Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 60

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Lot 2716

1838 Pattern Half Dollar. Silver, reeded edge. NGC graded Proof 64. The obverse is similar to the one adopted for the regular-issue Seated Half Dollar in 1839. On the reverse, an eagle flies to the left holding an olive branch and bunch of arrows in its claws. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is around the periphery, while the denomination expressed as HALF DOL. as on the regular-issue 1838-39 Bust halves. All known examples of this variety are restrikes. The present specimen is naturally toned and has a uniform mirror finish. A few stray hairlines seem to account for the grade, and the strike is notably soft in the center. There is a small line on the eagle's breast which may be an artifact of the minting. Handsome in all ways. Pop 1; 1 finer in 65. Only 3 graded at NGC for Judd-80 (PCGS # 11332) .

A good source for information on Pattern coins, in addition to the usual reference books, is US, where the website's sponsor has this to say about Judd-80:

"This is a restrike made in the late 1860s or early 1870s from the regular die having Liberty incused on the shield. This is Judd's so-called straight date variety. It's first appearance was the silver example in Ed Cogan's 1875 sale of the Col Mendes I. Cohen collection.

"To my knowledge, no originals were ever made using this reverse die. In fact, I believe that this die was actually finished many years later either in the late 1860s or early 1870s. A hub trial of the eagle shown on this reverse is in the Smithsonian and is listed in Pollock as P3058.

"An estimated half dozen are known of this in both silver and copper J81/P88. Its first auction appearance in copper was in Haseltine's February 1877 sale.
Estimated Value $22,000 - 25,000.

Realized $21,850

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