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Auction #Rich3 > Lot #1784 > Classic U.S. Coins > Seated Half Dollars (Proof) 1839 No Drapery 50c PCGS Proof 64 DLRC #: 110549

Item Description:
Here is a tremendous opportunity to obtain one of the great treasures of the Seated Liberty half dollar series. The 1839 No Drapery half as a business strike is a very scarce one-year type coin, which is always desirable in mint state. Proof examples of this issue are so rare that many consider them uncollectible.

According to Breen's research, just 3 proof examples were known to exist, but scholars have since reduced this figure by one (Norweb's coin was a business strike, not proof, as Breen suggested), so we are left with two known. The PCGS and NGC population reports show a total of 8 coins in grades 63-64, which is clearly inflated from resubmissions and regrading. This coin once sold as part of the Benson Sale, Part I (Goldberg, February 2001), where it realized $120,750 in a PCGS Proof 63 holder. Since then, it has graded a consensus Proof 64 by both PCGS and NGC.

The coin offered here is actually the only Proof Seated coin in this sale which is not part of the Richmond Collection. Much like the 1849-C Open Wreath $1 Gold in Richmond, Part I, this coin was presented to us when the consignor realized this issue was one of the very few missing from the collection.

Strike characteristics of this coin were expertly cataloged when it appeared in the Benson Sale, as follows: "The other proof example is described as having a reverse die crack from the rim to the upper leaves through the eagle to the R of AMERICA, of which the coin shows no trace of that crack, this coin was obviously struck first. We note a light die crack through the base of HALF DOL. which continues up through the tops of MERICA." The catalog also mentions a "shallow planchet void just below the left elbow of Liberty in the left obverse field. On the reverse, there is a small planchet flake above the ME of AMERICA."

In terms of eye appeal, this coin has rich, medium toning over highly mirrored surfaces. The strike is exceptional, leaving no question that this is a proof strike. A few minor hairlines are noted in the fields below the layer of toning which comes in with "delicate antique gray and hints of blue." We find the coin to be a beautiful specimen for the grade.

Known specimens of the 1839 Proof No Motto Seated Liberty half dollar:

1). NGC Proof 62. Currently owned by Phil Kaufman.

2). PCGS Proof 64. (This coin.) Benson Collection Sale, Ira & Larry Goldberg 2/2001:1752; Reed Hawn Sale, Stack's 8/1973:125.


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Sold For: $201,250.00

Coin Specs (Powered by Collectibles Technology Company. Learn more about CTC)

Category: Half Dollars
Series: Seated Half Dollars (Proof)
Type: No drapery
Years for Type: 1839
Strike: Proof
Denomination: Half dollar
Mint Location: Philadelphia
Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: 90% silver; 10% copper
Diameter: 30.6mm
Weight: 13.36g / 0.43oz
Edge Type: Reeded

DLRC Auctions · Past Auction Records

Description Lot # / Auction Realized Date
1839 No Drapery 50c PCGS Proof 64 1784: Richmond Sale, Part III Login 3/7/05

Click here to view past auction records for all grades of this issue.

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