||1834 H10C PR66+ NGC. V-4, LM-4, R.6 as a proof. Ex: Cruzan 1964. This piece was acquired from Burdette G. Johnson's daughter Mary Cruzan. Before 1858, when the Mint began its program of commercial proof set offerings, a limited number of proof coins were made-to-order to supply the needs of Treasury officials or well-connected collectors. Most notable are the diplomatic presentation proof sets issued in 1834 and early 1835 to serve as gifts to Oriental and Middle-Eastern potentates; these included the King of Siam as well as the Sultan of Muscat, with whom the United States was negotiating trade agreements. Of course, the most famous coin in the proof sets was the 1804 dollar, but a number of 1834 Capped Bust half dimes were also struck in proof format for inclusion in the diplomatic sets, along with coins from all the other denominations. Unfortunately, the half dime was one of the two coins missing from the King of Siam set when it surfaced in 1962, but the Muscat example turned up in the collection of Liverpool numismatist Charles A. Watters in the late 1860s. That coin was auctioned in lot 254 of Watters' collection by Glendining & Co., Ltd. in June of 1917. It presumably survives to the present day, although no detailed pedigree of the specimen has ever been published. It is entertaining to imagine that the present coin might have originated in one of these proof sets, but there is no direct evidence to indicate such an origin. Apparently, additional proofs were produced for purposes other than inclusion in the proof sets in 1834. The mintage is not reported, but more examples of the proof 1834 half dime have survived than from any other year in the pre-1858 era except 1829. Walter Breen estimated 15 specimens were extant in 1989, and David Akers estimated a similar number of 12-15 survivors in the 1997 Pittman catalog. NGC has certified 12 examples in all grades and PCGS has graded five specimens, both totals including an unknown number of resubmissions and crossovers. Two specimens have been graded PR66, and another is PR66 Cameo, but this coin is the only PR66 example with the Plus designation (9/13). The present coin represents the V-4, LM-4 die variety, as do the other proofs we have handled over the years. This piece is a magnificent high-end Premium Gem, with razor-sharp definition on all design elements and deeply mirrored fields. The well-preserved surfaces are blanketed in vivid shades of cobalt-blue and grayish-gold patina. Eye appeal is incredible. This coin is destined to find a home in the finest collection or Registry Set. Census: 1 in 66+, 0 finer (9/13). Ex: B.G. Johnson, d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.; Mary Cruzan; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $32,900.00 . Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions, ha.com.