||March 2018 Baltimore U.S. Coins Auction
||[GR-23] CAC Ex. Bowers & Ruddy May 1974 Lot 695
||1837 Capped Bust Half Dollar. Reeded Edge. 50 CENTS. GR-23. Rarity-2. MS-64 (PCGS). CAC.
This attractively toned, wholly original half dollar displays the most vivid patina at the peripheries. Smooth satin luster is noted and the devices are boldly to sharply defined. This short-lived type, produced only in 1836 and 1837, resulted from the introduction of steam coinage to the United States Mint. The first working dies for the Reeded Edge Capped Bust half dollar were completed by Christian Gobrecht during the autumn of 1836. The type is superficially similar to its Lettered Edge predecessor, although Liberty's portrait and the eagle have a more refined look, the scroll with the Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM in the upper reverse field is gone, and the diameter is smaller and more uniform within a beaded border. The final listed refinement, in particular, was meant to accommodate the close collar, a new innovation made possible by the introduction of the steam press. The close collar allowed the Mint to produce half dollars of a uniform diameter and with a reeded edge for the first time. A final innovation of the Reeded Edge half dollar is a revised weight standard of 13.36 grams, as stipulated by the Act of January 18, 1837.
Gobrecht's initial Reeded Edge half dollar design has the denomination expressed as 50 CENTS along the lower reverse border. This was changed in 1838 to read HALF DOL., presumably for uniformity with the contemporary quarter and silver dollar. Given the rarity and key date status of the 1836 Reeded Edge, an example of which is offered above, the 1837 is the only realistic type candidate of the 50 CENTS design for most collectors. Mint State examples, however, are scarce in an absolute sense and rare relative to the strong demand for them among collectors building high grade type sets. This handsome and nicely preserved near-Gem represents an important find for the discerning collector.
Provenance: From the A.J. Vanderbilt Collection. Earlier from our (Bowers and Ruddy's) Austin Collection sale, May-June 1974, lot 695. Lot tag included.
PCGS# 6176. NGC ID: 24G4.
Click here for certification details from PCGS.