1800 Draped Bust Half Dime, MS65+
    Famous LIBEKTY Variety, V-2, LM-3
    Second-Finest at PCGS, Ex: Norweb

    1800 H10C LIBEKTY, V-2, LM-3, R.4, MS65+ PCGS. CAC. The 1800 Draped Bust half dime claims a mintage of 40,000 pieces, with four die varieties known for the date. Three obverse and two reverse dies were used to accomplish this mintage. The coin offered here represents the LM-3 variety, one of the two pairings to employ the famous LIBEKTY obverse, the result of using a defective R punch with a broken top. The reverse of the LM-3 has only two of the top arrowheads at equal height. This was the first use of the obverse die. It was used again on the rare LM-4 variety. This was the third and final use of the reverse die, as it was also used to strike the LM-1 and LM-2 varieties of this date.

    Early half dime specialist Howard P. Newlin was the first numismatist to notice the LIBEKTY variety, as related in his seminal work on half dimes in 1883:

    "No. 2. Obverse: 8 lower than 1 in date; top of R in Liberty open, resembling a K. I noticed this peculiarity some time ago, and remarked it to a gentleman who was cataloguing a collection, in his catalogue he termed it the Libekty variety, and as it has since become identified by that name I will thus term it, although I do not think the letter is a K."

    The LIBEKTY variety has been a favorite of collectors since it was first identified. Although it is scarce in absolute terms, high-grade examples can be found with patience. It is very rare at the MS65 grade level, however, and finer specimens are virtually unobtainable.

    The present coin traces its history to the fabled Norweb Collection, which was formed over several generations before being sold in a series of landmark auctions by Bowers and Merena in the late 1980s. The strike is better-than-average for this issue, which almost always shows some weakness on the centers. The well-preserved surfaces are blanketed in shades of dark gray and golden-brown toning and traces of original mint luster shine through the patina. Eye appeal is quite strong for this early half dime issue. Few examples can match this piece for technical quality and eye appeal, and its illustrious pedigree adds to its intense historic interest. Population: 4 in 65 (1 in 65+), 1 finer (1/16).
    Ex: Norweb Collection, Part I (Bowers and Merena, 11/1987), lot 309. (NGC ID# 2326, Variety PCGS# 38603, Base 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.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2016
    3rd-6th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    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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