Bowers and Merena. Toughest date in the series in mint state by latest population reports. We bought this coin directly from Q David Bowers as a retail purchase and we are pleased to have a coin purchased from this giant among coin dealers and writers of fine numismatic works. This coin is nice and original with some focal color and decent strike. A few distinct toning areas on the reverse help to distinguish this coin from other examples of the date. Long recognized as a key date in the series in mint state, examples in gem and up are truly rare. A very tough date and not yet valued as high as the 04-S in equal gem grades. I have owned other examples in MS 64 and many I have seen in MS 64 and above have weak strikes as is sometimes seen for the O-mint products. Would love to know the pedigree of this most important coin.
David Akers: Among the 74 Barber Half Dollar issues, the 1896-O has long been prized as one of the rarest and most elusive issues. Look over the great auction sales of the past 50 years or so, and I think you will be surprised how seldom the 1896-O has been offered in Gem condition. Such high priced rarities as 1892-S, 1893-S and 1895 Morgan Dollars, and 1921-S Half Dollars have all appeared with far greater regularity in Gem condition than have not only this Barber Half Dollar issue but many of the other issues in this series as well.
Bowers & Merena "Emery & Nichols Collections 11/1984:806 - David Akers 8/1995 - Dr. Steven Duckor - Heritage 8/2010:3186, $37,375
Dr. Thaine Price - David Akers 5/1989:137 - John C. Hugon - Heritage 1/2005:4212, $29,900 - Heritage 7/2008:1705, $51,750 - Joseph C. Thomas Collection - Heritage 4/2009:2492, $28,750
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