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    1878-S Seated Half Dollar, MS64
    Legendary Series Rarity

    1878-S 50C MS64 PCGS. Ex: Pryor. The 1878-S half dollar is the recognized key to the entire Seated Liberty half series. The tiny mintage is recorded as 12,000 coins, an emission (or omission) no doubt due to the Bland-Allison Act of 1878 that required the production of millions of Morgan silver dollars. In 1878, the San Francisco Mint produced just shy of 10 million of the new silver dollar coins. The previous year, that same facility had produced nearly 6 million 1877-S Seated Liberty halves. (The production of quarters is fairly similar: From 9 million 1877-S quarters, the 1878-S Seated quarters only saw a production of 140,000 coins.)
    Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert, in their 1993 masterwork on Seated half dollars (unfortunately all but unavailable today), project a survivorship of 48 pieces, with 16 examples ranging from AU58 to MS64, 16 from Fine 12 to AU55, and 16 from Fair 2 to VG10. Remembering that there may a few pieces that remain uncertified--perhaps a dozen or so--that estimate rings true today (if not the precise grading), as there are about three dozen examples certified at NGC and PCGS combined, less duplicates.
    The present example is simply a fabulous coin for either type or complete set/Registry Set purposes. It is fully struck throughout and the fields are prooflike, a trait common to many Mint State survivors although unrecognized on the PCGS insert. The fields flash strongly through the reddish-golden toning that covers each side. Just a bit of pale blue is seen around the reverse rim.
    An authenticating die marker present on all genuine specimens is plain on the present coin--a small reverse die chip at the top left of the leftmost vertical stripe.
    This coin is worth a whopping 10-point bonus in the PCGS Liberty Seated Half Dollars Basic Set, Circulation Strikes (1839-1891) Registry Set, an honor it shares with the 1870-CC and 1853-O No Arrows issues. Interestingly, the issue is so rare that none of the top four All-Time Finest PCGS Registry sets contained/contains an example. Astute collectors of Seated Liberty coinage will recognize this piece for the remarkable opportunity that it presents and act accordingly. Numerous current and former catalogers have also commented on its remarkable resemblance to a true proof or specimen striking. Seated Liberty half dollar specialist Bill Bugert remarks concerning the present coin that he believes it is the third finest known. Certified in a green-label holder. Population: 2 in 64, 2 finer (2/09).
    Ex: Charles H. Patten Collection (Stack's, 5/1973), lot 418, which brought $6,750; James Bennett Pryor Collection (Bowers and Merena, 1/1996), lot 237, which garnered $70,400; Dr. Robert W. Swan Collection (Bowers and Merena, 3/2004), lot 1510, which realized $92,000.
    From The Joseph C. Thomas Collection.(Registry values: N10218)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 24KR, PCGS# 6360)

    Weight: 12.50 grams

    Metal: 90% Silver, 10% Copper


    View all of [The Joseph C. Thomas Collection, Part One ]

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Apr-May, 2009
    29th-3rd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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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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