Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 81

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Lot 879

1833. Overton-107, Rarity 3. NGC graded MS-66. Very Frosty and nicely toned. An astounding beauty and a first-rate gem! The satiny surfaces are smooth, glowing with full volatile cartwheel luster that looks as though it would like nothing better than to race around the surface like a young thoroughbred colt does when first let out into his pasture. Well struck for the date also. This 1833 easily matching or surpassing other MS66 examples in the Bust Half Dollar series.

A sixth stylistic change was made to John Reich's Capped Bust left Half Dollar in 1832, and was used on coins struck from 1832 to 1834. Here, the relief levels of the entire design were visibly raised; curls were made finer and thinner (but coarsening gradually in 1833 and 1834). Also, Liberty's profile was substantially altered. Throughout the 1807 to 1836 Bust Half Dollar run, the mint constantly tinkered with the designs. One sees sharpening here, raising or lowering the relief there; the workmen punching things into the dies tested different sizes of star or letter punches, different date punches, curved base 2, square base 2, knob on 2, no knob on 2, that sort of thing. It is all very confusing. But intriguing. Each year has its own personality, not to put too anthropomorphic a spin on the discussion. And within each year, a subset of quite often fascinating die varieties.

Take Overton-107 for instance, as described in the 4th Edition Parsley/Overton Half Dollar die variety book. This coin. In the O-107 description, Mr. Parsley or Mr. Overton tells us the date has "1 over 1, droopy base." Now what a demeaning thing to say! Droopy base. The nerve. Meaning, we suppose, that it slants down a bit on the right side. Then, on the reverse, "many stripe lines extend below the shield." That didnt happen all by itself. Someone made it happen. Was this done as a gag? Or did the boss walk in just as the engraver was strengthening his shield stripes, and inadvertently let slip his wrist while hoping to hear that they were finally giving him his promised Christmas bonus? (Mint workers in those days also received a daily beer ration. Yes, a beer ration. Fancy that. Could it be Overton-107's die engraver asked for one too many refills? Well never know. Only the evidence remains: "many stripe lines extend below the shield.") Pop 1; none finer at NGC.
Estimated Value $11,000 - 12,000.


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