The most historic United States coin! About 1500 were struck in July 1792 under Mint auspices before the first mint building was completed.The silver for these was probably furnished by President Washington, who took a great interest in the establishment of the Mint. President Washington referred to these coins in his fourth Annual Address to Congress on November 11,1792 as: " There has been a small beginning in the coinage of Half Dimes, the want of small coins in circulation calling the first attention to them ". I believe the estimated number of survivors,by most auction catalogers, is greatly exaggerated.The late Jack Collins did an in-depth study of 1794 Silver Dollars. This study was continued by Martin Logies and it is now estimated that there are 140-150 1794 Silver Dollars surviving. The 1792 Half Disme appears less often, at auction, than the 1794 Dollar and fewer have been graded by the major services.My estimate of the number of 1792 Half Dismes surviving is about 125.Purchased from Kenneth Goldman at the 1996 FUN show.
David Hall: The PCGS graded MS67 is from the great John Pittman collection, one of the highest quality U.S. coin collections ever assembled. This specimen has amazing mark-free surfaces and a fully rounded cheek. The luster and originality are outstanding in every way. This coin, along with the PCGS graded SP67, is the finest known example of the first coin officially struck by the U.S. Mint.
David Rittenhouse, first director of the United States Mint; Rittenhouse family, kept within the family by Rittenhouse's descendants from July 1792 until - Henry Chapman 10/1919:249, $56 - George L. Tilden - Thomas Elder 6/1921:2029, $62 - private collector, who apparently stored the coin in a Wayte Raymond album - unnamed museum in New England - Stack's 10/1988:536, $68,750 - unknown intermediaries - dealer Jay Parrino, early 1990s, as agent for the anonymous "Knoxville Collection," early 1990s to 2003 - private collector, 2003 to January 2007 - Steve Contursi - Cardinal Collection, acquired for $1,500,000 in 2007 - Stack's/Bowers 1/2013:13093, $1,145,625
David Rittenhouse (reportedly traced back to the family by Dr. Judd) - Dr. J. Hewitt Judd - Paramount “Auction '80” 8/1980:592 - Jimmy Hayes Collection - Stack's 10/1985:3 - Stack’s/Bowers 8/2013:4043, $793,125
MARCA 5/1987:721 - Superior “Chalkley-Ryer” 1/1990:2354 - Heritage 1/2014:5176, $528,750