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Description

Extremely Rare 1892-O Micro O Gem Barber Half Dollar

1892-O 50C Micro O MS65 NGC. This is an extremely rare coin in all grades and the key to the Barber half dollar series. While a few AU or better examples have been sold in the last few years, this variety is infrequently available. Although the exact number minted is not known, this rarity has been well publicized since it was recognized by Augustus G. Heaton in his pioneering work "Mint Marks: A Treatise on the Coinage of the United States Branch Mints" which was published in 1893 right after this coin was struck. Heaton noted that the variety with the exceedingly small O was rare. Howard R. Newcomb further publicized this rarity in his 1914 display at the ANS. As to the particulars on this coin, it's well struck with bold obverse devices and with the usual trivial weakness on the reverse on the upper right shield and wing as well as on the eagle's right talons. The surfaces are slightly reflective and generally white in color, save for peripheral gold toning. Ample luster remains to please the eye. The diagnostic die crack is seen through the lower numerals of the date to the rim below the first star, as always seen on this rare variety. Examination of the O mintmark shows that it is clearly wider on the right side than the left, and is much smaller than the normally encountered mintmark. Apparently the die engraver used the mintmark punch for the quarter dollar instead of the half dollar, which gave birth to this famous variety. Given the fact that the reverse die shows no sign of failure, it can be assumed that the tiny O mintmark was discovered early in production and the reverse die was discarded. The limited numbers coined entered circulation. Perhaps a few were saved as curiosities, as a small handful have been found in mint state grades. The combined NGC and PCGS population reports show two coins graded this high, with three seen finer. In recent years an example was auctioned in Bowers and Merena's Schwan Collection Sale, October 2000, but it graded only MS61. Prior to that offering was this same coin in the Price Sale in May of 1998, and the Eliasberg coin which was offered in April of 1997 by Bowers and Merena. It is believed that the Eliasberg coin is the Finest Known. One of the great rarities of American numismatics and always in demand.
Ex: Dr. Thaine B. Price Collection (David Akers, May 1998), lot 125, where it realized $55,000.(#6463) (Registry values: P8) (NGC ID# 24LH, PCGS# 6463)


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Auction Info

Auction Dates
January, 2005
12th-15th Wednesday-Saturday
Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 889

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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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