Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 81

The Pre-Long Beach Sale

Half Dimes
Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 751
1800. LM-3 LIBEKTY. PCGS graded AU-58. Light golden toning. Only 40,000 struck. A gleaming AU58 of the highest quality for this popularly collected design since it provides original surfaces, impressive toning, and the weight of its historic presence. The half dime denomination fulfilled an urgent need for small change in the post-Colonial period. Until these were issued, and indeed well after all the way until 1857, the typical small silver coins were from the Spanish mints in Old Spain as well as the New World, with Mexico City coins predominating. The half dime would have been equivalent to "one bit" which in Spanish parlance was actually 6-1/4 cents. Full strike on Libertys hair curls and ribbon, stars mostly well formed with only a few that are slightly rounded. Central weakness is seen, but this is normal for the type. A corresponding weak area occurs on the reverse below the eagles head, while the peripheral areas are well struck by the dies. The upper right cloud and OF werent impressed heavily by the dies, although UNITED STATES AMERICA shows completely and boldly. Choice rims.

As we noted, when Half Dimes were minted, they circulated widely, replacing some of the smaller Spanish and Mexican silver coins. They were preferable to paper "Shinplasters" or the bulky copper coins of the day. The little silver coins soon became known as "fish scales" for their size and silver reflectivity, a term that has since been forgotten by all but an occasional historian or numismatist. Pop 5; 15 finer at PCGS. (PCGS # 38603) .

Historic Note: Robert Scot's design for the Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle half dime of 1800 was first used on the gold quarter eagle in 1796, the half eagle in 1797 and the dollars and dimes in 1798. It features a strengthened and more aesthetic rendering of Stuart's Draped Bust portrait of Liberty used in 1796 and 1797, her hair tied with a ribbon. The inscription LIBERTY appears above her head, and surrounding the bust are seven stars to the right and six to the left. The reverse depicts a large eagle with outstretched wings -- the Union Shield on his breast -- clutching thirteen arrows and an olive branch. His beak holds a ribbon inscribed with the Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM (One made up of many). Thirteen stars are above the eagle, with an arc of clouds above the stars. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds the periphery.
Estimated Value $10,000 - 11,000.
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