NGC-certified 1797 Half Dollar Rarity Being Offered in July Heritage Sale

Posted on 7/2/2021

Bidding for the condition rarity of a 1797 Half Dollar variety is already into the six figures.

A 1797 Draped Bust Half Dollar certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) is being offered for sale in the Heritage Auctions Summer FUN Auction taking place July 13-15, 2021. Bidding quickly reached six figures for the condition rarity, graded NGC MS 61 (lot 3025).

One of fewer than 2,000 minted, this half dollar is of the rarer Overton-102 variety, of which only 40 to 50 are known to still exist. It is the only known Mint State example of the O-102 variety.

1797 Draped Bust Half Dollar graded NGC MS 61
Click images to enlarge.

Half dollar dies were made in 1796, yet no half dollars were struck until 1797, when only limited mintages were produced dated 1796 and 1797. Banks and trade partners preferred silver dollars rather than lower denominations, so the half dollar was not struck again until 1801. The Draped Bust, Small Eagle Half Dollar thus became an instant numismatic rarity — a two-year type with a combined mintage of just 3,918 pieces.

Other NCG-certified rarities in the auction include:

  • an 1874-CC Arrows Dime graded NGC G 4 (lot 3216)
  • an 1874 Arrows 50 Cents graded NGC PF 65 (lot 3264)
  • an 1876 Trade Dollar graded NGC PF 65 Ultra Cameo (lot 3047)
  • an 1873 Closed 3 $5 graded NGC SP 64 (lot 3122)
  • a 1907 High Relief, Wire Rim $20 graded NGC MS 66 (lot 3140)
  • a 1929 Saint-Gaudens $20 graded NGC MS 61 (lot 3144)
  • a 1915-S Panama-Pacific Round $50 graded NGC MS 61 (lot 3145)

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