O.101 R2. Finest Known of this key date. A+ Eye Appeal. Per Heritage cataloger, "Ex: Kaufman. Numismatists and collectors who seek a complete date collection must acquire an 1815 half dollar. Similarly, die variety specialists require an example, and those who seek die states must have two different pieces. Many design type collectors have the formation of a complete type set of key-date coins as their goal, and the 1815 half dollar is the best candidate. Finally, a growing trend is the acquisition of "trophy coins," those pieces that combine rarity, quality, and exceptional aesthetic appeal, and this Premium Gem 1815 half dollar combines all of those factors. Demand for a specimen such as this rarity has never been higher.
A single die variety is known for the 1815/2 half dollars, in two distinct die states. The overdate feature is particularly visible at the top of the 5. The obverse has a faint die crack from the curl below the ear, onto the neck. While clash marks are especially visible on the reverse, there is no trace of the reverse die cracks found on later die states. The entire mintage of 47,150 1815-dated half dollars was also delivered on January 10, 1816.
The finest 1815 half dollars are the present early die state piece and the Eliasberg Gem late die state specimen. Following these two pieces, we find approximately 20 other auction records of MS63 and MS64 coins over the last 20 years. However, we have no hesitation calling the present piece the finest known 1815 half dollar. It has bold central details with an almost medallic appearance, the stars at the left border are strong while those to the right are weak. Both sides have soft, frosty silver luster with grayish-gold patina, surrounded by blue-green, gold, rose, and iridescent toning. The surfaces are well-preserved, with no evidence of mishandling. This Premium Gem is one of the landmark opportunities in the current sale, and once sold, may not appear on the market for many years.
Ex: The Chicago Sale (RARCOA and David W. Akers, Inc., 8/1991), lot 523; Central States Signature (Heritage, 4-5/2009), Lot 2415 per Heritage cataloger. Crossed from NGC MS66+ to PCGS MS65+ on 12/20/2013. Obtained from Heritage Platinum Auction on August 8, 2012, Lot 5143.
RARCOA and David Akers 8/1991:523 - Phil Kaufman Collection - Heritage 4/2009:2415, $97,750 - Heritage 8/2012:5143, $182,125 - Dr. Charles Link Collection
William F. Dunham Collection - B. Max Mehl 6/1941:700 - Stack's 12/1970:826 - Stack's 5/1975:867 - Stack's March 1982:840 - Reed Hawn Collection - Stack's 10/1993:685 - Chris Napolitano, sold privately - Douglas L. Noblet Collection - Bowers & Merena 1/1999:26 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack's/Bowers & Sotheby's 9/2015:2019, $111,625