Skip to main content
Go to accessibility options


    1797 Half Dollar, O-101a, Fine 15
    Claims to Very Fine Classification
    The Peter Mougey Specimen

    1797 50C O-101a, T-1, High R.4, Fine 15 PCGS. CAC. Amato-442. The Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar, with its minuscule production of 3,918 coins and bearing the dates 1796 or 1797, is perhaps the most desirable and sought-after type U.S. type coin. In fact, a type set of U.S. coinage is incomplete without the inclusion of this piece of Americana. Our research to date has accounted for only 281 extant specimens, an extremely small number when one considers the demand from not only type collectors but from date/variety specialists as well. It is little wonder that the 1796-1797 half consistently reveals a higher value than any other type coin (with the possible exception of the one-year types 1796 No Stars and 1808 quarter eagles) in most levels of preservation.

    The Choice Fine example offered here pedigrees to the legendary Peter Mougey of Cincinnati, Ohio. Thomas Elder, cataloger of the Mougey Collection, wrote: "Mr. Mougey must be regarded as one of the wisest, if not, indeed, the most far-sighted American numismatists of his day. His coins come from notable sales, including Mickley, Winsor, Bushnell, Parmelee, Cleneay, and Maris."

    This coin exhibits the reverse cracks in the upper-left quadrant that identify the later die state of the 1797 Overton-101 variety. Light gray hues are seen on Liberty and the eagle, which are highlighted against the darker gray-violet fields. The design elements display sharp definition for the designated grade, especially on the obverse where considerable detail is apparent on Liberty's hair, facial features, and drapery. In fact, these attributes indicate a Very Fine grade. Even the reverse may claim Very Fine classification, as the devices are quite strong. It is our opinion that PCGS downgraded the coin because of an old, unobtrusive, toned-over horizontal obverse pinscratch. Moreover, close inspection reveals no significant abrasions or Mint-made adjustment marks. This specimen retains considerable overall eye appeal, appropriately recognized by CAC, and will fit comfortably into any mid- to high-grade type or date/variety collection.
    Ex: Peter Mougey Collection (Thomas Elder, 9/1910), lot 425; Joel Rettew Rare Coin Galleries fixed price list (Winter, 1976); ANA Signature (8/1995), lot 5170; William La Belle Collection (American Numismatic Rarities, 7/2005), lot 1148; Dick Osburn fixed price list (10/2005); Long Beach Signature (Heritage, (2/2006), lot 1146; Stack's (11/2007), lot 1077; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 3834; Los Angeles Signature (Heritage, 7/2009), lot 1112 .
    From The Stephen A. Walling Collection.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 24EC, Variety PCGS# 39265, Base PCGS# 6060)

    Weight: 13.48 grams

    Metal: 89.24% Silver, 10.76% Copper

    View all of [The Stephen A. Walling Collection ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2015
    17th-20th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 27
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,797

    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.

    Order Now! Just $59.95

    Sold on Sep 17, 2015 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 April 27 - May 3 Central States World Coins Signature® Auction .

    Learn about consigning with us

    I have never been disappointed with your customer service & have been a Heritage customer for approximately 20 years
    Monte R.,
    Alexandria, VA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search