1896-O Barber Half Dollar, MS67
1896-O 50C MS67 PCGS. CAC. Ex: Eliasberg/Stellar. This is
the single finest-known 1896-O Barber half dollar, and one of only
a few handfuls of examples extant in any Mint State grade. The
cataloger of the Eliasberg Collection heralded this piece as:
The Sole Finest Known, Ex: Eliasberg
Rarest Date in the Series in Mint State
"A superb gem example of one of the most highly prized issues of the series, a piece which ranks among the finest we have ever seen, and could probably just as easily be called full MS-66 or even higher. Certainly the connoisseur will want to cast hesitation aside when competing for this piece, secure in the knowledge that the coin is truly world class."
Such a description befits this piece perfectly. The surfaces display vibrant, frosty luster with warm champagne-gray toning that deepens to amber orange in the margins and shows hints of blue around the extreme outer periphery. Trivial striking softness on the right portion of the eagle and a couple left-hand obverse stars is almost inconsequential. The CAC-endorsement confirms the exceptional quality.
The 1896-O is arguably the rarest date in the series in Mint State, surpassing even the coveted 1904-S. Only the 1892-O Micro O variety has a lower Mint State population, although the regular '92-O is moderately affordable at this level. The 1896-O is represented by just 21 Uncirculated coins at PCGS, most of which grade MS64 or lower; there are three MS65, two MS66 (one MS66+), and this stellar example as the sole MS67. NGC records only 17 Mint State grading events for the '96-O, the finest of which is a single MS66 (6/15).
Over the course of more than two decades, we have offered all three different Premium Gem examples, with the coins making a collective total of just seven appearances. This is the first time we have offered the magnificent Eliasberg-Clapp coin, and we anticipate intense collector interest in this landmark Barber half dollar offering. Despite being the single finest-known example of this paramount condition rarity, this piece is also the only 1896-O half dollar that can be traced all the way back to the date when it was acquired directly from the New Orleans Mint.
Ex: Purchased directly from the New Orleans Mint by J.M. Clapp (8/1896); John H. Clapp; Clapp Estate to Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. (1942); Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection (Bowers and Merena, 4/1997), lot 2077, which realized $44,000.
From The Greensboro Collection, Part V.(Registry values: N10218)
Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 24LW, PCGS# 6475)
Weight: 12.50 grams
Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
View all of [The Greensboro Collection, Part V ]
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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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