1797 15 Stars Half Dime, V-2, LM-1, MS64+
    The Eliasberg / Gardner Example
    Choice, High-End Quality

    1797 H10C 15 Stars, V-2, LM-1, R.3, MS64+ PCGS. CAC. The 1797 15 Stars obverse die was prepared for 1797's coinage before Tennessee joined the Union as the 16th state on June 1, 1796. The half dimes of this year are classed as 13 Stars, 15 Stars, and 16 Stars. Although this piece, formerly in the Eliasberg Collection, is probably fifth in the Condition Census, with a pedigree well over a century long and incredible eye appeal, it is a coin that certainly carries its own credentials.

    This Choice piece with the PCGS Plus designation is a coin of amazing quality. The Logan-McCloskey reference mentions the coin as a notable specimen coming out of the Eliasberg sale, where it was graded MS65. The Eliasberg catalog devoted two-thirds of a page to the coin, describing it as:

    "Incredible Gem 1797 15 Stars. Finest Seen. The obverse and reverse are weak at the centers with strong peripheral detail. Intense frosty light silver luster with mottled pink and green iridescence. A few very minor abrasions are noted with the aid of magnification. To summarize: Wow!"

    Even though the 1797 15 Stars half dimes are the most available variety of the year, they are rare and arguably undervalued. PCGS shows five coins (including this piece) in MS64 with two finer, one each in MS66 and MS67.

    The present piece is the sole Plus-graded MS64 example at PCGS. The finest pieces at NGC are two submissions in MS66. Population: 1 in 64+, 2 finer (5/16).
    Ex: Richard B. Winsor Collection; Chapman Brothers (12/1895); J.M. Clapp; Clapp Estate; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Collection (Bowers and Merena, 5/1996), lot 897; The Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part I (Heritage, 6/2014 as MS64 PCGS CAC, without the Plus assignment); lot 30177. (NGC ID# 22ZZ, Variety PCGS# 38597, Base PCGS# 4258)

    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
    July, 2016
    7th-10th Thursday-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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