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    1801 Draped Bust Half Dime, MS67
    Single Finest Known
    V-1, LM-2 Variety

    1801 H10C V-1 and V-2, LM-2, R.4. MS67 NGC. This magnificent Superb Gem exhibits sharply detailed design elements in most areas, with just a touch of softness on the central reverse. A prominent die break, resembling a retained cud, starts at the rim and travels through Y, follows a semicircular path inside the stars on the right, and returns to the rim below star 13. The well-preserved surfaces are blanketed in attractive shades of ice-blue, sea-green, and russet toning, with vibrant mint luster underneath. No mentionable distractions are evident and eye appeal is terrific.

    Variety: This coin represents the V-1, LM-2 variety, with the letters LIB in LIBERTY widely spaced and stars 1 through 3 close together. When Daniel Valentine wrote his series reference in 1931, he mistakenly believed these dies represented two different varieties, V-1 and V-2. Later research shows that his V-2 is actually a later die state of the V-1 dies, with a bisecting die crack through the 8 in the date to above B in LIBERTY.

    Population Data (7/14): NGC has graded this coin in MS67 and none finer. The next finest example at NGC grades only MS63. PCGS has graded one specimen in MS66, and none finer.

    Heritage Commentary: The 1801 Draped Bust half dime claims a nominal mintage of 27,760 pieces, with two die varieties known for the date. This coin represents the more available, but still scarce, LM-2 variety. Most 1801 half dimes are found in worn condition,making attribution difficult for early researchers. Writing in 1883, Harold P. Newlin noted:

    "I have noticed no varieties. Specimens can be readily obtained in fair condition, but I have never seen an uncirculated one, nor do I believe one exists in the Numismatic world. I have carefully studied the catalogues of sales from 1859 to the present time and can find no mention of the sale of a perfect example of this date."

    As mentioned above, Daniel Valentine believed his V-1 and V-2 varieties were different, but they were actually just different die states of the same variety. The V-3, LM-1 variety was not discovered until 1986.

    High-grade examples of the 1801 half dime remain extremely elusive today. This coin is the finest known, with no serious challenger. It has been the finest certified example at either of the leading grading services since at least 1998. It has been off the market for 16 years and the opportunity to acquire this finest-known specimen may not recur for decades.

    Provenance: Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 8/1998),lot 88. (NGC ID# 2327, Variety PCGS# 38606, Base PCGS# 4267)

    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
    October, 2014
    27th Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,830

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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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