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    1853 Seated Liberty Half, MS66+
    Exceptional Arrows and Rays Type Coin
    Only Two Finer Coins at PCGS

    1853 50C Arrows and Rays MS66+ PCGS. CAC. The California Gold Rush of 1849 drastically increased the world's supply of gold, making silver relatively scarcer and more valuable on the open market. As a result, all U.S. silver coins saw their intrinsic value rise above their face value, encouraging hoarding and melting on a large scale. To address this problem, the weight of all silver denominations except the dollar was reduced in 1853, with the half dollar's silver content falling from 206.25 grains to 192 grains. To signify this weight change, the design of the half dollar was modified by placing arrows at either side of the date and a glory of rays on the reverse. The arrows were continued on half dollars through 1855, but the rays were dropped after the first year, creating an extremely popular one-year design for type collectors.

    A substantial mintage of more than 3.5 million half dollars was accomplished at the Philadelphia Mint in 1853, making the Arrows and Rays design plentiful in today's market. The issue circulated widely, and most examples seen are in circulated grades, with the average coin in the lower AU range. Premium Gem specimens are very rare, and finer coins are virtually unobtainable.

    This high-end Premium Gem exhibits sharply detailed design elements in most areas, with just the slightest touch of softness on the right-hand stars. A few interesting clash marks show on both sides, near Liberty's arms on the obverse and below the eagle's wing on the reverse. The well-preserved surfaces are brilliant, aside from two small amber toning spots at the obverse rim near stars 12 and 13 which can serve as pedigree markers. Vibrant satiny mint luster is evident throughout and eye appeal is terrific. This coin should find a home in the finest collection or Registry Set. Population: 5 in 66+, 2 finer (8/13).(Registry values: N1) (NGC ID# CZY8, PCGS# 6275)

    Weight: 12.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

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

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2013
    25th-29th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,396

    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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