1915-S 50C MS (PCGS# 6534)

2008 May Long Beach, CA Signature Auction #1108

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1915-S 50C MS67 PCGS. A remarkable Superb Gem that has spent approximately one-fifth of its existence housed in the same old green label PCGS holder. The preservation is virtually unimprovable. Even a strong loupe can locate only a couple of minute ticks, both of which are essentially concealed beneath the rich and original variegated cream-gray and peach-gold toning. The cartwheel luster is thick and unencumbered. The strike is sharp, even on such troublesome areas as the fletchings and the eagle's right (facing) claw. Only the right shield corner lacks absolute detail, although the definition is superior for a business strike. In most Mint State grades, the 1915-S is a type coin, although a few other dates have higher populations at PCGS. Those include the 1892, 1909, 1912-D, and 1915-D. In MS67, however, the 1915-S is extremely rare. As of (4/08), only two coins have been certified in that grade by PCGS, with none finer, compared to a dozen 1908-O halves, 11 1892 halves, and seven 1909-S halves graded MS67. Nine different dates have had at least one example certified as MS68 by PCGS. 1915 proved to be the final year for the Barber half dollar, although Barber dimes and quarters were struck in 1916. This was because the new silver designs by A.A. Weinman and Hermon MacNeil took longer than expected to overcome production problems, such as compatibility with vending machines. Dimes and quarters were used more heavily in commerce than the half dollar, which had been struck in only negligible quantities at Philadelphia between 1913 and 1915. The combined mintage of the 1915-D and 1915-S halves was more than 2.77 million, apparently enough to satisfy circulation demand until Weinman's Walking Liberty half was introduced. Ex: Thomas S. Chalkley Collection (Superior, 10/1990), lot 3712. From The Silbermünzen Collection.
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