1801 50C MS (PCGS# 6064)

2013 November 15 - 16 Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection Part II Signature Auction - New York #1190

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1801 50C MS64 NGC. CAC. O-102, High R.4. Ex: "Col." E.H.R. Green. This Choice Mint State half dollar exhibits satin luster with simply outrageous album toning. A smattering of surface marks are all that prevent an even higher grade. Both sides are beautifully toned. The obverse has gold and amber at the center, changing to sea-green, pale yellow, russet, and lavender nearer the border. The reverse is similar with amber toning inside rings of iridescent cobalt-blue and lemon-yellow. The 1801 O-102 die marriage survives to the extent of about 100 coins, and nearly all of those pieces are circulated examples. In fact, we have never seen nor heard of a Mint State example aside from this piece. The second best that we know of is an AU55 PCGS example that appeared in our 2008 Central States Signature sale. Only two or three other AU examples are known. Possibly three or four Mint State examples of the 1801 O-101 exist today, and the finest of those to appear in any recent auctions grades MS63. The Eric P. Newman specimen is the finest known 1801 half dollar. The Draped Bust obverse made its first appearance on the silver dollars of 1795, and was used for all smaller denominations for the first time in 1796. It is believed that Gilbert Stuart prepared the design from a portrait of Mrs. William Bingham (nee Ann Willing) and that John Eckstein created models for the silver dollar coinage. The design remained in use through 1807, at first with a Small Eagle reverse and later with the Heraldic Eagle reverse, patterned after the Great Seal of the United States. The central figure of Liberty faces to the viewer's right, with the date below, and LIBERTY above. To the left and right are various counts and orientations of stars on the different denominations, dates, and varieties. The Heraldic Eagle reverse made its first appearance on silver coins on dimes and silver dollars in 1798.
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