Lots of detail for VF25, Old Green Holder, R.4 PQ A large question surrounding this coin is whether or not President Washington supplied the silver. Research by Joel Orosz and Carl Herkowitz published in the 2003 Amer. Journal of Numismatics cited a memorandum by John A. McAllister, Jr. who related his interview with Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt: "In conversation with Mr. Adam Eckfeldt (Apr. 9, 1844) at the Mint, he informed me that the Half Dismes...were struck, expressly for Gen. Washington, to the extent of One Hundred Dollars, which sum he deposited in Bullion or Coin, for the purpose. Mr. E. thinks that Gen. W. distributed them as presents. Some were sent to Europe, but the greater number, he believes, were given to friends of Gen. W. in Virginia. No more of them were ever coined." Eric von Klinger in a June 13, 2005 Coin World review of the article entitled "Document Details Half Disme: Confirms that G. Washington was Source of Silver," wrote: "General Washington did indeed deposit silver for the 1792 half dismes." Orosz responded in a July 4, 2005 letter to the editor that: "We never claim in our article that we have proved that President Washington provided the silver used to strike the half dismes, as both the headline and the first sentence of von Klinger's article flatly state. In our article, we conclude that while the great preponderance of the evidence points toward Washington as the silver provider, the pieces of evidence that could prove he was - Washington's diary for 1792 and Acting Chief Coiner Henry Voigt's July 1792 account book - are unavailable. Washington was a long-time diarist, but the press of his presidential duties prevented him from keeping a diary in 1792. Voigt did keep an account book, but it was lost about a century ago, and no one knows where it is, or if it even still exists. Therefore, while the authors believe that all of the available evidence points to Washington, we cannot prove he was the donor beyond the shadow of a doubt."
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