||1854 50C PR67 NGC. WB-101. The 1854 proof Seated Liberty half dollar has been a sought-after rarity since the earliest days of the hobby. It made its public auction debut in lot 436 of the A.C. Kline Sale (Thomas & Sons, 6/1855). The Kline sale was one of the largest early coin auctions in this country, and it included one of the most remarkable offerings ever described in a U.S. auction catalog: a complete copper, silver, and gold proof set of 1854. The proofs in the Kline sale were offered as individual lots, rather than as a set, so it is unlikely that the coins were kept together after the sale. The cataloger described every lot as "very rare, 1854, beautiful proof, fresh from the dies." The silver, copper, and lower denomination gold proofs are all rare-to-extremely rare issues, and no examples of the 1854 half eagle, eagle, or double eagle are known to numismatists today. Most collectors agree that the half dollar is the rarest of the silver denominations in today's market. It is a testament to the resourcefulness and tenacity of Eric P. Newman that he was able to secure two high-quality examples of this rare issue for his collection. One coin came from "Colonel" E.H.R. Green's estate, but the source of this piece, the finest-known example, is not recorded. Because the 1854 proofs appeared mostly in proof set offerings in the early years, plated early auction appearances are few-and-far-between. The coin offered here is a magnificent Superb Gem, with deeply mirrored fields that show no post-strike distractions, even with the closest scrutiny. The spectacular toning provides a dazzling play of colors on both sides, with iridescent shades of powder-blue, lavender, emerald-green, and gray enhancing the tremendous eye appeal. This is the single finest certified example of this classic rarity, and its beauty and profound historic interest place it in a class of its own. Census: 1 in 67, 0 finer. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $70,500.00 . Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions, ha.com.