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    Beautiful 1794 Half Dollar, AU58, Finest Known O-106 Variety

    1794 50C AU58 PCGS. O-106, R.6. This variety is confirmed by the following: on the obverse, star 2 is attached to the lowest curl, the only 1794 so found, and star 1 is well below the curl; on the reverse, there are 21 berries, the only reverse with such (10 left and 11 right). It is important to note that the particular example presented here does not show a die crack from the edge to the pair of leaves below the first S of STATES. Donald Parsley, in his fourth edition of United States Early Half Dollar Varieties, 1794-1836, writes that: "All observed specimens show (this crack)." This coin is an early die state example of the O-106 variety, that may precede the other three varieties (O-101, O-107, and O-108) that also used this reverse.

    This AU58 example is perhaps the finest known of the O-106 variety. Stephen Herrman, in his Autumn 2006 revision of Auction & Mail Bid Prices Realized for Bust Half dollars, 1794-1839, lists an AU53 specimen (Superior, Worrell Sale, September 1993) as the highest graded in his survey. This example and the Worrell Sale coin are actually the same, with an extensive earlier pedigree. We are also aware of one other high-grade piece, similar in quality to this specimen.

    Golden-gray patination dominates both sides, and is imbued with blushes of sky-blue and lavender. Traces of luster reside in the recessed areas, and the design elements are well centered on the planchet. Liberty's hair displays excellent definition, as do the eagle's wing and tail feathers, and the dentilation is bold, especially on the reverse. Light diagonal adjustment marks traverse Liberty's portrait through stars 14 and 15; some vertical ones extend from the neck through the date. The surfaces are remarkably clean, the only pedigree identifier being a faint linear mark on the eagle's breast. Population: 3 in 58, 2 finer (11/06).
    Ex: George Earle (Henry Chapman, 6/1912); Gilhousen Collection (Superior, 10/1973); Superior (2/1975); Superior (2/1987); Superior (9/1993).(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.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2007
    3rd-6th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 276

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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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