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    Description

    1797 Half Dollar, O-101a, Well-Defined XF40
    An Important Type or Date/Variety Coin

    1797 50C XF40 PCGS. O-101a, High R.4. Amato-415. 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. Their minuscule mintage of 3,918 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 the costliest of all type coins in most levels of preservation.

    Light gray patination covers both sides of this XF40 PCGS specimen, complementing hints of gold on some of the devices, especially on the reverse. Sharp definition appears on the design elements, including Liberty's hair strands and the eagle's wing and tail feathers. Neither side reveals bothersome adjustment marks or significant contact marks. The few light oval marks on and around the eagle's torso are mentioned only for identification purposes, as are some streaks around the left and lower reverse border.

    Die cracks from the rim at 9:30 through the olive wreath to the eagle's lower neck and from the rim at 10:30 through the first T in STATES to the upper neck attribute the O-101a die state. The crack connecting them has not yet fully developed but can be barely seen in its incipient stage extending from the lower-left serif of the first T to the lower part of the first S. Another crack from the rim through the right side of O in OF and the palm wreath to the right (facing) wing is clearly visible.

    This example will please not only the type collector, but also the date/variety specialist. As such, it will be subject to keen bidder competition.
    Ex: National Money Show Signature, Charlotte (Heritage, 3/2007), lot 741; Stack's (2/2008), lot 3184; Stack's (1/2009), lot 402; Bowers and Merena (8/2009), lot 1251; Stack's (11/2009), lot 1351.
    From the collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.(Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# 24EC, PCGS# 6060)


    View all of [The collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation ]

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2014
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,208

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% 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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