Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    1796 16 Stars Half Dollar, Attractive Fine 12
    O-102, Scarcer Late Die State

    1796 50C 16 Stars, O-102, T-2, High R.5, Fine 12 PCGS. Amato-227a. Unlike the other three varieties of the Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar, the 1796 Overton-102 shows 16 obverse stars instead of 15. The 16 stars variety commemorated Tennessee's June 1, 1796 admission to the Union as the 16th state. While Mint records indicate that all Draped Bust Small Eagle halves were delivered in February, March, and May 1797, contemporary evidence such as the August 25, 1794 editorial in the Knoxville Gazette calling for statehood and the 1795 results of the census enumeration required for statehood admission suggests that the 16 stars obverse die was likely engraved several months prior to Tennessee's June 1, 1796 admission. Breen (1988) theorizes that the 16 stars coins were included in the March and May deliveries, following the 1796 15 star-pieces delivered in February and March.

    The present 1796 16 Stars example represents a late die state, evidenced by the die crack extending from the rim through the first four stars then out to the milling. Contrary to previous literature claiming that this crack is seen on most 16-Star pieces, our ongoing research on the Draped Bust Small Eagle series indicates that only about 35 percent of the known 16-Star examples possess this crack. The current specimen is therefore desirable for the variety/die state specialist as well as the type collector.

    Attractive medium gray patina is deeper surrounding the devices on both sides of this Fine 12 example, offering modest contrast with the motifs. Liberty's hair displays a generous amount of detail, as do the ear, eye, eyebrow, and drapery folds. In fact, the obverse may lay claims to Very Fine classification. About one-third of the feather detail is visible on the eagle's wings that are completely separated from the torso. The surfaces on each side are devoid of significant marks, and no adjustment marks are apparent. A minuscule mark midway between Liberty's ear and neck curl and one between the right (facing) wing tip and inner-middle palm leaf are mentioned solely for identification purposes.
    Ex: Baltimore Auction (Stack's Bowers, 11/2012), lot 3138. (NGC ID# 24EA, Variety PCGS# 39262, Base PCGS# 6058)

    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
    January, 2017
    4th-9th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,650

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $19) 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.

    Order Now! Just $59.95

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 11 days left to consign to the 2019 September 4 - 9 Long Beach Expo World Coins Signature Auction - !

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you for your individual dedication to the hobby, and that of Heritage.
    David C.,
    Chagrin Falls, OH
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 June 6 - 9 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
    2019 June 6 - 9 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
    REALIZED $8,361,305
    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago
    REALIZED $8,021,711
    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
    2019 April 25 - 29 Central States World Currency Signature Auction - Chicago
    REALIZED $1,965,334