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    Description

    Important 1797 Half Dollar, O-101a, AU Details
    The Ten Eyck-Clarke Specimen

    1797 50C --Improperly Cleaned--NGC Details. AU. O-101a, High R.4. The Draped Bust, Small Eagle half dollars bearing the dates 1796 or 1797 are among the most sought-after coins by advanced collectors of early U.S. type. This is because their relatively small mintage of fewer than 4,000 pieces and low number of surviving specimens result in this two-year design type being one of the rarest of American type coins, behind only the 1796 No Stars and 1808 quarter eagles. Moreover, the 1796-1797 half is, grade-for-grade, the costliest of all type coins. Added competition by early half dollar date and variety collectors, such as those in the Bust Half Nut Club, contributes to high prices, even in impaired condition.
    Sharp definition is apparent over the design elements of this AU Details example. Liberty's hair and drapery show virtually all of the appropriate detail, as do the eagle's wing and tail feathers. All of the dentilation is sharp, and the design motifs are perfectly centered on the planchet. Blended light to medium intensity copper-gold, gray, and tan patination is accented with blushes of bluish-purple, and any cleaning is relatively unobtrusive. The distinctive obverse toning pattern (horizontal and vertical toning streaks) helps pedigree this coin, as do two small marks on the outer part of star 9. A few faint adjustment marks are visible in the central part of Liberty's hair. The myriad reverse cracks point to the terminal, or near-terminal die state. This is a marvelous 1797 half for a high-grade type collection.
    Ex: James Ten Eyck Collection (Max Mehl, 5/1922), lot 433; T. James Clarke Collection (New Netherlands Coin Company, 4/1956), lot 1196; Heritage (1/2007), lot 957; Bowers and Merena (3/2010), lot 808; The Nashville Sale (Stack's, 5/2010), lot 4145; Bowers and Merena (8/2010), lot 515.


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

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2011
    5th-9th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,256

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $14) 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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