1815/2 Half Dollar, O-101a, MS64+
1815/2 50C MS64+ NGC. CAC. O-101a, R.3. Ex: "Col." E.H.R.
Green. Vivacious album toning frames the silver centers. Cartwheel
luster is intense and undisturbed. The centers are silver-gray and
gold-tinged, melding into deeper amber and sky-blue shades near the
rims. Light clash marks are standard. A fully struck 1815, however,
is far from standard. The issue is plagued by weakly struck central
devices. The Newman coin is a delightful exception to the rule. Pay
special attention to Liberty's curls above and behind her ear. Note
also the clasp and drapery lines. On the reverse the eagle's beak
and claws are threateningly sharp. The surfaces of the coin are
magnificent, as expected of a Choice Uncirculated coin.
Low-Mintage Issue Due to the 'War of 1812'
Students of the Bust half series know that only 47,150 examples of the half dollar were struck in 1815, all from a single die pair. Even in great collections a few coins will stand out. The earlier offered 1796 quarter is one. The Newman 1815 half is another. As the key date to the Capped Bust series the 1815 carries its own charisma. Its popularity, in fact, has a downside. The date is too often the subject of "improvement projects." Countless examples have been cleaned, scratched, recolored or otherwise abused and tortured. A pristine example such as the Newman coin is a cause for celebration and, we are sure, furious bidding. NGC has graded two 1815s MS65. One is the Overton Plate Coin, which shares the "look" and originality of the Newman coin. The fabulous Kaufman NGC MS66+ brought $182,125 in our August 2012 Philadelphia ANA Sale (lot 5143).
It is useful to explore the reason that 1815 saw such a low mintage of half dollars. The "War of 1812," was punctuated by an invasion by British forces in mid-1814 and the torching of the White House. The uncertainties of war led to the hoarding of gold and silver. For most of 1815 the Mint lacked gold or silver bullion deposits from which to strike coins. The war with the British officially ended with the U.S. Senate's ratification of the Treaty of Ghent on February 16, 1815. By year's end the flow of gold and silver resumed in a limited way. The Mint once again began to strike half dollars. The entire delivery of 47,150 half dollars bearing an 1815 date was made January 10, 1816 -- one day before a fire at the Mint destroyed the rolling and drawing mills, as well as the melting room, halting gold and silver coinage again until 1817.
Ex: "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate; Partnership of Eric P. Newman / B.G. Johnson d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.; Eric P. Newman @ $50.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 24F5, PCGS# 6108)
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A powerful and intimidating dealer of the 1960s, backed by important colleagues, was accused of selling fraudulent gold coins and ingots to unsuspecting numismatists. Who would go up against a man like that and, over the course of decades, prove the fraud? Who would expose a widely respected scholar as a thief, then doggedly pursue recovery of coins that the scholar had stolen from an embarrassed numismatic organization, all over the objections of influential collectors who had bought coins with clouded titles? Eric P. Newman would - and did. Reserve your copy today.
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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