Interesting 1792 Half Dime, Flattened (XF Details)

    1792 H10C Half Disme, Judd-7, Pollock-7, R.4--Flattened--PCGS Genuine. Almost exactly the size of a 1796 dime, when we first saw this coin over a year ago we thought it might be a special coin. It has XF45 Details, and when one considers it has been flattened it is surprising how much definition there is on this piece, with the details as balanced and even as would be seen on a normally circulated coin. In last year's FUN auction, several experts spotted this coin in an unqualified PCGS holder and commented that it had been flattened. It seemed illogical but examination showed that the coin was indeed wider than a normal half disme, so PCGS bought it off the market in a deal negotiated with our consignor, then re-consigned it to this auction.
    Most likely over two centuries ago, this piece had apparently been placed between two pieces of leather then meticulously and lightly struck with a mallet. It was wide enough to pass as a disme or an early dime. The diameter of a half disme is approximately 17 mm, while a disme measures approximately 22 mm. This coin has a diameter of 20 mm. So, after flattening it was closer to the diameter of a disme than a half disme.
    All that considered, this is an unusually pleasing half disme. The flattening does not appear to have materially affected any of the design elements. The hair of Liberty and the eagle's breast feathers are significantly stronger than one usually sees, leading us to the conclusion that the flattening must have occurred shortly after it was produced. There is a curved scratch through LF and to the eagle's right (facing) wing, and there is also an area of planchet cracking on the lower left portion of the reverse. Otherwise, the surfaces are unremarkable for a half disme and the coin only shows the small marks one would expect. Both obverse and reverse are light gray with deeper gray accents in the recesses and brightness over the high points. All in all, this is a remarkable half disme with an interesting story to tell.(Registry values: P9) (NGC ID# D93T, PCGS# 11020)

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

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2009
    7th-11th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,247

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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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