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1852'O' Brilliant Proof

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

1852'O' Brilliant Proof. The dies were highly polished when this coin was struck, enough so to weaken...1852'O' Brilliant Proof. The dies were highly polished when this coin was struck, enough so to weaken the foot and support beneath. While some may consider this an early striking with normally polished dies, there seems to be enough evidence in the striking and surface quality of the present coin to say this is a Specimen Striking or an intended Proof by the coiner. The fact that Breen identifies this specific coin, plus two others of this date as Proofs should weigh heavily on experts.

The coin was cleaned in the distant past, the evidence today limited to a few minor hairlines. Streaky gold toning has returned to the obverse, while the reverse sports peripheral gold toning. A faint die crack extends up from her foot to the denticles above. Breen describes the shield as ''upper part of first red stripe and lower part of third attenuated.'' There is also a raised die line from the right wing down to the right leg of the eagle. Breen himself examined this coin in 1971 when it was sold by Lester Merkin in his 1971 February Sale, in which this rare Branch Mint Proof issue was discovered. All three known examples have been cleaned according to Breen, and all were struck with the same die pairing.

Identifiable on the obverse by the shield pointing down the inside left loop of the 8, the reverse by a minute raised lump on the right side of the 'O' in OF. For the coin, there is a tic on Liberty's right arm, another in the right field midway between her left arm and the eleventh star. The last time this coin appeared at auction was in 1986, it opened up on the floor at $1,000 and quickly climbed to a hammer price of $8,250 by the time the bidding stopped.

Ex Auction '86 (Stack's Session, July 1986, lot 203); Krouner Collection (Lester Merkin, February 1971, lot 755).

Lot # 1158 Session 1
Hammer Price: $18,000.00

Click on an image below for a larger version
Click to open a larger image - 1852'O' Brilliant Proof. The dies were highly polished when this coin was struck, enough so to weaken... Click to open a larger image - 1852'O' Brilliant Proof. The dies were highly polished when this coin was struck, enough so to weaken...

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