By CoinWeek …..
GreatCollections is currently offering a rare 1811 Classic Head half cent from the famous collection of Louis Eliasberg. GreatCollections has set the starting bid at $62,000 USD, and the auction closes on Sunday, January 28, 2024, at 4:05 PM Pacific Time (7:05 PM Eastern).
Background of the Eliasberg 1811 Classic Head Half Cent
A total of 63,140 Classic Head half cents were struck in 1811, using two obverse dies and a shared reverse die. Graded MS62 BN by PCGS and approved as strong for the grade by CAC, this specimen is the second-finest known of the Cohen-2, Close Date variety. One can easily distinguish the Close Date from the Wide Date variety by examining the space between the first 1 and the 8 in the date. The third and fourth numeral ones on the date of both varieties are canted slightly to the left.
The coin is wholesome, with a rich, semi-sweet chocolate color on the obverse and a pleasing reverse that boasts a broader band of original reddish-brown to purplish-brown color. Die clash images and the weakness of the right stars and right side of the wreath are typical for the issue.
The 1811 Classic Head half cent is scarce in all grades, and the surviving populations of both varieties are roughly equivalent. Half cent collectors will seldom encounter this date in Mint State, as there are (at most) five examples listed in the PCGS census and none with any significant degree of Mint State Red color.
This piece was possibly acquired by Louis Eliasberg in 1942 when he obtained the Clapp Collection en bloc through Stack’s (we put this forward, given the rarity of the piece and its condition, but have no direct evidence to support this). Another auction house offered this same coin in 2018, where it garnered $69,000. The provenance provided then was Eliasberg – Red Headed Copper Collection.
The Eliasberg pedigree and this coin’s place in the condition census make it an important piece for the advanced collector. The opening bid amount is reasonable when these facts are taken into consideration.
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