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    Description

    Very Scarce 1796 15 Stars Small Eagle Half Dollar

    1796 50C 15 Stars Fine 12 Details, Repaired, Improperly Cleaned, NCS. O-101, R.5. The half dollars of 1796-97 are one of the most highly regarded and valuable type coins in all of U.S. numismatics. Mint records indicate that a total of just 3,918 pieces were made for both dates combined. Four varieties are known, a 15 star and a 16 star variety for the 1796 issue, and two 1797 varieties based on slight alignment differences of the reverse wreath. Published estimates on the number of extant specimens for this two-year design type vary from approximately 100 to 300 examples. Our own research has accounted, thus far, for slightly more than 220 examples. These range throughout the grading continuum, but show a relatively high number in the VF category. A number of these survivors have been mishandled, exhibiting plugs, scratches, graffiti, rim damage, harsh cleaning, etc. The current example is toned light to medium gray around the peripheral fields, giving way to a silverish coloration in the centers and on the design elements. Relatively nice detail is apparent on the central devices for the designated "Fine Details" grade. The dentilation is fairly strong on both sides, save for weakness around the upper obverse, and the design elements are well centered on the planchet. Light hairlines are seen on both sides, and some vertical scratches traverse Liberty's portrait. The surfaces have been smoothed, especially in the right fields and on the adjacent central devices of each side. Some tooling also seems to be apparent around the letters MER of AMERICA. Despite the impairments, this is a respectable example for completing a type set of early U.S. coinage. (#6057) (NGC ID# 24E9, PCGS# 6057)

    Weight: 13.48 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2004
    18th-21st Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 372

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $6) per lot.

    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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