Coin Specifications

Category: Patterns & Trial Coins (1792-1863)
Mint: Philadelphia
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1838 J-81 50C PF obverse 1838 J-81 50C PF reverse
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Description & Analysis

Judd-81, Pollock-88, Low R.7.

Design. The obverse has Christian Gobrecht's Seated Liberty design, without drapery, surrounded by 13 stars, and the date below the base. LIBERTY has incuse letters. The reverse has an eagle flying to the left, holding six arrows in its left claw, and an olive branch in its hidden right claw. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA follows the border from 8 o'clock clockwise to 4 o'clock, with HALF DOL. at the lower border. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.

Commentary. It is thought that six to eight examples of this variety are known in copper, and they were produced in the late 1860s or early 1870s. The first known auction appearance was in the 1875 Cogan sale of the Colonel Cohen Collection. Today, three of those known are in museums--the Smithsonian Institution, the Connecticut State Library, and the Western Heritage Museum--reducing the available population for collectors.

An unattributed comment at USPatterns.com suggests that the reverse die was actually a creation of the restrike period: "To my knowledge, no originals were ever made using this reverse die. In fact, I believe that this die was actually finished many years later either in the late 1860s or early 1870s."

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2
Low Grade: 64
Average Grade: 65
High Grade: 66

The chart showing 64 series, 65 series, 66 series, 67 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 3/24/2020 1838 50C J-81 PF BN
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base---------------1-1----2
-----------------------
-----------------------
------------------1---1
Total---------------1-11---3
 ---------------33%-33%33%--- 

NGC Registry

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