1838 50C J-80 Restrike PR (PCGS# 11332)

Lemus Collection Queller Family Part II

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1838 P50C Seated Liberty Half Dollar, Judd-80 Restrike, Pollock-87, High R.7, PR65 NGC. Design. The obverse design is a slightly modified Seated Liberty motif, with the rock larger, the stars spaced differently, and Liberty's drapery rearranged. The word LIBERTY is incused on the scroll. The date is in the exergue. The reverse features a "defiant" eagle, clutching an olive branch and six arrows, with the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around and HALF DOL. below. Struck in silver with a reeded edge. Commentary. Experts agree Judd-80 is a restrike issue, coined long after 1838. Andrew Pollock states the issue was coined in 1858 or later, but allows for the possibility that some original strikings may exist. USPatterns.com's experts doubt that any originals exist and believe the reverse die was not even completed until the late 1860s or early 1870s. A. Loudon Snowden mentions finding a large group of dies and hubs on hand when he assumed the position of chief coiner. Per Snowden, "Among the number were several from which no pieces are known to have been struck. Many of the devices were beautiful in design and exquisite in execution. This was particularly the case with a dollar and half dollar hub by Gobrecht." Snowden asserted that these items were destroyed in the spring of 1869, but the veracity of this statement is dubious. A hub trial of the eagle on the reverse of Judd-80 survives in the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian. It is listed as Pollock-3058. Pollock states that the hub used to strike this trial still exists. It is fascinating to think the half dollar hub Snowden mentions might have been this very hub of the Judd-80 design. It would have been a simple matter to use such a hub to create dies for this beautiful pattern in 1869, just the time frame envisioned by USPatterns.com for the completion of the die. In support of the theory that Judd-80 had a late production date, the piece was completely unknown before 1875. The first auction appear
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