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    1794 V-2, LM-2 Half Dime, SP66 ★
    Amazing Special Strike

    1794 H10C V-2, LM-2, R.5, SP66 ★ NGC. The V-2, LM-2 die marriage is seldom seen in grades of MS60 or finer, and rarely with the splendid mirror surfaces of this example. Although the strike is somewhat blunt at the centers, at the lower hair curls, and at the top edges of the eagle's wings, the existing detail is clearly equal to the Eliasberg example that Walter Breen called a "Presentation Piece." In his Proof Encyclopedia, Breen recorded three different Presentation Piece 1794 half dimes, one each of V-1, V-2, and V-3. The present example is a different coin than the Eliasberg example of the die marriage. Breen made a suggestion that the Presentation Piece half dimes may have been struck in 1794, with the first circulation strikes coined several weeks later in 1795. Without documentation to support his claim, we are unable to confirm such an idea. The first recorded delivery of half dimes was dated March 30, 1795. It is doubtful that any of those coins were actually struck in 1794.
    The major grading services, including NGC and PCGS, have assigned Specimen status to a number of early coins that are truly special pieces. NGC has certified three examples as Specimen-64, two as Specimen-65, and this example that is certified Specimen-66 with the Star designation. PCGS has certified a single 1794 half dime as Specimen 67. While there is no documentary evidence, there is little doubt that this coin is clearly something special, possibly made for presentation purposes, or perhaps merely made with a little more care. Perhaps a Mint workman acquired it as a souvenir of his employment, or a sample of his personal handiwork.
    The golden obverse of this nicely preserved example is silver-gray with lovely violet and cobalt-blue toning, while the reverse has variegated blue, pale green, gold, and lilac toning. The obverse field is entirely prooflike and the reverse is satiny with reflective fields. All of the stars, letters, numerals, and central devices are bold, and crisply join the fields.
    Ex: American Numismatic Rarities (7/2005), lot 877; Joseph C. Thomas Collection (Heritage, 4/2009), lot 2176 as SP65 NGC. (NGC ID# 22ZT, Variety PCGS# 38582, Base PCGS# 4250)

    Weight: 1.35 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper

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

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
    6th-11th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
    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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