Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Extremely Rare 1859 Transitional Half Dime
    Judd-232, PR63, The Norweb Specimen
    Only 20 Pieces Estimated Struck

    1859 H10C Transitional PR63 NGC. Breen-3096, Judd-232, Pollock-279, Low R.7. The 10th edition of the Judd pattern reference lists the Transitional half dimes as Judd-232, noting that they are a "'Stateless' issue not giving the country of origin." On the other hand, the current 2011 Guide Book lists the coins as "Transitional Patterns" under the regular Seated half dimes listing (rather than the Patterns section), reflecting their dual nature. Nonetheless, they are popularly collected--when found--alongside the regular Seated half dime issues.
    The Guide Book gives an estimate of only 20 pieces produced, all struck as proofs. They were made when the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA was being transferred from the reverse to the obverse; accordingly, the Guide Book also calls them "Obverse of 1859, Reverse of 1860." In other words, the Stars Obverse design, similar to that used in 1856-1859, is combined with the "Stateless" reverse of 1860.
    In point of fact, while the obverse is similar, it is a revision by Anthony C. Paquet, of 1861 Paquet Reverse double eagle fame. The stars around the obverse rim are hollow, Liberty's face is different, and her arms are longer and narrower.
    The 1860 Transitional half dimes are considerably more available, produced as business strikes to the extent of perhaps 100 pieces. They too have the Stars Obverse as in 1859, with Reverse of 1860--"Stateless" coins again. Breen writes that Mint Director James Ross Snowden was responsible for the Transitional issues, "to provide collectors with something special, ostensibly for trades to benefit the Mint Cabinet collection of Washington coins and medals."
    This example shows lovely original toning that clearly identifies it as the Norweb specimen, a coin that earlier was in King Farouk's vast holdings. Blended golden-brown and cobalt-blue intermingle with lilac and a couple of small silver-colored areas. Diagonal Mint-made die striations are prominent on the obverse, but neither side shows any evidence of contact. The strike is intricately detailed. Census: 2 in 63, 3 finer (6/10).
    Ex: Palace Collections of Egypt (King Farouk-Sotheby's, 2/1954), perhaps within lot 169; Norweb Collection (Bowers and Merena, 10/1987), lot 359, PR63; Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 2/2007), lot 2838, PR63 PCGS, which brought $40,250. (PCGS# 4440)

    Weight: 1.24 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2010
    11th-15th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,698

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

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 6 days left to consign to the 2020 January 8 - 13 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando !

    Learn about consigning with us

    You guys are top shelf for professionalism. Miles ahead of your competitors.
    John P.,
    Santa Fe, NM
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 October 17-24 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 October 17-24 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $7,412,570
    2019 September 5 - 9 Long Beach Expo World & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
    2019 September 5 - 9 Long Beach Expo World & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach
    REALIZED $5,897,641
    2019 September 5 - 9 Long Beach Expo World Paper Money Signature Auction - Long Beach
    2019 September 5 - 9 Long Beach Expo World Paper Money Signature Auction - Long Beach
    REALIZED $1,866,390