Magnificent 1846 Half Dime, PR67
1846 H10C PR67 NGC. Ex: P. Kaufman. The Phil Kaufman 1846
proof half dime, displaying outstanding technical quality and
aesthetic appeal, is the finest known of approximately 12
specimens. The most recent population figures reveal that NGC and
PCGS have certified nine examples. The former service has graded
the current PR67, three PR66 coins, and one each PR65, PR64, and
PR63. PCGS has seen a PR65 and a PR64.
The Finest Known
Walter Breen writes in his 1989 Proof Encyclopedia that the 1846 proof half dime was first publicized by Max Mehl in the Will Neil sale (number nine in the following roster) as a "new and exceedingly rare variety--presumably after Neil's own notes. Mehl there claimed it had been unknown (i.e., unrecognized) until about 1945." Breen retorts, however, that "specimens had been pictured earlier."
Breen, in his 1988 Complete Encyclopedia suggests that 14 to 18 1846 proof half dimes possibly survive. Al Blythe (1992) estimates 10 to 12 pieces.
Our research suggests that Breen's estimate of 1846 proof half dime survivors is somewhat high. The following roster summarizes our findings. Some entries are possible duplicates, as the photo quality varies significantly among catalogs, making plate-matching difficult:
1. PR67 NGC. The Kaufman coin. We are unable to match this piece with any that follow.
2. PR66 NGC. ANA National Money Show (Bowers and Merena, 4/2005), lot 385. The cataloger indicates a pedigree marker near star 1 and after star 13.
3. PR66 NGC. Long Beach Sale (Heritage, 2/2003), lot 6190. The cataloger notes a lint mark below Liberty's raised arm.
4. PR66. J.M. Clapp Estate, 1942; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Estate (Bowers and Merena, 5/1996), lot 966.
5. PR66 NGC. The Lexington Collection (Bowers and Merena, 1/1994), lot 1125.
6. PR66 NGC. Floyd T. Starr (Stack's, 10/1992), lot 326; Baltimore '93 (Superior, 7/1993), lot 150.
7. PR65 NGC. John Jay Pittman (David Akers, 5/1998), lot 1712; Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 1/2000), lot 80; Superior (10/2000), lot 4324; Pre-Long Beach Sale (Goldberg Coins, 6/2002), lot 2062. David Akers indicates that the Pittman half dime was part of an original proof set housed in its original presentation case of issue, and is identified by a small scratch between stars 2 and 3.
8. PR64 PCGS. FUN Sale (Heritage, 1/1998), lot 6651; Superior (10/2000), lot 4325.
9. PR64. World's Greatest Collection; F.C.C. Boyd (Numismatic Gallery, 5/1945), lot 239; Will W. Neil (B. Max Mehl, 6/1947), lot 1613; Floyd T. Starr (Stack's, 10/2000), lot 327.
10. PR60 PCGS. Whitney P. Sunderland (Bowers and Merena, 3/2004), lot 1035.
11. Proof. Smithsonian Institution.
Magnificent cobalt-blue toning accented with lavender occupies the centers of both sides of the Kaufman coin, and is flanked by soft champagne-beige color. Mirrored fields highlight the devices, especially on the obverse, and a powerful strike leaves uniform and virtually complete delineation on the design features. A faint lint mark is located between Liberty's ankle and star 13. Immaculately preserved surfaces reveal no other pedigree identifiers. Advanced collectors will recognize this unique opportunity to acquire an extremely rare and delightful Seated Liberty proof half dime that is the finest known.
From The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Three.(Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 235E, PCGS# 4422)
Weight: 1.34 grams
Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
View all of [The Phil Kaufman Collection of Early Seated Proof Sets, Part Three ]
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