Ron Guth: The 1831 Half Cent with the reverse of the Braided Hair type is clearly a restrike made at a later date. All were struck as Proofs and the mintage was extremely low. Some researchers have suggested that as many as a dozen were made, but that is pure speculation since no mint records exist for the early American Proof coins. Today, at least five demonstrably different examples are known and there may be as many as two additional examples. These restrikes were made with the sole purpose of creating rarities for sale to collectors who desired to own an example of the rare 1831-dated Half Cent. Today, they are eagerly sought after as important collectibles. The finest example known is the PCGS PR66BN coin from the Byron Reed collection (now part of Peter Miller's incredible ESM Collection on the PCGS Set Registry.
Charles Steigerwalt, sold privately in 11/1907 - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 5/1996:445, $28,600 - Jim McGuigan Collection
Heritage 8/2004:5066, $26,450
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