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SERIES: Draped Bust Half Dollars 1796-1807
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1796 50C 16 Stars (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS66

PCGS MS62

PCGS AU55
PCGS #:
6058
Diameter:
32.50 millimeters
Designer:
Robert Scot/John Eckstein
Weight:
13.48 grams
Edge:
Lettered: FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR
Mintage:
934
Metal Content:
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$822,500 • PCGS MS66 • 5-19-2015 • Stack's/Bowers
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 40 R-8.7 1 / 3 2 / 16
60 or Better 2 R-9.9 1 / 3 2 / 16 TIE
65 or Better 1 R-10.0 1 / 3 TIE 1 / 16 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade

Judge Curtis Collection (circa the 1940s) - possibly Wurtzbach Collection via a Bluestone sale in 1931 - Abraham Hepner, sold privately in 1968 for $1,600 - Lelan  Rogers Collection - Stack’s 11/1995:1250 - John Walter Whitney Collection - Stack's 5/4/1999:1778, $460,000 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack’s/Bowers & Sotheby’s 5/2015:1102, $822,500

2 MS64 PCGS grade  

Bowers & Merena 8/1998:181, $115,250 - Haig Koshkarian Collection - American Numismatic Rarities 3/2004:575, $276,000 - Goldbergs 5/2006:2908, $414,000 - Goldbergs 2/2011:1413, $345,000 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 5/2015:98439, $329,000

2 MS64 estimated grade  
2 MS64 estimated grade  
5 MS63 estimated grade  

Richard B. Winsor Collection - S. & H. Chapman 12/1895:598 - J. M. Clapp Collection - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:1674, $143,000

Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade

Judge Curtis Collection (circa the 1940s) - possibly Wurtzbach Collection via a Bluestone sale in 1931 - Abraham Hepner, sold privately in 1968 for $1,600 - Lelan  Rogers Collection - Stack’s 11/1995:1250 - John Walter Whitney Collection - Stack's 5/4/1999:1778, $460,000 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack’s/Bowers & Sotheby’s 5/2015:1102, $822,500

2 MS64 PCGS grade  

Bowers & Merena 8/1998:181, $115,250 - Haig Koshkarian Collection - American Numismatic Rarities 3/2004:575, $276,000 - Goldbergs 5/2006:2908, $414,000 - Goldbergs 2/2011:1413, $345,000 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 5/2015:98439, $329,000

2 MS64 estimated grade  
2 MS64 estimated grade  
5 MS63 estimated grade  

Richard B. Winsor Collection - S. & H. Chapman 12/1895:598 - J. M. Clapp Collection - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:1674, $143,000

6 MS62 PCGS grade

"Colonel" E.H.R. Green Collection - Partnership of Eric P. Newman & B.G. Johnson (St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.) - Eric P. Newman, who paid $700 - Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society - Heritage 11/2013:33419, $470,000

7 AU55 PCGS grade

Stack’s 6/1968:79 - Stack’s “Winner F. Delp Collection” 11/1972:70 - Heritage 2/1995:5655 - Bob Bisanz U.S. Type Set - Heritage 1/2001:7729 - David Lawrence Rare Coins - Bowers & Merena 7/2003:1382, $109,250 - Bowers & Merena 2/2005:524, $172,500 - Liberty Collection - Heritage 1/2013:5623, $211,500

8 AU50 PCGS grade

Dale Friend Collection

8 AU50 estimated grade  
Don Willis: Estimated mintage of the 16 stars variety is 365 compared to 569 for the 15 stars. I always thought there were about 20 survivors. What's odd is that the 16 stars appears in auction at least as often as the 15 stars. Based on mintage the 15 star should appear almost twice as often. I bought the AU55 in 2006 as part of the Naples III collection. It is exceeded only by the MS64 and MS66. Norweb owned a 16 star which is now in PCGS VF25.

David Hall: The 1796-1797 Draped Bust, small eagle half dollar is considered to be the rarest United States silver type coin. It is an expensive coin even in the lowest grades. For the 1796, there are two varieties, 15 stars on the obverse and 16 stars on the obverse. The PCGS graded MS66 16 stars is the finest known (by a considerable margin) of either variety of 1796 dated half dollars.