1838 50C J-82 Original PR (PCGS# 11342)
The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money
Lot Number: 4399
View the Original Auction
Obv: The Liberty Seated style by Gobrecht with LIBERTY in raised letters on shield, date below. Rev: Regular dies of 1836-37 with 50 CENTS at base. Struck medal turn. The obverse and reverse are both well struck save for the right talon of the eagle, and show considerable reflectivity in the fields and are somewhat reflective on the devices. Toned on both sides with handsome gunmetal-blue and gray shades and a dash of gold when examined, the colors are a trifle mottled. Moderate hairlines from long ago wiping, but no detracting nicks or scratches are present on the surfaces.<br />
An important and extremely rare coin as it represents the transitional designs between the yet to be adopted Gobrecht Liberty Seated obverse (launched for circulation in 1839) and the existing reverse of the Reeded Edge half dollars of 1836-37. It is somewhat curious that the new reverse style was not used for coinage, with HALF DOL. below the eagle, as this was the style used for coinage starting in 1838. Then again, this is a transitional coin, which bridges the old with the new here in a dramatic fashion. For many years there were believed to be three in existence, but research has confirmed that there are only two of these Judd-82 patterns known today, as listed on USPatterns.com. The other example is of similar quality (PR-63 NGC) and is currently residing in an advanced pattern collection and not likely to come to market anytime soon.<br />
<strong>Numismatic Reflections by Q. David Bowers<br />
</strong>Although I have no way of knowing I probably handled this coin shortly after the Farouk Collection, as I was a major buyer of patterns brought home from Cairo by the partnership of Abe Kosoff and Sol Kaplan. Who knows?