By Dylan Dominguez and Edward Van Orden for PCGS ……
 

New Die Variety for the 1867-S Liberty Seated Half Dollar

Already excited at the possibility of a new 1843-O Liberty Seated Half Dollar die combination, we came upon a possible new die variety for the 1867-S. The degree to which the “S” was rotated clockwise was easy to recognize as “Reverse A” (along with the horizontal die line through the eagle’s left wing). The submitted 1867-S also appeared to be a late die state, as we were able to match the die crack from the eagle’s right wing tip through the arrow shafts (as noted and pictured in Bill’s book).

Since “Reverse A” is only used with die variety WB-1, we looked to confirm what we expected to be “Obverse 1” (also only used with WB-1). However, the date did not quite line up (again), so this time, we went straight to Bill’s book to look at the other known obverses for a match.

When we got to “Obverse 3”, the date seemed to line up perfectly and the die crack through the foot and base was there. We also found on the submitted 1867-S a notch/inner die cud in the drapery above the top-left center of the shield. We went through the PCGS database and found two other coins with not only the same notch but also with the identical date placement – as well as the die crack through the foot and base.

Could we have stumbled upon another new die combination? As with the 1843-O, we reached out to Bill Bugert and Mike Perkins to see what they thought.

Mike emailed back:

“I would say that this marriage falls in between WB-1 and WB-3, as the obverse is an earlier die state than WB-3 but the reverse is a later die state of WB-1.”

Bill responded with:

“I think it is a 3-A also. Nice-looking coin, and it will be assigned 1867-S WB-11 as a new die marriage.”

Special thanks to Steve Feltner, Bill, and Mike for their expertise, enthusiasm, and timely responses.

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