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    Description

    Choice AU 1794 Half Dollar, O-101
    Sharply Struck and Nicely Centered
    Tied for Sixth in the Condition Census

    1794 50C AU55 PCGS. O-101, R.4. This is an early to middle-die state piece with a light crack from the border to a leaf pair between D and S. A second crack from a dentil through the middle of F to a leaf jogs left toward the uppermost leaf in the right branch. This second die crack is faint, only visible because of the high grade of this piece.
    This is a wonderful example with sharp design details on each side, affected only by a trace of rub on the high points. It has a crisp strike with nice centering and full border details. The surfaces have pleasing gray-brown color with splashes of deeper steel toning on each side. Satin luster shines through the toning on both sides.
    According to the Stephen Herrman Auction & Mail Bid Prices Realized reference, this Choice AU piece appears tied for sixth place in the Condition Census for O-101, the same grade (but not the same coin) as the Jules Reiver example that we handled in our 2006 FUN Signature, lot 22472. Those two AU55 examples constitute the finest of this first-year variety that we have handled since we began maintaining our Permanent Auction Archives nearly 20 years ago, although we have also handled numerous lower-grade pieces.
    The first delivery of 1794 half dollars took place in the final quarter of the year, with 5,300 pieces delivered by Henry Voigt, followed by an additional delivery of 18,164 coins early in 1795, all from 1794-dated dies. Two different dates are often given for the first delivery, either October 15, 1794 as claimed by Walter Breen, or December 1 as claimed by Hilt and others. The second delivery is recorded as February 4, 1795.
    While there are 11 known varieties of 1794 Flowing Hair half dollars, they are all under intense demand as first-year types. The O-101, while very scarce, is still among the more obtainable die pairings. The high grade of the present coin puts it, nonetheless, in the conditionally very rare category, a piece that should see fevered bidding when it crosses the auction block.
    Ex: Gerald Shertz; Sheridan Downey (8/1998); Westmoreland County Collection/FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2008), lot 2819, which brought $109,250.
    From The Oliver Collection.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24E6, PCGS# 6051)

    Weight: 13.48 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 Oliver Collection ]

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2011
    11th-14th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    The Draped Bust Half Dollars of 1796-1797 by Jon Amato

    The Draped Bust Half Dollars of 1796-1797 by Jon Amato is the culmination of more than 10 years of research into the Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar series, one of the most coveted type coins in American numismatics and one about which remarkably little has been written.

    This work will be the premier reference for 1796-1797 half dollars for years to come. Institutions having an extensive numismatic library or coin cabinet will find it a valuable complement to their holdings, and catalogers charged with writing up specimens for auction can now have an indispensable source of background and pedigree information. Likewise, coin dealers seeking to purchase one or more '96 or '97 half dollars for a client or for inventory, and collectors who own, have owned, or desire to own one will want this important reference work for their libraries.

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