1846 50C Medium Date PR65 NGC....
Tied for Finest Known
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.
Over the years, estimates have remained in a narrow range of 10 to 12 pieces. Below is a current roster of Medium Date 1846 proof half dollars based on the review of plated catalogs available to us.
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. The present specimen. Numismatic Gallery (7/1949); John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1712; Phil Kaufman (Heritage, 4/2008), lot 2386, where it brought $40,250.
3. PR64 PCGS. FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2012), lot 3248, where it was sold for $35,937.50.
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.
This Gem is an extremely attractive example, made so by rich medium-intensity toning, a powerful strike, and nicely preserved surfaces. A medley of sky-blue, russet, and lavender occupies both sides, but does not diminish the field-motif contrast when the piece is rotated under a light source. Bold definition characterizes all of the design elements. Indeed, close examination reveals no areas with even the slightest hint of weakness. A couple of grade-consistent marks aid in the identification of the coin, including minute contact in the field to the left of star 11 and a faint line above TATE of STATES. Proof halves of 1846 do not appear at auction all that frequently, so the collector of early Seated Liberty proofs will want to give special attention to this delightful specimen.
From The Greensboro Collection, Part II. (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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