|1794 50C AU55+ NGC. CAC. O-101a, High R.3. Ex: "Col." E.H.R. Green. This specimen from the Newman collection has lustrous ivory surfaces with splashes of champagne at the central obverse. Both sides incorporate mildly irregular brown and iridescent toning along the borders. Diagonal adjustment marks sweep down to the left on the reverse, crossing the upper right branch of the wreath and the eagle's right (facing) wing and body. The wing feathers are nicely detailed; breast feathers are absent due to localized striking weakness, not wear. The strike is nicely centered with bold dentils, obverse and reverse. Minor handling marks are present on both sides. Faint slide marks cross Liberty's cheek. The obverse die is perfect with no clash marks, die cracks, or lapping. The reverse has a crack from the border to the wreath between the D and S that is present on all or nearly all known O-101 half dollars. In the late die state offered here, the reverse has a second crack from the border through the F to the outer leaf pair below OF, turning upward to the top outside leaf and the final S. The first design for silver coins combined a Flowing Hair obverse with a Small Eagle reverse. The design type appeared on half dimes, half dollars, and silver dollars dated 1794 and 1795. Since the 1794 half dimes were all struck in 1795, the half dollars and silver dollars were the first U.S. silver coins. These early designs are attributed to Mint engraver Robert Scot. The first Mint delivery of half dollars, totaling 5,300, was turned over to the Mint treasurer on December 1, 1794. A second delivery of 1794 dated half dollars had to wait until February 4, 1795, when the chief coiner delivered an additional quantity of 18,164 half dollars. The total of those two deliveries, 23,464 coins, is accepted today as the "mintage" of 1794 half dollars. There are 11 die varieties known from various combinations of six obverse dies and seven reverse dies. The precise emission order remains under study. The O-101 die marriage is the most plentiful of 1794 with an estimated survival of about 350 coins. A combined total of about 250 pieces are known for the other 10 varieties. A small number of high grade O-101 half dollars are known, and the Newman specimen likely ranks among the 10 finest examples of the variety. Ex: "Colonel" E.H.R. Green; Green Estate; Partnership of Eric P. Newman / B.G. Johnson d.b.a. St. Louis Stamp & Coin Co.; Eric P. Newman @ $90.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $111,625.00 . Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions, ha.com.