Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 13

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Lot 344

1801 Draped Bust Half Dime. AU-55. This coin is stunning for the grade. We note a minor planchet flaw from the rim to the third star, which does not affect the reverse. Naturally, such flaws are common on early coinage, and are reminders of the primitive equipment and difficult times facing the Mint, especially so in 1801 when the Senate nearly voted it out of existence! In the toning department, this one has beautiful golden-gray shades with blue luster throughout, and lighter shades at the center of the reverse. Few marks are worthy of note, the most obvious identifier is the planchet flaw, and we also note a hidden scrape on the inside of stars ten and eleven, and a few very minor handling marks on Liberty's head and curls. On the reverse we note a tiny horizontal scratch right of the shield in the eagle's wing, and another small tick below and right of the scroll end below the ME of AMERICA. There are scattered handling marks and hairlines, none of consequence.
An early die state, struck soon after the obverse die clashed with the reverse, leaving the shield lines above the back of Liberty's head, and long before the obverse die cracked. Slightly off-center, with areas of the dentils weak, others very sharp, as the dies were probably not quite lined up in perfect horizontal fashion in the press. Mint-fresh luster and a coin that will dazzle the advanced numismatist for many decades to come.
Much research has been done over the last decade on 1801 half dimes. Valentine probably knew of only one variety, although he reported two, it now appears to be a case of a heavily lapped obverse die. An intense study of dozens of 1801 half dimes was been conducted by Jules Reiver and Ed Price, who have concluded that both Valentine-1 and Valentine-2 were struck with the same pair of dies, and thus are the same variety, but vastly different die states. Their findings were published in the John Reich Journal, and copies would happily be provided to the buyer of this lot. A third variety, Valentine-3 (LM-1) has been well documented and remains very rare with just a few specimens known.
Estimated Value $3,000 - 3,500.
From the Benson collection and likely purchased in the 1940s although no specific pedigree information was found with this particular coin.

Realized $4,830

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