|Bowers & Merena||Auction||The January 2011 Tampa Bay Rarities Sale||Jan-2011||Malibu Collection||1843-O Seated Liberty Half Dollar. WB-101. MS-63 (NGC). The 1843-O is one of the more plentiful New Orleans Mint Half Dollars from the 1840s, the mintage a respectable 2.2 million pieces. This comment applies only to circulated coins, however, as in Mint State this issue is very scarce-to-rare with a Rarity-5+ rating in Unc (per Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert, The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars, 1993).
A beautiful piece with richly original toning, the obverse periphery is near-fully ringed in a crescent of bold midnight-blue and reddish-apricot colors. The reverse is more lightly patinated in iridescent reddish-apricot color that appears to drift toward the upper-right border. Areas of brilliance are also noted for both sides, especially in the center of the obverse. That side of the coin is also somewhat granular in texture from having been struck from a rusted die, although both sides are equally lustrous with sharp definition to all of the devices. There are no individually mentionable distractions among the grade-defining abrasions.