Stack's Since 1935 - America's Oldest and Most Prestigious Rare Coin Auction Company Stack'sStack's Crest
Stack's
Home

Archived
Auctions


Register


1836 Reeded Edge (Low Rarity-7 as Proof). Choice Brilliant Proof

From Stack's October 2006 New York Auction, Session 1 on Oct 17, 2006

Previous Lot • Next Lot    
Categories  •  Stack's October 2006 New York The George Byers Collection of U. S. Half Dollars, 1795-1964 United States Half Dollars United States Capped Bust, Reeded Edge Half Dollars
Return to Listing

1836 Reeded Edge (Low Rarity-7 as Proof). Choice Brilliant Proof. One of handful reportedly struck...1836 Reeded Edge (Low Rarity-7 as Proof). Choice Brilliant Proof. One of handful reportedly struck in Proof, the first official coinage on the new steam coining press. Breen states in his Encyclopedia that at least a dozen are known, and given the number of auction appearances in the past few decades even that estimate may be too low. A reasonably attractive coin that has golden-russet toning over the obverse and reverse, with silver-gray intermixed. The strike is sharp on Liberty and most of the stars, but a couple of stars show slight softness. On the reverse the die has already formed a short jagged crack down from the denticle past the second 'S' of STATES, a feature sen on all later circulation strikes which apparently formed very early during the initial striking of Proofs from these dies.

The fields show moderate hairlines and a number of tiny planchet flakes which may have been caused during the planchet preparation process. The mirror fields offset the well frosted devices, and the lettering is sharp on both sides. Slight doubling is found on the HALF at the base of those letters. Correspondence from the time of issue confirms these were the first Half Dollars struck on the new steam press, an innovation which had been long overdue at the Philadelphia Mint. At last coins could be struck more efficiently, and more uniformly to the exacting standards allowed by mechanized production. These Proofs were the first of their kind struck in America, and their historical value is immense to numismatists. In addition, this coin represents the short-lived type Reeded Edge type, very few of which survive in Proof format. Usually, Proofs become available only when great collections like this are sold. An opportunity to put away something really special from this sale. PCGS PR63.

The importance of this issue can not be overlooked. As stated in the Eliasberg catalog, in a letter dated September 6, 1836 Mint Director Robert Patterson wrote George Newbold that ''We shall be coining half dollars by steam in a few days, and we shall issue them somewhat improved in their face [a reference to the Liberty Seated design, but this was not to be used for several years, as it turned out], and a tenth of an inch narrower. We are gettting rid of Blood-power as fast as we can.'' The reference to ''Blood-power'' is critical, at long last the Mint's horses could be put out to pasture after decades of rolling and drawing metal ingots into strips for planchets. Workers would no longer be laboring to strike each coin individually, and consistency would be far more precise and mechanized. These benefits had been a goal for decades.

Ex Stack's Auction, September 1993, lot 353.

Lot # 1093 Session 1
Hammer Price: $32,500.00

Click on an image below for a larger version
Click to open a larger image - 1836 Reeded Edge (Low Rarity-7 as Proof). Choice Brilliant Proof. One of handful reportedly struck... Click to open a larger image - 1836 Reeded Edge (Low Rarity-7 as Proof). Choice Brilliant Proof. One of handful reportedly struck...

Previous Lot • Next Lot    


Stack's Rare Coin AuctionsStack's Rare Coin Auctions

© Copyright 2001-2019 Stack's • 123 West 57th Street • New York, NY 10019212 582-2580 • Fax: 212 245-5018 / 582-1946 • show email address