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1807 S.271. Perfect Date, ''Comet'' Variety, Small Fraction

From Stack's October 2006 New York Auction, Session 2 on Oct 18, 2006

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Categories  •  Stack's October 2006 New York The 71st Anniversary Sale U. S. Large Cents U. S. Draped Bust Large Cents
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1807 S.271. Perfect Date, ''Comet'' Variety, Small Fraction. About Uncirculated-55. The color is an...1807 S.271. Perfect Date, ''Comet'' Variety, Small Fraction. About Uncirculated-55. The color is an even medium brown on the obverse, slightly darker on the reverse, but still even and glossy. A later die state with the ''Comet'' die flaw well developed and bold behind Liberty's head. There are parallel flaws in the right obverse field and a die crack on Liberty's neck confirming the later die state. Identifiable by a tiny speck touching the right leg of the 'R' of LIBERTY and shallow nicks on Liberty's neck. Close examination of Liberty's cheek and neck shows that those areas may have been ever so carefully smoothed long ago, as the die crack fades into the forward portion of her neck, and the nicks have a soft, rounded appearance. Close to if not within the top dozen known for this ever-popular variety, and a variety which is always in feverish collector demand for the extraordinary and unusual ''Comet'' feature.

Although this variety is known for the ''die break'', technically this appears to be a die flaw that develops over time. The ''Comet'' flaw appears after many perfect die coins were struck. As more coins were struck, the flaw appears shallow at first, touching Liberty's head and ribbon, extending to the edge of the coin. On later die states as seen here, additional die flaws develop in the right obverse field, running parallel to the ''Comet'' behind her head. The fact that these flaws appear and grow over the issue and run parallel imply that they were defects in the die steel which formed over time under the stresses of coinage. This is unlike the 1804 ''Spiked Chin'' Half Cent, where the die flaws appear suddenly on the obverse (possibly a bolt or small screw ended up between the dies and was struck), the 1807 ''Comet'' variety forms over a long coining span. Another coin to put away and long enjoy.

Ex Michael F. Higgy Auction (Abe Kosoff, September, 1943, lot 1037); 1949 ANA Sale, (Kosoff-Kreisberg, August 1949, lot 852); Lee G. Agnew Collection (Kosoff, December 1952, lot 657); Harold S. Bareford Collection; Herman Halpern Collection (Stack's, March 1988, lot 257).

Lot # 2555 Session 2
Hammer Price: $6,000.00

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