1838 P50C Seated Liberty Half Dollar, Judd-80 Restrike, Po...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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1838 Seated Liberty Half in Silver
1838 P50C Seated Liberty Half Dollar, Judd-80 Restrike,
Pollock-87, High R.7, PR65 PCGS. Ex: Simpson. The obverse
design is a slightly modified Seated Liberty motif, with the rock
larger, the stars spaced differently, and Liberty's drapery
rearranged. The word LIBERTY is incused on the scroll. The date is
in the exergue. The reverse features a "defiant" eagle, clutching
an olive branch and six arrows, with the legend UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA around and HALF DOL. below. Struck in silver with a reeded
edge. Only five coins are known.
Judd-80 Restrike, PR65
Experts agree Judd-80 is a restrike issue, coined long after 1838. USPatterns.com doubts that any originals exist and believe the reverse die was not even completed until the late 1860s or early 1870s. A. Loudon Snowden mentions finding a large group of dies and hubs on hand when he assumed the position of Chief Coiner: "Among the number were several from which no pieces are known to have been struck. Many of the devices were beautiful in design and exquisite in execution. This was particularly the case with a dollar and half dollar hub by Gobrecht." Snowden stated these dies were destroyed, but that is doubtful. A hub trial of the eagle used on the reverse of Judd-80 survives in the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian. It is listed as Pollock-3058. It would have been a simple matter to use such a hub to create dies for this beautiful pattern in 1869, which would fit neatly into the timeframe stated by USPatterns.com.
This piece is sharply struck on the obverse, but notably weak on the reverse, as always. Most of each side is brilliant, with a thin ring of blue toning around the margins.
Ex: H.P. Smith Collection (S.H. and H. Chapman, 5/1906), lot 1324; John Story Jenks Collection (H. Chapman, 5/1921), lot 5585; Anderson Dupont (Stack's, 11/1954), lot 2415; ANA (Stack's, 8/1976), lot 3597; Crouch Collection (Superior, 6/1977), lot 448; Auction '90 (RARCOA, 8/1990), lot 882; Public Auction Sale (Stack's, 9/1999), lot 1083; Queller Family Collection, Part Two / FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2009), lot 1519.
Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 2972, PCGS# 11332)
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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