Splendid 1852 Seated Half, MS671852 50C MS67 NGC. It was not until February of 1853 that a weight reduction went into effect for all subsidiary silver coinage. This weight reduction did not occur without considerable debate in Congress and concern over "cheating" U.S. citizens by producing coinage with less than their stated value in precious metal. The problem had been that for decades both silver and gold coins had been melted as the raw silver or gold content was worth more than the coin's face value. Which makes one wonder, why was this pre-1853 large silver coin set aside, and in such a superior grade? Was it meant to be melted and spared because of its extraordinary condition? Was it a part of some now forgotten hoard of 1852 halves? Or did someone simply look at this coin in 1852 and appreciate its special surface qualities? Only 77,130 pieces were minted of this issue, and obviously melting and attrition took a heavy toll. The population data from both of the major services indicates that only one other coin has been certified in MS67, an NGC piece; which makes us pose another question: is that second piece a resubmission of this same coin?
Fully struck throughout, the surfaces are brilliant and highly lustrous with a frosted sheen over both obverse and reverse. As one would expect from a coin of this grade, there are no obvious abrasions on either side. The only remarkable features are both Mint-made, an area of partial die polish in the field to the left of the rock on the obverse, and several die striations in the reverse field above HALF DOL. Breathtaking quality.
From The Joseph C. Thomas Collection.(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# 24HL, PCGS# 6268)
Weight: 13.36 grams
Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
View all of [The Joseph C. Thomas Collection, Part Two ]
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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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