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1847 Breen 1-B

Image Information

Type coin
Title 1847 Breen 1-B
Date 1847
Country U.S.
Grade PR63
Service PCGS
Denomination H1c
Variety Breen 1-B

1847 First Restrike Proof Breen 1-B R8. PCGS graded Proof 63 Red & Brown. CAC. Reverse of 1856. Mint red fading to light steel brown, about 80% of the red remaining on the obverse and 25% of the reverse showing faded mint color. The mirrors are moderately deep on both sides. The only notable defects are a collection of microscopic specks at ERICA, a small spot in the field close before the lips, and a vertical nick through star 4 into the field below. A beautiful half cent with lots of original mint color remaining; could easily be awarded a higher grade. Our grade is Proof-63. Although the 1847 First Restrike is underappreciated in most price guides because they lump the first and second restrikes into a single "Restrikes" category, it appears to be an extreme rarity. Breen called it "the rarest of all die combinations among the proof-only dates, being rarer than the 1831 or 1836 with small berries or the 1852 with large berries" (Walter Breen's Encyclopedia of United States Half Cents 1793-1857, page 420). Current research seems to support his assertion. While Breen lists three examples, we know from plate matching that the second piece (Stack's 3/24/1972:530) is the same as Kagin's 11/1/1974:27 offering included in his third listing. Likewise, Richard T. Coleman Jr., who has dedicated many years to studying the provenance of proof half cents, lists 4 examples but can confirm only two of those exist with certainty. Of course there is always a chance more examples of the First Restrike are out there somewhere. But the fact is, after decades of dedicated searching, this was the final piece acquired to finish The Missouri Cabinet, the only complete collection of U.S. Half Cents (business strikes, proofs, and edge variants) ever formed. That says a lot. The attribution and Missouri Cabinet provenance are shown on the PCGS label. PCGS population 1; the only example graded. (PCGS # 35385) Estimate Value $65,000 - UP Ex Harlan P. Smith, S. H. & H. Chapman 5/8/1906:1225 ($37.50) (illustrated on Plate XII in the catalog)-George H. Earle, Jr., Henry Chapman 6/25/1912:3673 ($42.50)-Charles M. Williams, Numismatic Galleries Fixed Price List #68, 11/14/1950:767-unknown-probably later in Hollinbeck Kagin Coin Company Sale #279, 9/16/1968:1120 ($2,150)-unknown-Kagin's Numismatic Auctions, Inc., "Sale of the 70's," 11/2/1973:985 ($5,750)-unknown-Heritage Numismatic Corporation Auctions, Inc., 9/8/2011:3108 (via Chris McCawley)-R. Tettenhorst-Missouri Cabinet (Mocab 47.2.1).

Price Realized: $80500

Images and description courtesy of Ira and Larry Goldberg Coins and Collectibles, Los Angeles, CA.

From Goldberg's sale of the Missouri Cabinet Collection, 1/26/2014, lot 181.

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