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    Description

    1838 Half Dollar in Copper
    Unique Judd-74 Restrike, Kneass Design
    PR66 Brown, Ex: Norweb

    1838 P50C Half Dollar, Judd-74 Restrike, Pollock-78, Unique, PR66 Brown PCGS. Ex: Simpson. The obverse displays the William Kneass ("the last work executed by him," according to Judd, before his debilitating 1835 stroke) left-facing draped Liberty Head design (used on Judd-72 to Judd-75) showing an expansive bustline, wearing a coronet reading LIBERTY, 13 stars separated seven and six around the rim, the date 1838 below. The reverse design, attributed to Christian Gobrecht, features a crimp-necked eagle flying left with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOLLAR around. Four or five die cracks radiate to the rims from the central areas. Both the advanced die cracks and extensive die rust on both sides peg this coin as a late-state restrike dating to the 1870s, called by USPatterns.com a "fantasy piece." Struck in copper with a reeded edge.

    These dies have a long and fascinating history. Although "originals" (Judd-73, silver, reeded edge) are supposedly known, none survive with no die cracks. Such coins would weigh the statutory standard for 1838 of 206 grains, and would likely have been placed in the Mint Cabinet, formed in that same year -- yet none are there.

    The earliest die state examples known of the reverse die are a handful of Judd-79 coins (with Liberty Seated obverse, silver, reeded edge), showing a die crack running through F DOLLAR AMERICA.

    The present copper example, as mentioned, shows very late-state die cracks and beautiful blue-tinged surfaces on both sides.
    Ex: Woodside Collection (New York Coin & Stamp, 4/1892), lot 21; 22nd Sale (Thomas Elder, 12/16/1908), lot 954; to A.F. Holden; Norweb Collection; New Netherlands 41st Sale (9/1953), Macy's (6/1954), lot 1549; ANA Signature (Heritage, 8/2008); Simpson Collection.
    Collecting Patterns – A Brief History and Commentary

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 11291)


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [Important Selections from The Bob R. Simpson Collection, Part II ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2020
    19th-22nd Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 754

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