By Christopher Maisano – Numismatist, Stack’s Bower Galleries ……
Stack’s Bowers Galleries is excited to present a superior survivor of this legendary Small Eagle type as lot 7048 in the Rarities Night session of our Summer 2022 Auction. This example of the 1797 half dollar displays surfaces that are overall glossy and smooth, with clouds of mint luster remaining in the protected areas. Deep navy-blue and violet in the fields contrasts with lighter peach across the high points. The central elements are nicely defined despite the typical softness at the right borders.
This piece exemplifies the scarce earlier state of the O-101 dies, estimated to be about twice as rare as the latter one. The obverse remains essentially prime, with inspection of the rim near star two revealing no sign of fracture. The reverse displays a crack from the rim down to the letter O in OF that is carried over from this die’s previous employment in striking 1796-dated halves, though cracks proprietary to this pairing are sparse. A fracture is just beginning to descend from the denticle above the first letter T in STATES.
This specimen is a wonderfully original, choice VF example of a major U.S. rarity with a survival estimate of just 150 coins that will be among our Rarities Night highlights. This lovely 1797 half dollar is expected to garner much attention when it crosses the block next month. We expect strong bids will be needed if you hope to acquire a coin of such significance, one that would enhance any fine numismatic cabinet.
For more information about the Summer 2022 Showcase Auction or to view lots and bid visit StacksBowers.com. To consign your coins or paper money to one of our Showcase auctions or to our Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auctions call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].