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    Description

    Perfect Reverse 1794 O-101 Half, VG8

    1794 50C VG8 NGC. O-101 prime, R.7. This is the earliest die state we have seen, and apparently still Rarity-7 with a perfect reverse die. There appears to be a trace of the crack between D and S with 10x magnification, only between the dentil tips, but this may actually be a faint hairline in that location. Faint die chips are visible above and left of M, and appear to be constant on all die states of this variety, although they were only described for Overton-3 in his first edition. There are no other die defects seen on either side. Martin L. Beistle and Al C. Overton (first edition) describe the crack between D and S for later die states. In the revised edition (1970), Overton notes: "All observed specimens show a die crack from edge to pair of leaves below first S." This same comment is repeated by Donald Parsley in the third and fourth editions.
    Pleasing pewter-gray surfaces with a trace of brown on the obverse and deeper steel toning around the devices on the reverse. A few scattered nicks and dents on each side are consistent with the grade. This is a lovely lower-middle grade 1794 half dollar, and extremely important to specialists for its early die state.
    Cataloging these coins for the Westmoreland County Collection provides a challenge to present accurate descriptions without over describing the coins. Most of these late 18th and early 19th century coins have served in commerce, some circulating briefly and others extensively, just as they were intended. During their time they were passed from one hand to another, and the coins acquired minor imperfections including tiny nicks, scratches, and other blemishes. While reviewing our descriptions, please remember the typical appearance of these early half dollars.
    Beistle recorded this early die state as "Extremely Rare" in 1929, with little change since that time. Although it was not the first 1794 half dollar variety coined at the Mint, this variety is listed first in the current Overton reference due to its similar placement by Haseltine, Beistle, and Overton in his first edition.
    Haseltine-1; Beistle 1-A; Overton-1; Hilt 6-D; PCGS# 6051; Encyclopedia-4552.
    Ex: Sheridan Downey (3/2001).
    From The Westmoreland County Collection of Early Bust Halves, 1794-1807.
    (Registry values: N2998) (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 Westmoreland County Collection of Early Bust Halves, 1794-1807 ]

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    January, 2008
    9th-12th Wednesday-Saturday
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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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