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    1916 Walking Liberty Half Pattern, Judd-1992, PR 8
    One of Only Nine Pieces Believed Known

    1916 50C Walking Liberty Half Dollar, Judd-1992, formerly Judd-1797, Pollock-2053, Low R.7, PR8 NGC. The obverse is similar to the regular issue, but LIBERTY, with a tall T extending over the RY, is moved to the right obverse field, in back of the walking figure of Liberty and above IN GOD WE TRUST. The digits in the date are tall, tightly spaced, and thick. The reverse design is broadly similar to the regular issue, but there are many differences. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is spread out in a wider arc along the periphery, with periods before and after. The extra room is provided by the moving of HALF DOLLAR to a second inner arc above the eagle and below STATES OF A, and E PLURIBUS UNUM, in small letters, is moved to the bottom rim. There is no AW monogram by the tip of the eagle's tail. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
    The Judd reference states that these patterns are "believed to have been struck between July 27 and August 18, 1916." As noted in our cataloging of the example in the Lemus Collection (1/2009), there is an interesting explanation why a number of these pieces are in circulated grades. The following remembrance was related by Rogers M. Fred, Jr. in a letter in Coin World from October, 9, 1974:

    "Living in Leesburg [Virginia] at the present time are Mr. and Mrs. Charles Robb, who are good friends of mine. Their son, Chuck, married Lynda Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon Johnson. Frances Robb (Mrs. Charles Robb, Sr.) is the daughter of Mr. [Robert Wickliffe] Woolley, who was director of the Mint in 1916 ... Mr. Woolley is dead now, but I knew him myself when we both lived in Washington in the 1930s and 1940s.

    "I have talked to Frances Robb many times about her father and coins, and she told me that in the 1920s her father's house was robbed. Among the things taken was a box containing coins. The thieves were not really interested in the coins as such, but since the robbery was of a general nature they took anything that had value and could be disposed of easily.

    "Mrs. Robb has said that her father had patterns of 1916 coinage in that box ... . The 1916 patterns are very similar in design to the regular issue and it is reasonable to assume that the thieves thought that the coins were just regular issues and simply spent them. This would explain how the coins got out of the Mint."

    It would also explain how two examples of this popular pattern are known in PR8. The other piece appeared in Superior's August, 1991 Sale. That coin is clearly different from this one, with better definition on the eagle's wing. This piece just looks like an average circulated early Walker, until LIBERTY with the oversized T is noticed in the right obverse field. The devices are outlined with charcoal gray patina, and there are no obvious abrasions on either side. An exceptional opportunity for the collector of Walking Liberty halves to add a related and very rare pattern issue.

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 62290)

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Apr-May, 2010
    28th-2nd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 22
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,119

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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