1842 50C Small Date, Small Letters VF20 PCGS....
Extremely Rare, Discovery Coin
Perhaps Four Known
The original reverse design of the Seated Liberty half dollar featured small letters in UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOL. Prior to the discovery of the present variety, this reverse design had been identified on all 1839 Seated Liberty, 1840 (P), 1840-O, 1841, and 1841-O half dollars, as well as on some 1842-O examples. At the time of the discovery of this coin, it was the only 1842-dated example with the Small Letters Reverse of 1839 known from the Philadelphia Mint. A few other pieces have been discovered since, including one MS64 PCGS example, but it remains quite rare; PCGS CoinFacts shows a Condition Census of only four coins ranging from MS64 to Good 6, including the present piece. Heritage issued a press release on April 4, 2001, announcing the discovery.
The coin itself is a problem-free VF that has light gray patina over each side. The only mark of note that might be used for pedigree purposes is a milling mark between the eagle's beak and the A in STATES. (PCGS# 6241)
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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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