1896-O 50C MS (PCGS# 6475)

John C. Hugon Collection

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1896-O 50C MS66 PCGS. A truly exceptional specimen and one of the very finest to survive of this elusive date and mint. The surfaces are quite attractive, with strong luster and no distracting nicks or marks. There are precious few examples of this date which can favorably compare with this splendid specimen. Mostly white in color with a blush of russet-gold near the periphery. Frosty luster abounds in the fields, and the faint toning does not deter the radiant glow. For an 1896-O, this coin is well struck, on the obverse a couple of stars don't quite show their full radial lines, and on the reverse there is slight weakness on the right wing near the shield and on the right talon of the eagle. These areas are always seen with some degree of softness in the strike for this date and mint. Apparently an early striking as no die cracks or clashing are seen, similar to the Eliasberg coin. When it comes to rarity, this date has long been known to be one of the most difficult to locate in true Gem condition. David Lawrence rates this issue second only to the 1904-S in the series in overall Mint State rarity. A review of the great auction sales of the past decades will turn up few that can compare to the present coin. When David Akers last cataloged the present coin he noted that it was surpassed only by the Eliasberg specimen and that only three or four others might be its equal. Akers also noted that the present specimen had been held in a private collection for over 50 years before Dr. Price was able to purchase it. The level of rarity has been borne out by the NGC and PCGS population reports which reflect a mere two coins graded this high, with a single specimen graded higher of this date and mint. Further review of the population reports confirms that this date is one of the most elusive in Gem condition. Without a doubt, this is one of the most significant coins in this extensive and very specialized Gem collection, and will likely disappear off the market into anothe
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