A Second Draped Bust, Small Eagle Half Dollar From the Genaitis Collection1797 50C XF45 PCGS. O-101a, R.5. It is the sign of an important sale when we can offer one Draped Bust, Small Eagle half dollar to our collectors. To be able to offer two representatives of this rare type in one sale, however, guarantees that our Atlanta ANA Signature Sale will be an auction long remembered. The 1797 is an enigmatic issue, in that the obverse displays 15 stars like that of the first die used for the 1796-dated coinage. According to Breen, the obverse die used to produce the 1797-dated delivery was prepared prior to Tennessee's admission into the Union, but the final digit in the date was omitted. When the Mint needed this die for coinage, its employees added the final 7 to the date. Breen also speculates that most, if not all of the 2,984 half dollars that the Philadelphia Mint delivered on May 26, 1797 were dated 1797.
This is a wholly original example whose surfaces have some claim to an AU grade. Even lavender-gray toning envelops both sides, the color being a little lighter on the reverse. Both sides are well centered with ample remaining definition. The only "distractions" of note are the diagnostic die cracks on both sides, but since these features are as struck, they have no effect on the coin's exceptional eye appeal. An unprecedented second bidding opportunity to acquire a high grade circulated survivor of the 1796-1797 half dollar type.
From the Richard Genaitis Collection. (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.
View all of [The Richard Genaitis Collection, Part 1 ]
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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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