Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 32

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Lot 1601

1796 Draped Bust Half Dime. 6 over 5. NGC graded MS-60. There are two known die marriages for this first-year issue in the Draped Bust Half Dime series. V-1, the "Normal Date," is the most frequently encountered in today's market. V-2 carries an R.6 rating in the book Federal Half Dimes: 1792-1837 by Russell J. Logan and John W. McCloskey. The authors opine that examples of the latter variety are scarce-to-rare in all grades, with most survivors being well worn. They also mention the MS-61 example that we sold as lot 895 in our May 1996 sale of the Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection as (we assume) finest seen for the V-2 die marriage.

Like the Eliasberg example, this BU 1796/5 V-2 Half Dime easily qualifies as Condition Census. Both sides are modestly semi-Prooflike in finish with hints of reflectivity evident in the fields as the surfaces dip into a light. The strike is well centered with bold-to-sharp definition between the denticles and over the peripheral devices. The centers, however, are bluntly defined, particularly over the reverse eagle. There is, nonetheless, emerging definition over the recessed features of Liberty's hair and the eagle's wings. Grade-defining abrasions are small in size and singularly inconspicuous, and blushes of tannish-silver peripheral iridescence enhance the eye appeal. This is an immensely important coin that would serve as a centerpiece in even the most advanced collection of early U.S. silver.

Several moderate-size adjustment marks (as made) are seen through the central reverse. NGC Census: 1; 5 finer.
Estimated Value $22,000 - 25,000.
LM-2 ex Price.


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