1919-D 50C MS (PCGS# 6578)

2005 November Dallas, TX Signature Auction Platinum Night #388

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1919-D 50C MS65 PCGS Ex: Jack Lee Collection. The 1919-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar is the premier rarity in the series in Gem condition, even though it is not the most widely recognized. When discussing rarities in this series, the most attention is given to the 1921 issues from the three different mints. 1919 was an important year in history, marking the first year of peace in Europe after a long fought war. In this country, steelworkers who had recently unionized, went on strike against the United States Steel Corporation. They were unable to gain even a single concession from the company during the violent strike. Father's day was first celebrated in 1919, and soon afterwards the Chicago "Black Sox" became involved in gambling during baseball's World Series. The Chicago team was playing the Cincinnati Reds, or Redlegs as they were known. Several players on the Chicago team were convinced to lose or throw the series, in return for payoffs from professional gamblers. This year also marked the start of prohibition and the 18th amendment to the Constitution. As the First World War was now over, and a peace-treaty signed on June 28, 1919, the economy slackened and the need for half dollars and other silver coinage diminished. The entire mintage of 1,165,000 coins entered circulation, as evidenced by the number of well-worn pieces that survive even today. Once in a while, someone may have set one of these coins aside as a keepsake, and it is these few examples that remain in high grades to satisfy current collector demand. The typical '19-D, even in the top grades, is weakly struck and poorly defined. Bruce Fox noted that these coins are "almost always weak in the hand and head area on the obverse." Even this example, which has substantial design definition, is not fully struck. Jack Lee, whose collection this coin resided in, is a connoisseur who has always appreciated the finest in coinage. His collection contained some of the nicest Walkers ever to appear in the n
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