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    Sharply Defined 1878-S Half

    1878-S 50C Genuine PCGS. The PCGS number ending in .92 suggests Cleaning as the reason, or perhaps one of the reasons, that PCGS deemed this coin not gradable. In our opinion, this coin has the details of a XF specimen that has been harshly cleaned. Both sides show heavy cleaning lines beneath natural toning acquired after the cleaning. Light silver gray surfaces exhibit traces of delicate blue and gold toning close to the borders with a mottled appearance on the reverse.
    Just 12,000 1878-S Seated half dollars were minted from a single pair of dies. The existence of one die pair makes authentication easy, with a small raised die chip in the left most shield space on the reverse a key feature found on all genuine examples. A wavy die line just below Liberty's neck is a secondary diagnostic also found on all genuine pieces, although modest wear obscures that feature on lower grade coins. Since the reverse die was also used in 1877, both sides require study to complete the authentication process. A thin die crack through the tops of NIT in UNITED is found on the latest die states of the 1877 coins, and on all 1878 examples.
    Seated Liberty half dollar specialists Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert have studied this issue extensively, and concluded that about 60 examples of the 1878-S half dollar still exist today. Surprisingly, 16 pieces or nearly one-third of those known are Mint State coins, with four AU and five XF pieces.
    The present specimen provides collectors the opportunity to acquire a nicely detailed 1878-S half dollar that remains quite appealing despite the physical imperfections described above. We expect considerable bidding activity.

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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2011
    5th-9th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,237

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% 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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