|1840 (O) 50C Reverse of 1838, Medium Letters MS65 NGC. WB-101, Die Pair WB-4, R.3. Ex: "Col." E.H.R. Green. No Mintmark, Large Eagle Bust Style Reverse. This issue was long thought to be a product of the Philadelphia Mint, but it is one of the few Branch Mint issues lacking a mintmark. This variety was actually minted at the New Orleans Branch Mint using a carried-over Bust reverse die from 1839, where the mintmark was on the obverse of the coin. (Bill Bugert and Randy Wiley documented this discovery in a Gobrecht Journal Issue #38 article in March 1987). This distinguished variety holds an unusual place in American numismatic history, as a mule of dies from two different coinage designs. Among the differences on this reverse, the legend and denomination are larger (termed Medium Letters), the eagle and reverse shield are larger, the eagle's claws are open, and the olive leaves and arrowheads are more widely spread than on the usual Seated Liberty style. This reverse was paired with two different obverse dies, and this coin was struck from the first of the two with the date centered and the 8 showing minor repunching to the northeast. The reverse die shows the extensive and characteristic radial die cracks. The surfaces display outstanding blue and gold peripheral toning with lustrous, problem-free fields. Both sides exhibit bold design definition aside from slight weakness among the stars. This variety is scarce in all grades, rare in Mint State, and extremely rare in MS65, the finest certified grade. NGC has certified 42 examples with an average grade of AU50 and a top grade of MS65. They have only certified seven examples in all Mint State grades. The Eric P. Newman Gem is tied with only one other coin as the finest that NGC has certified, while PCGS has never graded an example finer than MS64. Over the last 20 years of our auctions, we have never before sold an MS65 example of this rarity. This variety is extremely popular with collectors and will see intense bidding when offered at auction. 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 @ $35.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $51,406.25 . Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions, ha.com.