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    1795 Flowing Hair Half Dime, MS63
    Extremely Rare V-10, LM-2 Die Marriage
    Believed to be the Finest Known

    1795 H10C V-10, LM-2, R.7, MS63 NGC. CAC. Ex: Hilt Collection. LM-2 is the rarest of the 10 1795 Flowing Hair half dime varieties, with fewer than a dozen representatives believed known. Walter Breen cited Valentine's notes on this variety in his Supplement, but stated that he had never seen an example himself; he suggested that LM-2, if extent, was extremely rare, an assessment that has only been upheld by modern research.

    This is the only use of this obverse die, which is readily identified by several thin die lines protruding from Liberty's hair curls toward the cheek bone; star 1 is closely nestled between the first two hair curls, the inner points touching the hair strands. A heavy die crack quickly develops from the rim near star 5, through the hair curls, to the rim above the R in LIBERTY, proving terminal for the die and likely resulting in its quick retirement and the corresponding rarity of coins struck from this die marriage. The reverse is seen here in its second and final use, having been previously used for the slightly more available LM-1 (V-1) die pairing.

    The present example of LM-2 is a magnificent coin, believed to be the finest known of the variety. Russell Logan and John McCloskey specifically reference this coin in Federal Half Dimes 1792 - 1837, citing its appearance in Stack's October 1960 sale of the Milton A. Holmes Collection. It was described in that catalog as "Uncirculated, with some proof surface. Blue and iridescent toning," and realized $280.00, a significant sum for the period.

    Both sides display sharp borders and well-defined centers, with just a hint of softness on the high point of the eagle's breast, as usual. Areas of semiprooflike reflectivity highlight the fields where shades of ocean-blue, lilac, and lavender-gold surround the margins. A few insignificant abrasions confirm the grade, and the obverse exhibits the characteristic heavy die crack through the top of the portrait.

    NGC has attributed only five examples of this extremely rare variety, including two in VF, two in MS61, and this MS63 coin; PCGS has not attributed any examples, although a few may be certified without attribution (2/15). The importance of this coin as the finest-known example of the rarest 1795 half dime variety is unsurpassed. We encourage the early half dime variety specialist to look long and hard at this exceptional rarity and the incredible opportunity which it presents.
    Ex: Milton A. Holmes Collection (Stack's, 10/1960), lot 2576.
    From The Liberty USA Collection, Part 2. (NGC ID# 22ZV, Variety PCGS# 38586, Base PCGS# 4251)

    Weight: 1.35 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper

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

    View all of [The Liberty USA Collection, Part 2 ]

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    22nd-26th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 27
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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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