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    Description

    1866-S Motto Half Dollar, Original Gem
    Doubled Die Reverse, WB-104
    Among Two Top Examples at PCGS

    1866-S 50C Motto, Doubled Die Reverse, WB-104, MS65 PCGS. CAC. Die Pair 3, R.3. The eye appeal and overt originality of this Gem 1866-S Motto half dollar are, without a doubt, among its most admirable qualities. Peripheral blushes of golden-orange, lavender, and ice-blue patina cede to largely brilliant centers with frosty luster rolling over the well-preserved surfaces. Boldly rendered with minor softness at the upper obverse. Housed in a green label holder with the green CAC approval.

    Variety: WB-104, Die Pair 3, R.3. This doubled die reverse variety shows clear doubling on TRUST, the eagle's upper right wing, and the horizontal shield lines. Both sides are struck from shattered dies and show extensive die cracks and clash marks. Wiley-Bugert rate this die pair Low R.8 in Mint State.

    Population Data (9/15): This coin is tied for finest at PCGS with one other Gem submission. NGC shows six MS65 grading events and one coin in MS66. Of those, this is the only one with a CAC endorsement and is, in fact, the sole Mint State example of this issue with a CAC green approval.

    Heritage Commentary: Reverse half dollar dies bearing the newly authorized motto IN GOD WE TRUST only reached the San Francisco Mint in May 1866 -- the result of transportation delays. A small quantity of 60,000 1866-S No Motto halves was coined within the first five months of the year to satisfy commercial demand, and the California facility struck another 994,000 Motto half dollars after receiving the proper dies. The 1866-S Motto is significantly more available in circulated grades, but the two San Francisco issues are nearly equally rare in Gem condition or better. Remarkably, this coin has remained atop the PCGS Condition Census for more than 15 years.

    Provenance: Douglas L. Noblet Collection / Rarities Sale (Bowers and Merena, 1/1999), lot 148; George "Buddy" Byers Collection (Stack's, 10/2006), lot 1221; purchased from Legend Numismatics (7/2007).

    Coin Index Numbers: (Variety PCGS# 572176, Base PCGS# 6320)

    Weight: 12.44 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper


    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2015
    28th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 870

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    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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