||March 2018 Baltimore U.S. Coins Auction
||[Type Two Reverse] [Repunched Mintmark] [W-9] NGC Specimen 66
||Awe-Inspiring 1860-O Half Dollar
The Finer of Only Two Specimen Strikings Certified by NGC
1860-O Liberty Seated Half Dollar. W-9. Rarity-3. Type II Reverse, Repunched Mintmark. Specimen-66 (NGC).
An exceptional example that even at first glance reveals that it is certainly a "special coin" for an 1860-O half dollar. Brilliant surfaces are deeply mirrored and highly reflective in the fields. The strike is also superior for a New Orleans Mint issue, the devices fully defined throughout and also possessed of a delicate satin texture. Overall smooth and solidly in the Gem category, it is obvious that this coin was not only uncommonly well produced but also handled with great care over the years, both of which are testament to its status as a superior example of the issue.
According to the research published in Bill Bugert's 2013 reference A Register of Liberty Seated Half Dollar Varieties: Volume IV, twelve die marriages have currently been identified for the 1,290,000-piece 1860-O. This issue features several interesting varieties, including die marriages struck using either the Type I or Type II Reverse, the WB-2 and WB-3 Weird Vertical Stripes, and the WB-7 and WB-8 Eagle Laying an Egg, so named due to the extremely high placement of the O mintmark below the eagle. The reverse of WB-9, represented here, was produced from the Type II hub and is significant due to repunching on the mintmark. This reverse was also used to strike WB-10, the obverse die for the WB-9 pairing identifiable by a small die line in the recessed area of the shield above the letter Y in LIBERTY.
While the 1860-O as an issue is readily obtainable in circulated and most Mint State grades by No Motto Liberty Seated half dollar standards, the present offering is exceedingly rare as a specimen striking. Indeed, it is the finer of only two Specimens certified by NGC, the other a Specimen-64 from the same die marriage (WB-9) that appeared as lot 3131 in our August 2016 ANA Sale. The exact reason for the New Orleans Mint preparing specimen strikings of the 1860-O half dollar have apparently been lost to history, but the physical attributes and eye appeal of this lovely example are proof enough of its special status. Destined for inclusion in the finest cabinet of Liberty Seated and/or New Orleans Mint coinage.
NGC Census: just 2 in all grades in the Specimen category.
NGC ID: CFVK.
Click here for certification details from NGC.