1797 H10C 16 Stars MS (PCGS# 4259)
The June 2011 Baltimore Auction
Lot Number: 2227
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Sixteen stars around the obverse periphery readily distinguish this obverse die from the other two known to have struck 1797 dated half dimes. And with an outer berry in the reverse wreath between the letters NI in UNITED, the present example is easily attributable as the variety now known alternately as V-4 and LM-2. Writing in the 1998 book <em>Federal Half Dimes: 1792-1837</em>, Russell J. Logan and John W. McCloskey describes the 1797 LM-2 as, "A scarce die marriage that is difficult to locate in Mint State," which comment confirms the conditionally rare status of the present BU quality survivor.<br /> Awash in rich, even, steel-gray patina, both sides of this coin present as uncommonly smooth to the unaided eye with no outwardly distracting abrasions to report. Clashmarks in the right obverse field are as struck, a feature shared by the Logan-McCloskey plate coin. Lightly struck in the centers, especially on the reverse (again as also seen in the Logan-McCloskey plate coin), yet appreciably bolder in detail toward the borders. Definitely an important find for either the Mint State type collector or the advanced half dime specialist.