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    Stunning Gem 1800 Half Dime, LIBEKTY Variety, LM-3

    1800 H10C LIBEKTY MS65 PCGS. V-2, LM-3, R.4. An astounding example of the popular LIBEKTY variety in an early die state. Of the four known die marriages of 1800 half dimes, only two are deemed reasonably collectible. LM-2 is considered by specialists to be an R.7 variety, with less than 12 known examples extant. The fourth variety, LM-4, was discovered by Ed Price and first reported in 1994. Only three examples are known today. LM-1 is, by a substantial margin, the most commonly encountered variety of this date and LM-3 (this piece) is considered to be very scarce. A cursory examination of the PCGS Population Report as of (11/07) confirms this fact, with only 35 out of 233 1800 half dimes graded being of the LIBEKTY variety.
    The origin of this variety is attributable to a defective R punch. Similar problems are found on other early Federal coinage--the 1796 LIHERTY cent and the 1796 LIKERTY half dime, to name two popular examples. Such anomalies serve as tangible reminders of the technical challenges and material limitations of our first U.S. Mint. The simplest of tools, like an R letter punch, were rare commodities, and minor impairments were tolerable. Tools were employed until they were unusable, and this is why we find some early Federal coins that were struck from completely shattered dies. As such, the sacrifices in quality of the final product were not made due to a lack of pride in workmanship, but quite simply out of necessity.
    In terms of condition and eye appeal, the current coin resides in the upper echelon of not only the variety, but also the entire, short-lived Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle half dime series. PCGS has graded only one 1800 LM-3 in MS65 with one finer, a recently certified MS66 piece (11/07). The current coin is of extraordinary quality. Attractive toning atop rich, lustrous surfaces unites with an exceptionally strong strike to define this Gem specimen. The reverse die is rotated approximately 30 degrees counterclockwise, which is typical for the variety. A small, shallow depression under the Y in LIBEKTY serves as a pedigree marker for future researchers. For the sake of clarity, this is not damage by any means, but rather the result of this coin being struck with a piece of foreign debris between the obverse die and the blank planchet. Such incidents were common to early Federal coinage and, in this case, only adds character to this already breathtaking example of an 1800 LIBEKTY half dime. Spirited bidding is sure to ensue.
    Ex: Michael Riordan Collection (Goldberg, 6/2002), lot 2034; Oliver Jung Collection (American Numismatic Rarities, 7/2004), lot 27.
    From The Madison Collection.
    (Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 2326, PCGS# 4265)

    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 Madison Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2008
    9th-12th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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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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