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SERIES: Capped Bust Half Dollars 1817-1839
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1838 50C Reeded Edge (Proof)

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PCGS PR66+

PCGS PR64
PCGS #:
6225
Diameter:
30.00 millimeters
Designer:
Christian Gobrecht
Weight:
13.36 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
5
Metal Content:
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$161,000 • PCGS PR66 • 1-1-2007 • Heritage
Condition Census (Explain)
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PR66 PCGS grade  

Howard Newcomb Collection - J.C. Morgenthau 5/1945:850 - Wayte Raymond, sold privately in 5/1946 - John Jay Pittman Collection - David Akers 5/1998:1513 - Bowers & Merena 8/2000:4114 - Bowers & Merena 7/2002:301 - Heritage 1/2007:979, $161,000

2 PR64 PCGS grade

Reed Hawn Collection - Stack's 8/1973:120 - Long Beach Connoisseur - Bowers & Merena 8/1999:199, $33,350 - Coinberts Proofs

2 PR64 PCGS grade  

“Obtained by a European noble while visiting this country in the middle 19th century and retained by the same family until the present time” [per the 2013 Heritage catalog] - Heritage 9/2013:6435, $94,000 - Heritage 4/2014:5598, $129,250

4 Proof  

Virgil Brand Collection - Lichtenfels Collection - Kreisberg - Schulman 2/1961:2793, $775 - R.E. Cox, Jr. Collection - Stack's 4/1962:1871, $550 - unknown donor - National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution (accession #244872-002)

4 Proof  

National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution

Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PR66 PCGS grade  

Howard Newcomb Collection - J.C. Morgenthau 5/1945:850 - Wayte Raymond, sold privately in 5/1946 - John Jay Pittman Collection - David Akers 5/1998:1513 - Bowers & Merena 8/2000:4114 - Bowers & Merena 7/2002:301 - Heritage 1/2007:979, $161,000

2 PR64 PCGS grade

Reed Hawn Collection - Stack's 8/1973:120 - Long Beach Connoisseur - Bowers & Merena 8/1999:199, $33,350 - Coinberts Proofs

2 PR64 PCGS grade  

“Obtained by a European noble while visiting this country in the middle 19th century and retained by the same family until the present time” [per the 2013 Heritage catalog] - Heritage 9/2013:6435, $94,000 - Heritage 4/2014:5598, $129,250

4 Proof  

Virgil Brand Collection - Lichtenfels Collection - Kreisberg - Schulman 2/1961:2793, $775 - R.E. Cox, Jr. Collection - Stack's 4/1962:1871, $550 - unknown donor - National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution (accession #244872-002)

4 Proof  

National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution

Ron Guth: Proof 1838 Reeded Edge Half Dollars are exceedingly rare.  Presently, only five examples are known, two if which are in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, leaving only three examples for collectors to fight over.  One of the Smithsonian examples appears to have been placed into the collection in the year of issue, which, concidentally, was the year the Mint Cabinet was established.

The finest Proof 1838 Half Dollar is the PCGS PR66 from the Pittman Collection

Four of the five Proofs are of the GR-14 variety (based on Dick Graham's attribution scheme), all of which have a cracked reverse and some interesting die anomalies on the obverse.  We await confirmation of the die variety of the Pittman coin to complete the census.