1821 SP67 ★ Bust Half Dollar
1821 50C SP67 ★ NGC. O-103, R.2, R.8 as a Proof. The first
appearance of this coin in one of our sales was in the January 2008
FUN Platinum Night sale, lot 2868, where it was cataloged as MS66
NGC. After considerable floor bidding from several knowledgeable
experts, the coin sold for five times the price of other MS66
Capped Bust half dollars. These experts obviously understood the
special nature of this remarkable piece, and it was subsequently
encapsulated as a proof.
Probably the Only O-103 Known in Proof Format
The reverse is identified by the missing left serifs to each E in the legend. NGC calls this piece a specimen but it has been called a proof on several past occasions. In 1990, Stack's called it "a self-evident proof." In his Proof Encyclopedia, Walter Breen noted that he had seen three proofs of this variety, except he mistakenly called it O-102, providing a description of that reverse die:
"Identifiable by a small cluster of rust pits below NI in UNITED. Newcomer--Col. Green, probably the piece Beistle saw. I have seen three, one of them being the Cass, 'Empire' coin, lot 1312, ex R.T. McPherson: 844, ex 1949 ANA Sale. Others probably exist. Reverse is 1820 E, used for proofs and business strikes in both years."
This piece is the specific McPherson, Empire coin that Breen mentioned. The problem with his description is that this is not O-102, but actually O-103, and therefore the reverse die is not the same as 1820 Reverse E that was used for O-106 of the earlier year.
While Breen mentioned the existence of several proof examples, we believe that this coin is the only proof O-103 that exists. It has been documented as a proof for over half a century, and possibly long before that.
It is a remarkable coin with deeply mirrored fields and frosty devices, with every detail boldly rendered. The surfaces are virtually perfect with no blemishes evident on each side. Marvelous old-time collection toning consists of intermingled blue, rose, amber, and iridescent toning on both sides. It exactly matches the appearance and pattern in the color plate of the 1990 Stack's catalog, and likely appears exactly as it did 50 or 60 years ago.
Ex: 1949 ANA; R.T. McPherson (Stack's, 2/1953), lot 844; Empire Collection (Stack's, 11/1957), lot 1312; Stack's (10/1990), lot 1648; Heritage (1/2008), lot 2868 as NGC MS66 (old holder); National Money Show Signature (Heritage, 3/2008), lot 650, where it brought $115,000.
From The Greensboro Collection, Part II. (NGC ID# 27SA, PCGS# 6196)
View all of [The Greensboro Collection, Part II ]
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