 5/1973), lot 858; Rothert Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 11/1973), lot 865; New England (3/1977), lot 375; New England (7/1978), lot 879. We believe this is the same as #6 in the list above.
F. Proof. Stack Estate (Stack's, 3/1975), lot 444. This piece does not appear to match any of those above.
G. Proof. Paramount (11/1978). Catalog unavailable.
H. PR60. Steve Ivy (8/1983), lot 3489. Unplated.
I. Proof. Auction USA (8/1991), lot 108. Catalog unavailable.
J. Proof. Stack's (12/1993), lot 602. The plate does not appear to match any of those above.
K. PR63 NGC. Superior (5/2006), lot 589. Catalog unavailable.
From The Findley Collection.
See: Video Lot Description (NGC ID# 27T8, PCGS# 6390)
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