||1839 50C No Drapery MS64+ NGC. CAC. WB-101. Ex: "Col." E.H.R. Green. Mint Director R.M. Patterson conceived the idea of changing the design on United States silver coinage in 1835, from the Reeded Edge to the Seated Liberty design, which was inspired by the figure of Britannia on the English copper coinage. Chief Engraver Christian Gobrecht produced the obverse die based on a design by Titian Peale and the reverse was a slightly altered version of John Reich's eagle. The No Drapery design was the first version of this new design and 1839 saw its introduction on the half dollar denomination, although it had been used on other silver denominations earlier. Perhaps as many as 600,000 No Drapery halves were struck before Robert Ball Hughes made further modifications to the design, adding a fold of drapery to the elbow. Few seem to have noticed the differences at the time. Later in the 19th century, first-year types were saved in large numbers, but the scarcity of Uncirculated No Drapery halves indicates how few were set aside at the time of issue. At the near-Gem level, No Drapery halves become major condition rarities; coins that transcend their general unavailability for type purposes and take on the mantle of one of the major condition rarities in the Seated half series. At the MS64 level, only three other pieces have been so graded by NGC (this is the only 64+ coin) and a mere three pieces are finer (10/13). This example displays bright, frosted mint luster that glows beneath the layers of blue-lilac and rose-yellow toning seen over each side. The strike details are strong on the obverse, with just a bit of softness noted on the eagle's left (facing) wing and leg on the reverse. 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 @ $20.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $61,687.50 . Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions, ha.com.