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    Description

    Respectable 1797 Half Dollar
    VF Details, O-101

    1797 50C --Repaired, Improperly Cleaned--NCS. VF Details O-101, High R.4. The 1797 half dollar offered in this lot presents an extremely important opportunity for the type collector or the early half dollar date and/or variety specialist. The Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar design type bears the date 1796 or 1797, though both issues were struck in the first half of 1797. A total of four varieties are known for the two years. From these four die pairs, a total of 3,918 coins were produced.
    The O-101 would appear to be the most "common" of the four varieties, as its High R.4 rarity rating compares with R.5 for the 1796 O-101 (15 stars), High R.5 for the 1796 O-102 (16 stars), and Low R.6 for the 1797 O-102 variety. We would note, however, that the 1797 reverse die evidently cracked quite early, resulting in the vast majority of 1797 O-101 coins having myriad reverse die cracks, this later die state designated O-101a. Conversely, research being conducted on the Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollars series by this cataloger (Jon Amato) shows far fewer O-101 early die state pieces apparently having been struck, and consequently a relatively small number are seen today.
    This coin is not displeasing to the unaided eye. As expected, however, magnification brings out the imperfections indicated on the NCS holder. These include fine hairlines, and extensive tooling in the fields resulting in some surface roughness. On the plus side, the design elements exhibit sharp VF detail, and the dentilation is quite strong, save for a tooled area in the lower right reverse quadrant. The semibright surfaces are beginning to retone deep blue in some of the recesses and grayish-tan in the fields. There are no deep scratches or serious rim damage, and adjustment marks are absent. In summary, a comparatively respectable coin despite its flaws, which plague a large number of the representatives of this most difficult U.S. design type.(Registry values: N7079) (NGC ID# 24EC, PCGS# 6060)

    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, 2008
    9th-12th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 827

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
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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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