1859 Judd-236, Pollock-285 Half Dollar in Copper, R.7
1859 P50C Half Dollar, Judd-236, Pollock-285, R.7, PR66 Red and
Pleasing PR66 Red and Brown
Design. Paquet's obverse design featuring a left-facing Liberty, seated, supporting a fasces with her right hand and a shield with her left. Thirteen small stars surround the periphery with the date, 1859, in exergue. Arrows and olive branches lie at the base of the shield. Reverse: Also by Paquet. A slightly disproportionate eagle, with wings spread, holds three slender arrows in its left claw and an olive sprig with its right talon. The scroll held in the eagle's beak reads E PLURIBUS UNUM with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA occupying the upper periphery and HALF DOLLAR the lower. The vertical lines in the shield are in groups of three each, as opposed to four lines as found on the similar "perfect ribbon" version of this pattern. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.
Commentary. This design is referred to as the "broken ribbon" variety, which is a reference to the incompleteness of the scroll held in the eagle's mouth due to relapping of the reverse die to remove rust and other signs of deterioration. Researchers believe that this and other patterns dated 1859 were actually struck at a later date--possibly in the 1870s. Curiously, Judd lists both the perfect and broken ribbon patterns under Judd-236, whereas Pollock (1994) separated the varieties: Pollock-283 for the "perfect ribbon" and Pollock-285--the version offered here--for the "broken ribbon" issues. Pollock-285 is slightly rarer than the other.
Physical Description. Variegated mahogany and chestnut coloration over glossy surfaces. The strike is razor-sharp with the exception of the R in PLURIBUS on the reverse scroll, which is inherent to the issue. NGC Census: 2 in PR66 Red and Brown, none finer. PCGS Population: The finest example PCGS has seen is a single PR66 Brown (12/08).
Provenance. Ex: Stack's private treaty transaction.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (NGC ID# 29CF, PCGS# 11963)
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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