1848 Seated Liberty Half Dollar, PR65
1848 50C PR65 PCGS. CAC. The 1848 proof half dollar was
produced a full decade before the Mint began their commercial proof
set offerings in 1858 and no official records were kept of its
mintage. The production total was undoubtedly small, as the coin
was noted as a rarity in proof format even in the 19th century.
Perhaps half a dozen 19th century collectors included specimens in
their collections, mostly as part of complete silver and minor
proof sets they had acquired from the Mint. Massachusetts collector
Matthew Stickney actually had both a single example and another
specimen in a complete proof set when his collection was offered by
Henry Chapman in 1907.
Deep Multicolor Toning
Finest Certified at PCGS
Virtually all of the proof sets were later broken up by collectors or coin dealers in the 20th century. Today the 1848 proof Seated dollar has a surviving population of perhaps a half dozen examples, corresponding well with the number of specimens known in proof sets in earlier times. Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert, in their Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars, state: "Less than 4 known." Walter Breen (1989), on the other hand, lists six examples, including one in the Smithsonian Institution. Similarly, David Akers (1998) estimates five or six specimens, while PCGS estimates 4-6 specimens are extant.
The present coin is probably the finest known example of this rare date. The pleasing surfaces display superb toning. A delicate blend of russet, sky-blue, violet, and greenish-gold resides on the obverse, yielding to mostly soft gold-orange and sky-blue on the reverse. Satiny devices stand out against mirrored fields as the coin is tilted just slightly beneath a light source, and and the design features are fully struck. No marks of consequence are visible on the impeccably preserved surfaces, enhancing even more the coin's outstanding eye appeal. Population: 1 in 65, 0 finer (6/13). (NGC ID# 5PDG, PCGS# 6392)
Weight: 13.36 grams
Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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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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