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    1795 Flowing Hair Half, MS63+
    Top O-110a Condition Census Coin
    Ex: Norweb Collection

    1795 50C 2 Leaves, O-110a, R.4, MS63+ PCGS Secure. Ex: Norweb. A coin with a long and prestigious pedigree. This boldly struck, sharply reflective early half dollar is the finest-known example of the O-110a variety, and it is among the most compelling Mint State 1795 half dollars of any variety. The earliest documented auction appearance of this exact coin was the S.H. and Henry Chapman sale of the Thomas Cleneay Collection, where it received an uncharacteristically long and detailed description:

    "1795 Uncirculated. Sharp impression. Mint lustre. Die slightly cracked from R and T to second star before head; lower curl cracked between first and second star. Extremely rare in this condition. Plate V."

    Q. David Bowers had the pleasure of cataloging this coin at least twice, and his description from the Norweb sale is as appropriate today as it was in 1988:

    "Particularly sharply struck at the centers, this coin today is one of the finest known of the variety. Both obverse and reverse are toned a beautiful, delicate light lilac, with hints of iridescence. From an aesthetic viewpoint, few half dollars of any variety of this date can match it."

    The O-110 variety is a marriage of Obverse 5 and Reverse H, and the only use of that obverse. The Reverse H die had longer life, appearing on three other Overton varieties (all collector favorites): the O-112, O-126, and O-127. The reverse is identified by berries 9-8, two under each wing located on the inside of the wreath. Parsley mentions the right-most berry is the only one of the four that has a stem, but this high-grade example confirms that, in fact, three of the four berries have stems. A leaf is located beneath the center of F, and the left base of R is attached to the eagle's right (facing) wing.

    Obverse O-110 is notable for stars 1 and 2 somewhat distant from the curl and bold recutting on star 5 and the numeral 9 of the date. The pristine state of the current example reveals no fewer than three separate recuts to the lower left point of star 5 as well as a spindly, hooklike remnant next to the lower right star point. Not only is the 9 widely recut in the date, but evidence of a remnant 7 is seen beneath the primary 7 (a characteristic not mentioned in the Parsley reference).

    The present coin is a late die state of O-110 and is listed in the Parsley book as O-110a. The obverse die shows two large, easily noticed die cracks - one running from the milling down through R of LIBERTY into the field below TY and then through star 11 to the edge. A bolder crack follows a parallel path from the top of T down across the base of Y, through stars 9 and 10 to the milling. The obverse die was retired after striking O-110a.

    Deficiencies in early dies and the minting machinery makes the total mintage of 299,680 half dollars in 1795 seem astounding, especially since the entire mintage was accomplished during the first six months of the year. Some irregularities in the dentilation and rims of this coin are mint-caused from application of the edge lettering and ornaments, which are deeply impressed on this coin and may have been applied after the coin was struck. The eagle's breast and neck feathers are visible although not fully brought up, and the talons and eagle's head are typically soft.

    No other MS63 half dated 1795 has received the PCGS Plus designation, putting this coin at the top of Don Parsley's Condition Census for the O-110 variety (6/14). It is also listed as the finest O-110a in Steve Herrman's comprehensive Spring 2014 list of the Condition Census of All Die Varieties.
    Ex: Thomas Cleneay Collection (S.H. and Henry Chapman, 12/1890), lot 1098; Waldo C. Newcomer; Col. E.H.R. Green; James Macallister to T. James Clarke, 1943; T. James Clarke Collection (New Netherlands Coin Co., 4/1956) lot 1193; Norweb Collection (Bowers and Merena, 11/1998), lot 3019; Brilliant and Sieck Collections (Bowers and Merena, 1/1992), lot 1206; James Swan U.S. Type Collection; Oliver Jung Collection (ANR, 4/2004), lot 59.
    From The Collection of Oliver Jung.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 24E7, Variety PCGS# 39229, Base PCGS# 6052)

    Weight: 13.48 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper

    View all of [The Collection of Oliver Jung ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2014
    5th-9th Tuesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,844

    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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