1835 50C Crushed Lettered Edge (Proof)

Series: Capped Bust Half Dollars 1817-1839

PCGS PR64

PCGS PR64

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PCGS #:
6220
Designer:
John Reich
Edge:
Lettered: FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR
Diameter:
32.50 millimeters
Weight:
13.50 grams
Mintage:
5
Mint:
Philadelphia
Metal:
89.2% Silver, 10.8% Copper
Major Varieties

Current Auctions - PCGS Graded
Current Auctions - NGC Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - PCGS Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - NGC Graded

Condition Census What Is This?

Pos Grade Image Pedigree and History
1 PR64 PCGS grade

Dr. C.A. Allenburger Collection - B. Max Mehl 3/1948:917, $52.50 - John Jay Pittman Collection - David Akers 5/1998:1508, $66,000

1 PR64 PCGS grade

George H. Earle Collection - Henry Chapman 6/1912:2955 - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:1900, $121,000 - Bowers & Merena 7/2003:1529, $98,900

3 PR63 PCGS grade

Heritage 1/2015:4130, $56,400

#1 PR64 PCGS grade

Dr. C.A. Allenburger Collection - B. Max Mehl 3/1948:917, $52.50 - John Jay Pittman Collection - David Akers 5/1998:1508, $66,000

#1 PR64 PCGS grade

George H. Earle Collection - Henry Chapman 6/1912:2955 - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:1900, $121,000 - Bowers & Merena 7/2003:1529, $98,900

#3 PR63 PCGS grade

Heritage 1/2015:4130, $56,400

Ron Guth:

The 1835 Half Dollar with crushed edge lettering is an interesting and mysterious anomaly in numismatics. Researchers debate as to when these were struck. Some say prior to 1836 because the reverse die was used subsequently, in a later die state, to strike 1836-dated Half Dollars. Walter Breen suggests they were made in 1836 or later because close collars were not used until then.

The edge lettering on these coins was crushed during the striking process when the metal squeezed up against the retaining collar. With nowhere to go, the edge simply flattened. Had the pressure been sufficient, it might have obliterated all remnants of the lettering.

The crushed edge lettering Proof Half Dollars of 1833, 1834, and 1835 are all very rare and, for some reason, all three were ignored in the Overton reference of half dollar die varieties. Today, they are highly prized by collectors.

Only three to four examples are known, though there are several auction citations that have not yet been reconciled to the known specimens (if that may not even be possible). One example survives in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution and the Eliasberg and Pittman coins are two more verifiable examples.