1884 50C PR68 PCGS. Breen-5034, WB-101. This is the "second die" described in Breen's proof Encyclopedia, where he comm...
This is an extremely special half dollar, one that was obviously struck with great care and pride of craftsmanship by Mint personnel of 120+ years ago. Despite the Breen comment above, there are no obvious signs of die lapping or polishing in any one particular area, aside from the missing scroll end. The dies do appear, however, to have been strengthened, particularly in the area around Liberty's sandal and foot, which show three distinct, double-sided straps and separation of all the toes. All the star centrils are full, and the shield stripes, the gown clasp, the drapery folds, and all other details are essentially fully struck. There are no obvious hairlines, contact marks, or other impairments on this coin, which has clearly been preserved with the same care with which it was executed in the first place. The current PCGS population data show this coin to be the only Seated Liberty half dollar of any date to be graded PR68 at that service, although one PR68 Cameo 1890 coin has been certified (6/06).
From The Stephen Stokely #1 PCGS Registry Set of Proof Seated Half Dollars. (NGC ID# 27UK, PCGS# 6445)
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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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