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Merrill Collection - 2nd

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2014 2015
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About This Set: Kinda hard to call this an everyman set, as it includes several really tough coins like the 1796 and 1797, as well as the popular and pricey 1794, 1801, 1802 and 1815/2 --- always in demand in PCGS holders. But with some diligence and a little disposable income, the set is within reach for most collectors... okay, perhaps with a couple of genuine coins filling a few slots. A really fun and challenging set to complete.

Merrill Collection

Image Item PCGS # Date Denom Grade PCGS # Pop PCGS # Pop Higher Pop Pop Higher Comments
1794 6051 1794 50C F15 64 141 71163
O-101, Rarity 4. Old Green Holder (OGH). From Heritage's 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando #1216, Lot 4801.
1795 39228 1795 50C AU53 1 1 1947
O-110, Rarity 4. This is a condition census coin for the variety with the top 5 being 61,45,45,40,35. Previously offered in Heritage's 2008 September Long Beach, CA US Coin Signature Auction #1116. The present silver-gray piece is noteworthy for its ample shimmering luster and bold hair definition. Impressively undisturbed by abrasions apart from a hair-thin mark near the TAT in STATES. Struck from prominently clashed dies, as usually seen with this variety.
1796 39261 1796 50C VF30 1 2 1021
O-101, Rarity 5. From the Heritage, Summer 2008 FUN Auction. The design elements display excellent definition for the grade designation, slightly more so on the obverse. Liberty's hair strands in the middle and lower portions of the portrait are sharp, as is the dentilation on both sides, the sole exception being that on the upper obverse. Strong definition is also noted on about one-half of the eagle's wing plumage, along with that on the tail. Particularly noteworthy is the clarity in most of the diagnostic semi-circular crack above Liberty's shoulder; this fine crack is usually visible only on higher-end VF and better examples. Soft champagne-gold patina accented with whispers of sky-blue and lavender covers both sides, and traces of luster are visible in some of the motif interstices, especially those of Liberty's hair and the eagle's feathers. The surfaces are relatively clean for a coin having seen light to moderate circulation. A couple of inoffensive obverse pinscratches are only mentioned for complete accuracy, and two minute marks near the rim above star 7, one between 9 and 6 in the date, and another to the top right of the 2 in the fraction may help in identifying the coin for future catalogers and researchers.
1797 39266 1797 50C F15 1 1 2038
O-102, Rarity 6. PCGS total Pop of 2. From the Heritage, Summer 2008 FUN Auction. A delicate blend of lilac and light golden-gray patina covers both sides. The design elements display strong detail for the grade designation, particularly on the obverse, where many of Liberty's hair strands show. Indeed, the obverse might lay claim to VF definition. On the reverse, about one-third of the feather detail is visible. There are faint adjustment marks at the right obverse border between the stars and the rim, and a scattering of light marks over each side is consistent with a coin having seen moderate circulation. An inoffensive pinscratch running from the eagle's neck to the right (facing) leg is mentioned solely for pedigree purposes, as is one from the leg to the upper part of the palm leaf. The Overton 102 variety of the 1797-dated half is the rarest of the four 1796-1797 die marriages. The laurel leaf extending beneath the base of the second T in STATES and the palm leaf terminating at the lower left serif of the F in OF confirm the variety. Ex: Gary L. Burhop and Mel W. Davis Collections and other important properties (Bowers and Merena, 10/1996), lot 2011. From The Glenwood Collection.
1801 39267 1801 50C XF40 1 3 2034
O-101, Rarity 3. From the Sheridan Downey sale of Daniel W. Holmes, Jr. Collection. Previously from the FUN Jan '05 Sale.
1802 6065 1802 50C AU53 7 8 1010
O-101, Rarity 3. From Heritage's 2010 August Boston, MA Signature & Platinum Night ANA Coin Auction #1143, Lot 3139. Listed as: 1802 Draped Bust Half Dollar, O-101, AU53, Challenging, In-Demand Date. Ex: Garrett-Pryor, 1802 50C AU53 PCGS Secure. O-101, R.3. Only 29,890 Draped Bust half dollars were minted in 1802, and the date is the most difficult to locate of all the Heraldic Eagle half dollars, especially in high grades. Only one die variety is known for the date. The present coin has an illustrious history, linked to three great collections of past years. This example surfaced in the collection of John Colvin Randall, the great 19th century student of die varieties. W. Elliot Woodward sold the collection in 1885. The description in his auction catalog reads, "1802 Uncirculated; brilliant. The finest I have met with; extremely rare. Plate." The lot was sold to T. Harrison Garrett, a director of the B & O Railroad, of Monopoly fame, and the architect of the famous Garrett Collection. The coin later found a place in the James Bennett Pryor Collection, a specialized gathering of half dollars known for the quality and completeness of the collection. The coin offered here is an attractively toned high-grade example, with a sharp strike and minimally abraded surfaces. The surfaces are a pleasing greenish-gray, with touches of rose and blue in areas. Population: 5 in 53, 10 finer (6/10). Ex: John Colvin Randall Collection (Woodward, 6/1885), lot 221; T. Harrison Garrett; John Work Garrett; Johns Hopkins University; Garrett Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 11/1979), lot 278; James Bennett Pryor Collection (Bowers and Merena, 1/1996), lot 5.
1803 39270 1803 50C AU50 2 2 2239
O-101, Rarity 3. Condition Census Top 5. Dramatic die clashing observed on both sides. Lustrous with slight toning.
1805 39288 1805 50C AU50 1 2439
O-113A, Rarity 4, Condition Census Top 5 (50,50,40,40,40). From Bowers and Merena The 2009 ANA National Money Show Auction Session One, Auction # 13170, Lot #666. This richly original example exhibits blended olive-gray and lavender-charcoal patination. A well-balanced piece, we also note bold devices and a lack of detracting abrasions for both sides. A scarce die marriage, this coin is included in the Condition Census for the O-113a variety as listed by Stephen J. Herrman in the Autumn 2008 revision to Auction & Mail Bid Prices Realized for Bust Half Dollars: 1794-1839. Previously from Heritage's sale of the Westmoreland County Collection of Early Bust Halves, January 2008, lot 1363. Previously from the Heritage 2008 January Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Coin Auction #454, Lot 1363. 1805 50C AU50 PCGS. O-113a, High R.4. The 'non-a' O-113 does not exist even though it is still included in the fourth edition of Overton. The difference between O-113 and 113a is listed as 12 arrows on the reverse of 113 and 13 arrows on the reverse of 113a. This listing seems illogical since one would expect die wear or die polishing would remove arrows, not add them. Like O-111 and 112, this is another single-use reverse that is paired with Obverse 7. This coin is an intermediate die state with a light crack through the tops of MERI. Deep steel toning with splashes of dark gold on the highpoints, mask the considerable luster that is still present on both sides of this piece. There are no AU50 coins listed on Herrman's Auction & Mail Bid Prices Realized. However, there is one AU58/58 coin listed, and six AU55/55 pieces. Given the number of AU pieces recorded, one may deduce that a relatively large number of this variety was set aside shortly after production. Nevertheless, there are few pieces in absolute terms. Haseltine-12; Beistle 5b-H; Overton-23; Ex: Robert Zornes (4/2000). From The Westmoreland County Collection of Early Bust Halves, 1794-1807.
1806 39311 1806 50C AU58 1 801
O-109A, Rarity 3. From Stack's Nov 10, 2009, The 74th Anniversary Sale, Lot 1359. Listed as: The present coin is graded AU-58 by PCGS and we consider it to be a high-end piece, comparing quite favorably to more than just a few half dollars of this type that are in the Mint State category. Moreover, the obverse is attractive lavender and gray and the reverse is medium gray, with much underlying mint frost. An outstanding coin worthy of a strong bid. Formerly from Heritage's 2006 September Long Beach, CA Signature Auction #416, Lot 1868.
1807 6086 1807 50C AU55 39 39 119122
O-112, Rarity 1. CAC Approved. From Heritage's 2009 March Baltimore, MD Signature US Coin Auction #1126, Lot 1934. Golden-brown and ocean-blue adorn the reverse margin, while the obverse is comprehensively toned in gunmetal-blue and cream-gray. A slender strike-through (as made) reaches the S in PLURIBUS, but actual marks are minor and hard to locate.
1808 6091 1808/7 50C AU58 18 1 855
1809 6092 1809 50C AU58 66 2 1043
1810 39411 1810 50C AU58 2 961
1811 39424 1811 50C AU58 2 1641
1812 39452 1812 50C AU58 3 1482
1813 39469 1813 50C AU58 3 972
1814 39476 1814 50C AU58 3 0 1220
1815/2 39492 1815/2 50C AU58 2 212
O-101A, Rarity 3. From Stack's Orlando Auction, 1/05/2009 - Medium gray and lilac toning over lustrous surfaces, with some hints of blue around the border. A lovely example, indeed one of the finest graded by PCGS, of this key issue. Among the different years in the Capped Bust series, continuously from 1807 to 1836, except for 1816 (when none were minted), the 1815 is far and away the scarcest. All are from a single die, overdated as 1815/2.
1817 39503 1817 50C AU58 3 822
1818 39523 1818 50C AU58 4 1291
1819 39555 1819/8 50C AU58 3 1351
1820 39563 1820 50C AU53 3 2 113220
1821 39581 1821 50C AU58 1 1192
1822 6129 1822 50C AU58 95 1301
1823 39611 1823 50C AU58 2 0 1580
1824 39624 1824 50C AU58 4 2153
1825 6142 1825 50C AU58 198 0 2200
1826 39682 1826 50C AU58 3 3133
1827 39749 1827 50C AU58 6 4196
1828 39755 1828 50C AU58 2 2721
1829 39784 1829 50C AU58 4 2785
1830 39825 1830 50C AU58 4 3634
1831 39848 1831 50C AU58 2 2972
1832 6160 1832 50C AU58 371 5 4536
1833 39901 1833 50C AU58 3 3003
1834 39917 1834 50C AU58 3 4303
1835 6168 1835 50C AU58 144 5 1626
1836 6169 1836 50C AU58 228 3031
1837 6176 1837 50C AU58 224 2 2242
1838 6177 1838 50C AU58 143 2 1432
1839 6179 1839 50C AU58 57 0 570
1839-O 6181 1839-O 50C AU50 50 92 5195


Hi, your set is a very PQ, just wondering, was the 1796 1/2 in a NGC VF-25 holde, thanks ?

Posted @ 11/2/2014 12:03 PM By stephenmfrank

Wow: really nice draped busties

Posted @ 2/27/2010 4:47 PM By Bustnut