1863 Half Dollar Pattern
1863 50C Half Dollar, Judd-340, Pollock-412, Low R.6, PR65
Tied for Finest Certified
Design. The obverse die is the same design used on regular-issue coinage in 1863. The reverse die features the standard perched eagle design with the addition of the motto GOD OUR TRUST in the field above the eagle's head. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
Commentary. An entry in George Eckfeldt's journal reads, "Nov. 16th. Struck 30 sets of silver 'GOD IS OUR TRUST' half dollars and 20 sets of copper for Gov. Pollock. Date 1863." Combine this entry with W. Elliot Woodward's comments in the catalog for The Haines Collection (Woodward, 10/1880), to understand the real purpose of this pattern issue. Under lot 921, Woodward writes, "... a son of a late official of the Mint, as he appeared at the store of the writer, when on a peddling expedition from Philadelphia to Boston, he drew from his pocket rolls of 'GOD OUR TRUST' patterns, and urged their purchase at wholesale...". The issue is one of the more available patterns today, although it is considered very rare by regular coinage standards. Eckfeldt's journal entry courtesy of Alan Meghrig and USPatterns.com.
Four members of the Eckfeldt family worked at the Mint in a nearly unbroken string from 1792 until 1930. Theodore Eckfeldt, son of engraving room foreman George Eckfeldt, was a Mint night watchman and leader of the "Midnight Minters" and was probably the peddler of illicit goods that Woodward refers to.
Physical Description. Strongly impressed devices, with exquisite detail in the hair and star centers. Silver centers with beautiful cerulean-blue toning on the periphery. An extremely desirable example of this very rare pattern. NGC Census: 3 in PR65, 1 finer as a PR65 Cameo. PCGS Population: 2 in PR65, none finer (12/08).
Provenance. Ex: Anderson Dupont Part II (Stack's, 11/1954), lot 2423.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (NGC ID# 29FU, PCGS# 60502)
View all of [The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two ]
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