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Lot 33480

Image Information

Type Coin
Title Lot 33480
Date 1874
Country U.S.
Service Catalog # 6348
Denomination 50C
Mint Mark S
Description 1874-S 50C Arrows MS66 NGC. CAC. WB-102. Ex: "Col." E.H.R. Green. The 1874-S Seated Liberty half dollar is a scarce date, from a small mintage of 394,000 pieces. Few examples were saved by contemporary collectors; there was little interest in collecting branch mint issues before Augustus Heaton published his treatise, commonly known as Mintmarks, in 1893. Luckily, a few high-quality examples were preserved by Western collectors, such as William Friesner of Los Angeles and B.W. Smith of Redlands, California. Lot 1021 in the Half Dollars San Francisco Mint section of the B.W. Smith Collection (B. Max Mehl, 5/1915) reads: {blockquote}"1874 Medium S. Uncirculated. Very scarce so fine."{/blockquote} The Smith catalog is remarkable for its advanced analysis of die varieties of the silver denominations. Many descriptions of the Seated Liberty branch mint coins included information about the size, shape, and location of the mintmarks, recut dates, etc. Because there was no published reference on the Seated Liberty series in 1915, Mehl must have acquired this specialized knowledge from an advanced collector who thoroughly studied die varieties of Seated Liberty coins. Most likely Howard Rounds Newcomb provided Mehl with this information. His holdings had been displayed at the 1914 ANS Exhibition the previous year, with similar die variety information published in the accompanying catalog. This "Colonel" E.H.R. Green/Eric P. Newman example of the 1874-S Arrows half dollar also shows the Medium S mintmark, classified as WB-102 by Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert in their authoritative series reference. The loops of the S are partially filled, giving it a blob-like appearance. The WB-102 is rated High R.7 in Mint State. Given the rarity of the WB-102 in high grade, the B.W. Smith coin may have been an earlier appearance of the present coin, but the lot was not plated and there is no way to determine that definitively. This delightful Premium Gem is toned in attractive shades of champagne-gold and lavender, with vibrant mint luster underneath. The design elements are sharply rendered, with full radials on the stars and fine detail on the eagle's claws. This coin possesses terrific eye appeal to complement the high-technical grade. Only one coin has been certified finer at NGC, and there are no finer examples at PCGS (10/13). 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 @ $15.00; Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. Realized $39,656.25 . Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

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