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1840 Brilliant Proof. Small Letters

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

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Categories  •  Stack's October 2006 New York The George Byers Collection of U. S. Half Dollars, 1795-1964 United States Half Dollars United States Seated Liberty, no Motto Half Dollars

1840 Brilliant Proof. Small Letters. This one has a touch of wear on Liberty's breast and her leg,...1840 Brilliant Proof. Small Letters. This one has a touch of wear on Liberty's breast and her leg, and the fields show moderate hairlines. Bright steel-gray in color with a scattering of tiny gold flecks on the obverse. Identifiable by a cluster of handling marks located above 'LF' of HALF. The striking characteristics are sharp as expected for a Proof issue. Breen notes the reverse die shows evidence of clashing on the right side and most of the vertical stripes extend well into the horizontal (azure) stripes.

Obverse die clashing is present surrounding Liberty's pole arm, and the reverse die has several thin die cracks. One of these cracks extends from the rim to the top right serif of 'N' of UNITED to the eagle's wing, another from the left wing tip to the rim below, others extend through much of the legend, another from the rim crosses through 'ER' to the eagle's wing. These die cracks were not enumerated on the Pittman coin and this may be a different die pairing as the obverse lacks the usual diagnostic die file lines on Liberty's neck and within her skirt lines. PCI PR60.

The following is a Census of the known examples of this date in Proof.

1) Very Choice Proof. James Kelly, 1946; John Jay Pittman Collection (David Akers, May 1998, lot 1519).

2) Gem Proof 65. Gustav Lichtenfels Collection (Kreisberg and Schulman, February 1961, lot 2801); Norweb Collection (Bowers and Merena, November 1988, lot 3125).

3) Choice Proof. Reed Hawn Collection (Stack's, August 1973, lot 128); Hain Family Collection, Part II (Stack's, January 2002, lot 1452); Heritage's Bullet Sale, NGC PR63, September 2002, lot 11477 not sold.

4) Brilliant Proof. Dr. C. A. Allenburger Collection (B. Max Mehl, March 1948, lot 982); Floyd Starr Collection (Stack's, October 1992, lot 547)--Tiny speck over 'F' of HALF. Possibly NGC PR64, Heritage Bullet Sale, May 2002, lot 15319 (not sold) or one of the above.

5)
The Present Specimen. PCI Proof 60. Superior, September 1999, lot 1277

Lot # 1116 Session 1
Hammer Price: $5,000.00

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Click to open a larger image - 1840 Brilliant Proof. Small Letters. This one has a touch of wear on Liberty's breast and her leg,... Click to open a larger image - 1840 Brilliant Proof. Small Letters. This one has a touch of wear on Liberty's breast and her leg,...

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