P. Scott Rubin:
The 1866 No Motto Half Dollar J-538 is a unique coin which first appeared at auction in January, 1890 where it was sold by New York Coin Company as lot 709 of the R. Coulton Davis collection. This same sale contained the 1866 No Motto Quarter J-536 but not the semi-unique 1866 No Motto Silver Dollar J-540.
The 1866 No Motto Half Dollar has only appeared in three auctions in the history of numismatics while the 1866 No Motto Quarter has appeared in four auctions and the 1866 No Motto Silver Dollar has appeared in seven auctions. Although many believe a set of all three coins has been kept together since they were stuck there is only one auction in which all three coins appeared, the 1954 Sotheby’s Egypt Palace Sale.
The 1866 No Motto Half Dollar, which is a pattern, is collected with and listed with the regular issued coinage in A Guide Book Of United States Coins, and would be valued well over a million dollars if it were ever to be sold.
There are a number of mysteries surrounding this coin. Why and by whom was it made? How did it get into the hands of R. Coulton Davis? Is the following Pedigree complete and correct? R. Coulton Davis, John Haseltine, Stephen K. Nagy, H.O. Granberg, William Woodin, Waldo Newcomer, Wayte Raymond, Col. E.H.R. Green, F.C.C. Boyd, Abe Kosoff, King Farouk, The Egyptian Government, Abe Kosoff and Sol Kaplan, Edward M. Hydeman, du Pont Family from whom it was stolen, a California coin dealer, back to du Pont Family. The story of this coin and the other two coins which make up the current three coin set, now on loan to the A.N.A., help make each of the three coins, million dollar collectables.
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