Attractive 1859 Half Dollar, PR65 Brown, Judd-2401859 P50C Half Dollar, Judd-240, Pollock-296, R.5, PR65 Brown NGC.
Design. Referred to as Longacre's "French Liberty Head" design. A Romanesque bust of Liberty faces right, with a crown of intertwined oak and vine leaves. Around her neck is a scroll inscribed with the word LIBERTY. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA fills the peripheral fields with the date below. An ornate wreath of cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, corn, wheat, and oak leaves dominates the reverse, with 1/2 DOLLAR enclosed in two lines. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.
Commentary. As noted on USPatterns.com, pattern specialist Saul Teichman "has always questioned whether [the French head] was designed by Longacre or Paquet as the 1859 half dollar patterns used Paquet's punches in the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." Credit for the design will likely remain a matter of opinion.
Physical Description. Deep brown surfaces reveal blue-green and rose hues when viewed at an angle under light. Slight surface roughness suggests that this piece was restruck from rusted dies no later than the 1870s. NGC Census: NGC has certified four examples at the Gem level with four finer pieces, all color designations considered. PCGS Population: 1 in PR65 Brown, 6 with the same grade and differing color designations (12/08).
Provenance. Ex: Stack's private treaty transaction.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (NGC ID# 29CK, PCGS# 11975)
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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