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    Monumental Victoria 1870 No LCW 50 Cents

    Victoria 50 Cents 1870 No LCW, KM6, MS64 PCGS, Ex: Miller-Alston-Grossman. A monumental example of this, one of the most coveted issues in all of Canadian numismatics. Although a business strike, this piece is tied numerically finest with the Belzberg coin, a unique piece certified Specimen 64 by both PCGS and ICCS. We wrote in the Belzberg catalog (Heritage, 1/2003, lot 15470), "Extremely rare in all grades, and a classic rarity in the Canadian 50 Cent series. Neither the Pittman nor Norweb collections had a Mint State example of this rare type, and PCGS has certified only two examples in Mint State."

    Six years later that statement is still true: PCGS has certified only the present MS64 and one MS60 coin in Mint State, a piece that we handled in our September 2006 Long Beach World Coin Signature (lot 50457, which brought $25,300 against an estimate of $15,000-$17,500). The Belzberg Specimen brought a strong $103,500 in January 2003 against a top estimate of $100,000.

    This incredible near-Gem coin is equally remarkable for its lovely original patina, with pastel lilac accented by dots of azure on the obverse. The reverse has more intense color, with a similar palette to the obverse around the periphery but vivid amber-gold predominating inside the wreath. The strike is quite sharp overall, although minor softness shows on the high points of the obverse hair. Neither that nor the few scattered contact marks detract from what must be far and away the most attractive and desirable business strike known--or imaginable--for this rare issue.

    The 1870 Victoria 50 Cents were the first half dollars struck for Canada, only three years after the Confederation Act united four provinces into the Dominion of Canada. The various series issues were struck at the Royal Mint in London or the Heaton Mint in Birmingham, the latter bearing the familiar H mintmark. As the Province of Canada issued no half dollars, new dies were needed when the denomination was introduced. The dies were, unsurprisingly, designed by Leonard Charles Wyon, who was born in 1826 in one of the houses of the Royal Mint. The first-year 1870 half dollars were produced in two different obverse variants, with and without the designer's initials LCW on the truncation of the Queen's neck. The No LCW coins also lack a small shamrock behind the first jewel at the front of the crown, and other minor differences appear on that side as well.

    This coin is now among the highlights of this wonderful collection, but it will continue to be a future cornerstone of even the most advanced Canadian collection for some forthright bidder. An opportunity that will almost certainly not be seen again soon.
    From the Canadiana Collection


    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    3rd-4th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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