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    Description

    Iconic 1792 Half Disme, Fine Details
    Judd-7, Nation's First Silver Coinage

    1792 H10C Half Disme, Judd-7, Pollock-7, R.4 -- Damaged -- NGC Details. Fine. The numismatic slogan that inspired the title of a PBS documentary is Money: History in Your Hands. Few coins can make so strong a claim to being part of history as the 1792 half disme, the first coinage type struck after the passage of the Mint Act of 1792. In the 1792 half disme is the first expression of Liberty as an allegorical figure on an official U.S. coin, described as the "Parent of Science & Industry;" the eagle too makes its debut. The spelling "half disme" is singular in the official U.S. coinage history, replaced by "5" and later "half dime," but even this early variant has its charm.
    The story of the 1792 half disme has been told (and embellished) throughout the years, and only recently have scholars, most notably Joel Orosz and Carl Herkowitz, cut through to some well-documented truths. (George Washington put up silver for the 1792 half dismes: true. That it came from tableware: unsubstantiated.) Despite the extant misinformation, the essential nature of the 1792 half dismes as very scarce historical artifacts is not threatened. Collectors know this, and many examples are in "strong hands" that are reluctant to part with the pieces.
    In the case of this Fine Details example, it takes the offering of a remarkable collection to bring the piece to the auction block. While the coin shows peripheral damage, most visibly as a cut to the upper left reverse and another crossing the upper-right reverse lettering, this well-worn piece retains considerable majesty. Blue and gold overtones settle on medium-gray surfaces that are better-defined on the obverse. Put the factors together, and this representative has a look far superior to what the "Fine Details" and "Damaged" descriptors might suggest, particularly when the coin is displayed reverse-up.
    From The Dr. John Y. Harper, Jr. Collection.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Dr. John Y. Harper, Jr. Collection ]

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2012
    8th-11th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    Numismatic Background and Census of 1802 Half Dimes: A Classic American Rarity
    This 64-page book cites mintage and rarity estimates by prominent numismatists and documents the currently known 1802 half dime appearances. Each of the 32 documented examples includes an enlarged obverse/reverse photograph, the author's assigned grade, the provenance of each coin, auction prices realized or dealer fixed asking price, and a unique serial number for each specimen that will facilitate retrieval for research, cataloging, or price-information purposes. Reserve your copy of this remarkable volume for just $29.95 today.
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