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    1801 Draped Bust Half Dollar, O-101, MS62
    First Year With Heraldic Eagle
    Important Condition Rarity

    1801 50C O-101, R.3, MS62 NGC. This remarkable MS62 1801 Draped Bust half is sharply detailed in most areas, save for a touch of flatness on some of the stars. The lightly marked surfaces retain much of their original mint luster under a blanket of iridescent gold, rose, and blue toning. A few clash marks are evident near the right (facing) wing. Eye appeal is quite strong.

    Variety: O-101, R.3, easily identified by the numerous die defects on the reverse, one joining E and R in AMERICA and others near the arrowheads. Only two die varieties are known for the date, and both employ the same obverse die.

    Population Data (7/14): NGC shows four 1801 half dollars in all Mint State grades without regard for variety: one MS64, one MS63, and two (including the present coin) MS62. The MS64 example is the O-102 Eric Newman specimen, leaving only one finer O-101 at NGC. PCGS has graded two Mint State 1801 half dollars without regard to die variety, the Jimmy Hayes MS63 coin and another MS60.

    Heritage Commentary: Half dollar coinage resumed in 1801 after a four-year hiatus since 1797. The reverse design had changed in the interim, from the old Small Eagle design to the Heraldic Eagle motif, making the 1801 an important first-year coin for type purposes. Only 30,289 half dollars were struck, and few were saved by contemporary collectors. As a result, the 1801 is a condition rarity in Mint State. This impressive MS62 example is high in the Condition Census for the variety. Only the MS63 PCGS Jimmy Hayes coin and another MS63 example at NGC are certified finer among O-101 examples. It may be years before a comparable specimen becomes available, so we expect spirited competition when this lot is called.

    Provenance: Douglas Noblet; Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 1/1999), lot 6. (NGC ID# 24ED, Variety PCGS# 39267, Base PCGS# 6064)

    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
    October, 2014
    27th Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,206

    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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