1928 50C Hawaiian MS (PCGS# 9309)

2007 St. Louis, MO (CSNS) Signature Coin Auction #434

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1928 50C Hawaiian MS67 PCGS. Ex: Bruce Scher. The circumstances surrounding the 1928 Hawaiian half dollars presented numerous opportunities for abuse. The mintage was limited to 10,008 pieces, of which 50 were sandblast proofs, and the sale price was $2.00, higher than the asking price of any previous commemorative half. Yet the whole process ran smoothly under the stewardship of a prominent local numismatist, Bruce Cartwright, Jr. Through conscious effort on the part of the distributors, the majority of pieces found their way to locals, not speculators, and the entire mintage sold out swiftly. No major troubles developed, and numismatic historians agree that the Hawaiian was one of the best-run commemorative programs. At the same time, the measures taken to maintain the integrity of the distribution have major consequences for collectors today. The tiny mintage did not meet the demand of collectors then, and the same holds true now. In addition, the distributors' efforts to put examples in non-collectors' hands succeeded all too well, as numerous cleaned, modestly worn, and otherwise impaired Hawaiian halves are known. This only increases the pressure on the best-preserved examples, such as the coin offered here. Soft silver-gray patina with a hint of blue covers much of the shimmering surfaces, while the margins have amber-orange around most of the obverse and the upper left part of the reverse. A crescent of crimson-brown appears above Cook's head. This attractive color, combined with extraordinarily clean surfaces and crisp detail, creates amazing visual appeal. As the lone Superb Gem Hawaiian graded by PCGS with none finer (3/07), this piece was an integral part of the Bruce Scher collection, which sold as the finest commemorative type set ever recorded at the PCGS Registry. Similarly, this remarkable coin is a cornerstone of the amazing Porter collection. Whether one has Registry ambitions or simply wants to assemble the ultimate commemorative collection, this
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