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    Description

    1797 16 Stars Half Dime, V-4, LM-2, MS65
    Very Scarce Variety, Tied With the Eliasberg Coin
    Finest We Have Offered in 20+ Years

    1797 H10C 16 Stars MS65 NGC. V-4, LM-2, R.4. Pink and lavender hues intermingle with pearl-gray on this Gem 1797 16 Stars half dime, a coin that is probably in the lower Condition Census for the type. No mentionable distractions appear on either side, in concert with the grade, and the curious, very scarce 16 Stars variety further increases the allure of this appealing coin. Abundant detail on each side is the result of an extremely concise strike. An incredible early half dime.

    Variety: 16 Stars, V-2, LM-4, R.4. The digit 1 is far from the curls and centered over a dentil. The first 7 is small, the second 7 large. The reverse shows an outer berry between NI. Die State: Obverse. Prominent die clash marks appear before the bust of Liberty, as well as over and behind the head. Reverse. A prominent die crack runs from the rim downward through the E in UNITED and to a leaf. Another thinner crack runs from the top-left leaf tip rightward to below the O(F). Other smaller cracks appear. A shallow rim cud is beginning to form at the dentils above ME(RICA). Clash marks appear

    Population Data (4/14): This 16 Stars half dime is certified by NGC merely as a 1797 half dime. For the V-4, LM-2 16 Stars variety, the finest at NGC are one each in MS65 and MS66. For the V-3, LM-3 16 Stars variety, NGC shows the finest to be one MS63. PCGS shows two grading events for the 1797 16 Stars in MS66 with no variety specification.

    Heritage Commentary: This two die marriages for the 1797 16 Stars half dimes share a common obverse with two different reverses. More importantly, this Gem 1797 16 Stars half dime is the finest we have ever offered since we began our Permanent Auction Archives in 1993. In MS65 grade it appears to be tied with the ex: Eliasberg coin, although PCGS has seen a couple of MS66s.

    The half dimes of 1797 come in three main varieties all listed in the Guide Book, namely the 13 Stars (V-1, LM-4), 15 Stars (V-2, LM-1), and 16 Stars (V-4, LM-2 and V-3, LM-3) coins. The 1796-97 half dimes are, in general, the most elusive of the early half dimes.

    The early Mint coins of several denomination show varying numbers of stars on the obverse, as well as varying placements for a given total number of stars (the most extreme example being the 12 left, 4 right stars placement on the 1797 Small Eagle ten dollar coins). The plan at the early Mint was to add stars for each new state, apparently -- but: Die preparation in the early Mint was an arduous process, and a serviceable die would be used regardless of the date it bore, the number of stars, design details (Small or Large Eagle, for example), or other such considerations.

    When the Union was formed of the 13 original states, Vermont was the 14th to join in 1791, then Kentucky became number 15, in 1792. The breaking point came when Tennessee joined on June 1, 1796. Mint personnel realized they could not continually add stars for each new state. A die prepared before June 1, 1796, in anticipation of 1797 coinage might bear 15 stars, while one made afterward might bear 16 or 13 stars.

    Provenance: Kevin Lipton (3/2005).(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 22ZZ, PCGS# 4259)

    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
    June, 2014
    23rd Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 32
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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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