1839 Judd-98 Half Dollar Restrike
1839 P50C Half Dollar, Judd-98 Restrike, Pollock-108, High R.7,
PR67 Brown NGC.
PR67 Brown, Finest Certified
One of Three or Four Known
Design. The Backward Head design. The obverse is similar to the regular-issue 1839 gold eagles, with a rounded tip on the forward edge of the bust truncation and a pointed tip on the rear edge--but the entire head faces backward, right rather than left. Thirteen stars ring the rim, with date 1839 below. The reverse is from the regular-issue Seated Liberty die, Large Letters, of 1842-1853. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.
Commentary. Saul Teichman notes on USPatterns.com that he believes these are restrikes produced in the 1870s, and throws down the gauntlet challenging collectors to try to match the reverse die to a regular-issue proof. The present example weighs 174.3 grains according to the accompanying envelope, while Pollock notes that it weighs 172.0 grains--which we believe to be an error; see below.
Physical Description. Deep iridescent toning with emerald-green highlights predominates, against a shimmering, lustrous backdrop on surfaces that show almost no signs of contact for a coin of this vintage. A splendid, almost perfectly preserved pattern. NGC Census: one PR67 Brown (this coin). PCGS Population: one PR64 Brown, one PR65 Brown (10/08).
Census. Likely only three or four pieces exist. Tracing the pedigrees below was more than usually tortuous. As confirmation of our example's provenance, however, the Auction '81 cataloger noted that the weight was 174.3 grains, exactly the same weight as on the accompanying envelope, which also lists a provenance from King Farouk and Stack's.
1. William H. Woodin; Waldo Newcomer; King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 1733; Hans Schulman; Gaston DiBello; DiBello Collection (Stack's, 5/1970), lot 357; Auction '81 (RARCOA, 7/1981), lot 328. The present specimen.
2. Julian Leidman; Harry Bass, private treaty on 7/28/1972; Bass Collection (Bowers and Merena, 5/1999), lot 1156.
3. Byron Reed; Omaha City Library, Inv. No. P-21; Durham Western Heritage Museum.
4. Adams and MacMillan Collections (Superior, 10/1992). Possibly a duplicate appearance of 1 or 2.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (NGC ID# 297D, PCGS# 11420)
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
View all of [The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two ]
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