1850 1/2C, RB PR (PCGS# 1312)
The November 2011 Baltimore Auction
Lot Number: 214
View the Original Auction
1850 Braided Hair Half Cent. C-1, the only known dies. Rarity-7- (as a proof). Proof-65 RB (NGC). Reflective mint orange fields and frosty motifs exhibit a mix of mint orange and golden tan with a hint of royal blue iridescence here and there. Other than a tiny toning fleck in the dentils near star 10, no marks of moment assail the viewer's eye. One of just eight grading <em>events</em> for proofs of the date listed by NGC, five of those called BN, and three called RB; among the RB specimens, only one is reportedly finer than the presently offered specimen, see below. Proof half cents of all dates are rare as a class, and few are the collections that include them on a date-by-date basis. An ideal selection for an advanced half cent cabinet or an equally advanced U.S. type set.<br /> <br /> <strong>Numismatic Reflections by Q. David Bowers</strong><br /> The story behind proofs of the 1850 year is not known, but studies reveal that instead of being uniformly issued in sets, say from the half cent to the silver dollar (and gold coins are so rare that there is no need to mention them here), most if not all were sold singly. Today, proof half cents and cents of any date from 1850 to 1853 are major rarities, except for the restrike 1852 half cent. Certain of them are so rare, as here, that opportunities to acquire them in our sales can be spaced by several years.