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Delightful 1852 Half Dollar, PR65
The Finest of Three or Four Known

1852 50C PR65 NGC. Ex: P. Kaufman. The Kaufman 1852 proof half dollar is the finest of just three or four specimens. The actual mintage is unknown, though the online reference estimates 10 coins were struck. This is probably on the high side. Breen enumerates three examples, and NGC has graded four pieces, while PCGS has seen none. Our roster identifies three distinct coins, and the possibility of one or two others.

1. PR65 NGC. The Kaufman coin.

2. PR63 NGC.
The Tecumseh Sale (Steve Ivy Numismatic Auctions, Inc., 12/1979), lot 700; Auction '84 (Paramount, 7/1984), lot 668; Worrell Collection (Superior Galleries, 9/1993), lot 731; Stack's (10/1996), lot 303. In 1993, the Superior cataloger noted: "Purchased by Paramount from Robert Batchelder, a Pennsylvania dealer, in 1974 and sold privately in early 1975. It later appeared in Steve Ivy's Tecumseh Sale." The Superior pedigree chain for this piece also lists, incorrectly, lot 203 in Auction '86, which is an 1852-O Brilliant Proof half dollar.

3. PR63.
Norweb Collection (Bowers and Merena, 11/1988), lot 3157; Jascha Heifetz Collection (Superior, 10/1989), lot 1590.

Additional appearances:

A. Proof.
Newcomb, part I (J.C. Morgenthau, 2/1945), lot 746 (per Breen, who says "later untraced unless this is the former W.L Carson specimen via Lester Merkin." If Breen is referring to Merkin's February 1971 sale, lot 755, he is mistaken, as that coin is an 1852-O Brilliant Proof half dollar).

B. Proof.
Paramount, per Breen.

The Kaufman Gem proof half dollar displays pleasing mirrored fields (including the areas between the stripes of both shields) that establish pronounced contrast with the satiny motifs. Whispers of gold-tan, sky-blue, and lavender make occasional visits to each side, slightly more so on the obverse, and a powerful strike results in bold detail on the design elements. Nicely preserved surfaces reveal just a few faint hairlines in the fields intermingled with die polish lines. Proof halves of 1852 are extremely rare, so the aficionado of early Seated Liberty proofs will want to give special attention to this delightful specimen.
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Proof Sets, Part Four. (NGC ID# 3DBN, PCGS# 6397)

View all of [Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Proof Sets, Part Four ]

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Auction Dates
Jul-Aug, 2008
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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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