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    1796/5 V-2, LM-2 Half Dime, MS63
    Mysterious Overdate

    1796/5 H10C MS63 PCGS. V-2, LM-2, R.6. Perusal of the 2012 Guide Book suggests that there are three different die varieties known for the 1796 half dimes. That reference lists a 1796, 6 over 5, a 1796, and a 1796 LIKERTY. But how can the popular Red Book list three varieties when the specialized reference works on early half dimes, the Valentine and Logan-McCloskey works, each list only two die varieties?
    The answer to the variety question involves die states. The Normal Dies coin and the LIKERTY coin are both from the same dies, identified as V-1, LM-1. Early die states of LM-1 have a full LIBERTY inscription on the obverse, while late die states show the broken B that created the LIKERTY variation. Walter Breen wrote in his Complete Encyclopedia that "the 'LIKERTY' is a late, lapped die state; top and base of B gradually weaken, finally vanish."
    Unknown to this cataloger is the source of the LIKERTY die state. Valentine made no mention of the die state in his variety reference, and the authors of the LM book, the late Russell Logan and John McCloskey, say nothing at all.
    The other die marriage, the variety offered here, is the 1796/5 overdate, or V-2, LM-2. The 5 is clearly visible beneath the 6, making a fascinating overdate variety, since 1795 half dimes were all the Flowing Hair design. We assume that the engraver of this die mistakenly punched a 5 in the die, then realizing his mistake, punched a correct 6 on top. It is a fascinating die variety.
    This gorgeous Select Mint State specimen has satiny luster beneath deep and original gold, violet, and blue toning. The obverse has heavy diagonal adjustment marks that weakens the detail on both sides, but the surfaces are virtually pristine. Population: 3 in 63, 2 finer (11/11).(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 22ZY, PCGS# 4255)

    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 Dates
    January, 2012
    4th-8th Wednesday-Sunday
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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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