1896-O 50C MS (PCGS# 6475)

LB Signature Sale #460

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1896-O 50C MS65 PCGS. CAC. David and John Feigenbaum, in their Complete Guide to Certified Barber Coinage, maintain that the Mint State 1896-O is second in rarity only to the 1904-S half, an issue well known among Barber collectors for its elusive nature. A glance at the NGC certified population actually shows fewer Mint State examples of the 1896-O than the 1904-S, and the PCGS data show a similar trend. Of course, such figures fall in the category of "statistics," as the 1904-S numbers are more likely to be inflated by multiple resubmissions. This is a wonderful Gem of this tricky issue, with silver centers accented by a peripheral ring of amber-gold on each side. Close perusal with a loupe reveals only a couple of grade-consistent reeding marks on Liberty's neck. The strike is above-average on the obverse, but weakness shows on the reverse right shield corner and the nearby wing. The eagle's claw and fletchings are somewhat weak, but better-detailed than expected. If one is contemplating beginning a Mint State set of Barber halves, this is the place to begin. Population: 3 in 65, 3 finer (1/08). From The Southwest Collection.
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