1896-O 50C MS (PCGS# 6475)


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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1896-O 50C MS65 PCGS. CAC. Considered one of the great condition rarities in the Barber half dollar series, the 1896-O is rare in any Mint State grade, but especially in Choice or Gem preservation. PCGS has only certified 24 submissions that grade MS60 or finer, and just six of those coins are certified as MS65 or finer. Of all 74 Barber half dollar issues, only the 1892 Micro O has a lower Gem population with four pieces graded. Like the 1896-O half, the 1893-S, 1900-O, 1901-O, 1902-O, and 1904-S halves are tied with just six PCGS Gem or finer pieces certified. A comment that Dave Bowers wrote in the 1997 Eliasberg catalog bears repeating here, as it clarifies incorrect comments that Walter Breen made in his Complete Encyclopedia: "Walter Breen mentioned in his Complete Encyclopedia, page 410, that rolls exist of virtually all of the Barber half dollars, these being the Gies-Pukall-Raymond group. However, this comment is not valid, as John J. Ford, Jr., who worked with the Gies and Raymond coins, explains in detail in a contribution to the new book American Coin Treasures and Hoards. Moreover, the present cataloger (QDB) knew William Pukall and also his son, both now deceased, discussed with them the early activities of the firm, and learned that while cents and nickels were set aside in quantity, Barber half dollars never were." A fully brilliant and frosty Gem, Dale Friend's 1896-O Barber half is the sharpest struck example that we have ever seen. Only the slightest weakness is evident along the right side of the shield, and at the arrow feathers, but it is much sharper than the Pryor coin, and also clearly sharper than either the Price or Eliasberg examples. The brilliant ivory surfaces exhibit subtle peripheral gold toning. Population: 3 in 65, 3 finer (10/08). Ex: Dennis Nagy. From The Dale Friend #2 All-Time PCGS Registry Set of Barber Half Dollars.
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