1797 H10C 15 Stars MS (PCGS# 4258)
The June 2011 Baltimore Auction
Lot Number: 2224
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The 15 Stars obverse is diagnostic for this, the most readily obtainable die marriage of the 1797 Draped Bust half dime. Similar in quality to the Eliasberg specimen, the present Gem is very rare from a condition standpoint as ranks among the finest known survivors of the die pair and issue, as well as the type as a whole. Uncommonly sharp in strike for a product of the fledgling U.S. Mint, we note particularly crisp delineation to Liberty's hair strands on the obverse. Emerging detail is evident on the eagle's breast, and the denticles around the borders are bold in all areas save for on the reverse from 3-5 o'clock. Smooth and satiny surfaces are untoned with the exception of light, speckled peripheral highlights in a pinkish-russet color. A strong candidate for inclusion in a Gem Mint State type set that requires an example of the short lived Draped Bust, Small Eagle half dime series of 1796-1797.