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    Important Near-Mint 1797 13 Stars Half Dime

    1797 H10C 13 Stars AU58 NGC. V-1, LM-4, R.6. After Tennessee was admitted as the 16th state in 1796, an additional star to represent the new state was added to the coinage designs for the various denominations. The small canvas of the half dime became crowded with peripheral stars. Soon, it was realized that adding another star for each state was impractical, and the star count was reduced to 13 stars, which represented the 13 colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776. The four half dime die varieties of 1797 have three different star counts: 15, 16, and 13 stars. The latter subtype is represented by a single rare die pairing, LM-4, which receives its own Guide Book listing. The rarity of the 13 stars subtype is best demonstrated by its NGC census. The service has certified only four pieces across all grades, and the present piece is tied with one other for finest certified by NGC. PCGS has encapsulated a single example as AU58, and just one piece finer, as MS63. Thus, the present coin is tied with two other examples for the honor of second finest certified, assuming that the three AU58 examples do not reflect any resubmissions (this is not the NGC AU58 Price specimen auctioned by ANR in 2004). Prior to the current lot, the highest graded 13 stars 1797 half dime to appear in a Heritage auction was a PCGS XF40 example in 2003. It is possible that no other sharp examples of the 13 stars variety will emerge for years, once the present lot has been sold. The importance of the present lot needs no further elaboration. It possesses bright silver-gray centers, framed by light golden-brown and deeper aquamarine and magenta toning. The strike is attentive, adjustment marks are absent, and no abrasions are detected that can provide a definitive pedigree.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 22ZZ, PCGS# 4260)

    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
    June, 2006
    1st-3rd Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 23
    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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