1831 1/2C Original, BN PR (PCGS# 1186)

The November 2011 Baltimore Auction

  • Auctioneer:
    Stack's/Bowers
  • Lot Number:
    209
  • Grade:
    PR45
  • Price:
    $40,250.00
Lot Description
1831 Classic Half Cent. Original. C-1. Rarity-6-. Proof-45 BN (NGC). One of the great rarities of the series with perhaps 17 to 20 known in all today, this date is seldom offered as most reside in advanced collections which rarely come to market. The surfaces are satin smooth with a couple of minor handling marks, including one between star six and Liberty's forehead which hallmarks this particular coin&nbsp;and allows us to confirm the prior pedigree. A trace of a red spot is found between ER of AMERICA. The overall presentation of a wholesome and smooth Classic Head half cent would normally not require much notice until the rarity of 1831 is grasped, which of course is one of the rarest dates of the entire half cent series. To date there are 18 grading events noted between NGC and PCGS. Of this number, an even dozen have outright wear all the way to having light friction as AU-58. <br /> <br /> There has been a controversy in some quarters as to whether these were all intended as proofs or were some struck for general circulation. Given the fact that there are just six graded at PR-60 or finer&nbsp;among the 18 reported, it would seem logical that too many of this tiny issue apparently entered circulation for a time, even if a brief time only, to believe that all were issued as proofs and sold to collectors, as normal attrition rates of spending the odd proof now and then would point to an excessive number of these with wear today. NGC continues in the tradition that the originals of 1831 half cents were all issued as proofs, while PCGS believes both proofs and circulation strikes were coined of these. The reported mintage for the year 1831 notes 2,200 were coined, obviously these were not all 1831 half cents or there would be significantly more around today in various circulated grades. The 2,200 reported coined were likely both 1831 and 1832 dated coins, or all 1832.<br /> <br /> The reverse die used for these 1831 Original half cents has the ""Accessory E"" fea
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