By Chris Bulfinch – Numismatist, Stack’s Bowers ……
The die sinker responsible for the obverse die of the LM-1 variety half dime certainly knew how to spell “LIBERTY”, but a casual observer would be forgiven for thinking otherwise. The top of the “B” punch broke for the obverse die used in the LM-1 marriage, resulting in a word that looks like “LIKERTY”. This variety, identified as Logan-McCloskey 1, is the more common of two known for this rare early half dime date.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries is pleased to offer an exceptional example of this distinctive variety, certified MS-63 by NGC, in lot 3097 of our Spring 2023 Rarities Night Session on Tuesday, March 21 at 3:00 pm Pacific Time (noon Eastern).
The LM-1 die marriage is listed in the Red Book, the Greysheet, and all other major wholesale and retail price guides. It was noted by D.W. Valentine in his 1931 monograph The United States Half Dimes.
Its MS-63 grade places the featured coin solidly in the upper echelon of the NGC Census; only two finer grading events are reported. This example is among the 20 finest known for either die marriage. Our cataloger notes the coin’s “virtually brilliant surfaces that have defied time and toning to stay very bright and fresh. Only at the extreme peripheries will one glimpse faint champagne-pink iridescence, and then again only with the aid of a strong light. Boldly struck throughout, absolutely incredible definition on Liberty’s hair is actually topped by the fine feather detail on the eagle, including every single one of its fine breast feathers – a feast for the eyes as these feathers are seldom seen on coins struck from any small eagle die. Early die state with the reverse rotated approximately 45 degrees counterclockwise from normal coin alignment.”
View lot 3097 with Coins in Motion below: