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    1836 Capped Bust Half, PR64 Cameo
    Rare Reeded Edge Proof, GR-1
    First Year of Steam-Powered Coinage

    1836 50C PR64 Cameo PCGS. GR-1, Low R.7 as a proof. The Philadelphia Mint struck 1,200 Reeded Edge half dollars on the new steam press in late 1836, the first coins struck for circulation using this new technology. One set of obverse and reverse dies was used to accomplish the entire production run, with the first 10 pieces struck being sent as "specimens" to Treasury Secretary Levi Woodbury on November 8, 1836.

    Among the coins produced in 1836 were a small number of proof specimens, including the coin offered here, and it has often been assumed that the 10 coins sent to Woodbury were proofs. However, this goes against the common practice of the time, where proofs were normally struck in the Medals Department on a screw press. This coin is a "no questions" proof, with sharp definition, squared-off edges, and brightly reflective fields, but it shows a small die crack through the lower-left base of the first T in STATES that identifies what researcher Richard Graham lists as the second stage of the die. Therefore, it seems impossible that it was among the first 10 pieces struck, and proofs must have been produced at other times throughout the year. PCGS CoinFacts estimates 10-15 proofs are extant, but few specimens can match the quality and visual appeal of the present coin.

    Spectacular shades of champagne-gold and magenta toning blanket the well-preserved surfaces of this delightful Choice specimen. The design elements are sharply detailed throughout and show none of the weakness sometimes seen on the eagle's left (facing) wing and claw. The devices are richly frosted, creating bold cameo contrast with the deeply mirrored fields. A few insignificant hair lines and microscopic planchet voids are evident on close inspection, but they blend into the toning without detracting from the terrific eye appeal. Population: 3 in 64 (1 in 64+) Cameo, 0 finer (6/15).

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 27SM, PCGS# 86223)

    Weight: 13.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Cooper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    12th-16th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,486

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    The Draped Bust Half Dollars of 1796-1797 by Jon Amato

    The Draped Bust Half Dollars of 1796-1797 by Jon Amato is the culmination of more than 10 years of research into the Draped Bust Small Eagle half dollar series, one of the most coveted type coins in American numismatics and one about which remarkably little has been written.

    This work will be the premier reference for 1796-1797 half dollars for years to come. Institutions having an extensive numismatic library or coin cabinet will find it a valuable complement to their holdings, and catalogers charged with writing up specimens for auction can now have an indispensable source of background and pedigree information. Likewise, coin dealers seeking to purchase one or more '96 or '97 half dollars for a client or for inventory, and collectors who own, have owned, or desire to own one will want this important reference work for their libraries.

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