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    Description

    Unique Specimen Striking of the 1854-O Half Dollar, Ex: Reed Hawn

    1854-O 50C Arrows MS63 Specimen NGC. To our knowledge this is the only specimen 1854-O Half. We were able to trace the pedigree of this unique piece through Breen's brief mention of it on page 235 of his 1977 proof encyclopedia: "Date slants up to r., 54 touch. Reed Hawn:183, $1,300, unverified." Examination of the photo of Reed's coin in the Stack's catalog and this piece positively identify this as the coin from his historic offering of Half Dollars. The description in the Stack's catalog in 1973 was succinct and unambiguous: "A magnificent Brilliant Proof, with full glittering surface even in the stripes of the shield on the reverse. There is no doubt that this is a specimen striking, not only because of its mirror surface, but also because of the perfection of strike. A lovely coin with pale russet and golden toning."
    The surfaces of this piece have uniform reflectivity over each side, and the striking details show pinpoint definition. We do not know the reason for such a coin to have been struck, and Breen does not speculate. Perhaps it was simply because of the institution of the Arrows design, or perhaps it was struck on order for a collector with Mint connections in the mid-1850s. The real story behind this coin is lost in the mists of history now, but the physical attributes of the piece stand as testament that something special was done to create a specimen striking in New Orleans in 1854. This is the only coin even rumored to exist as a specimen or proof striking of the 1854-O Half Dollar. (NGC ID# 24JM, PCGS# 6280)

    Weight: 12.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2002
    27th-30th Saturday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 289
    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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