Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 13

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Lot 358

1836 Capped Bust Half Dime. Small 5c. NGC graded Proof 66. This coin is simply stunning to behold. The head of Liberty is toned a light silvery gray, while the surrounding fields are varying hues of blue, green and rich gold colors, as you near the rim. Similar toning on the reverse, with deeper colors near the rim, mottled gold at the centers and on the eagle. As to the strike, it is extremely sharp, and the fields are well mirrored including between the shield lines on the reverse. The only part of the field that is not mirrored is a small area which extends up from the left wing of the eagle to the scroll below the first U of PLURIBUS, and this part of the reverse die has clashed with the obverse, the shape of area is from Liberty's bust. Bowers and Merena, when they catalogued the fabulous Louis Eliasberg Collection in 1996, noted that this coin was a "possible proof" and graded it MS-65, prooflike. They also noted that Walter Breen, in his Proof Encyclopedia, noted that he had examined this coin and considered it to be a proof. NGC agreed, and they have graded it as PF-66. As to the rarity, both PCGS and NGC have each graded 1 coin, both as PR-66 (possibly the same coin, although we have no information to back this up). Regardless of the grade, this is a fantastic coin which will surely delight the most advanced specialist for its superlative surfaces, strong strike and alluring color.
As a die state, this early reverse use is quite rare. The reverse die has cracked through the T of UNITED to the scroll, and another crack extends between the D and S from the scroll. Thus, despite these cracks this is an early reverse die state, and precious few are known. Soon after this coin was struck, this section of the die became loose, and formed a retained cud. In one of those curious events, more 1835 half dimes were struck after this retained cud formed, as well as more 1836 half dimes, proving once again that the Mint didn't always pay attention to the dates on dies, but simply used them until they fell apart or the design changed.
Estimated Value $25,000 - 30,000.
From Bowers & Merena's Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., collection, Part 1, May 1996, lot 934.

Realized $23,173

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