Owner's Comments

O-101, Rarity 4. Old Green Holder (OGH). From Heritage's 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando #1216, Lot 4801.

Expert Comments

Ron Guth

1794 was the first year for of the Half Dollar denomination (for some reason, no pattern Half Dollars were made in 1792 even though the Half Dollar was a part of the official, coinage scheme).  The mintage reported for this inaugural year was only 23,464 pieces, which was less than a tenth of the following year.  Because this was a high-denomination coin, few "man-on-the-street" types ever saw this coin, assuming they even knew it existed.  Thus, very few ended being preserved for future generations.  

Of the five Mint State 1794 Half Dollars, the star is the PCGS MS64 from the D. Brent Pogue Collection that sold for $763,750 in 2015. The next best example appears to be the Reed Hawn coin that last sold as part of the Queller Family Collection in 2002 for $195,500.  That coin was called Choice Brilliant Uncirculated in 2002 and has not reappeared at auction since then.


Don Willis

Any 1794 half in XF or better is scarce. Most come damaged or in low grade. With only 3 coins in mint state and 3 in AU58 the mystique of this first year issue grows even stronger when you are holding a high grade example in your hands. There are 11 different varieties for the year. The first 7 aren't too difficult to find but the last 4 are either R7 or R8 and nearly impossible to locate. Rumor is that a large hoard of app. 200 exists on the West Coast.
Diameter
32.50 millimeters
Designer
Robert Scot
Edge
Lettered: FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR
Mintage
23464
Weight
13.48 grams
Metal Content
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Country
The United States of America
Pop Higher
149
Pop Lower
219
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades
65 or Better 1200 R-4.9 5 / 6 5 / 6
All Grades 5 R-9.7 3 / 6 3 / 6
60 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 6 1 / 6

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS64 PCGS grade MS64 PCGS grade

F.C.C. Boyd Collection - Numismatic Gallery “World’s Greatest Collection” 4/1945:2, $210 - Jimmy Hayes Collection - Stack’s 10/1985:50, $55,000 - Stack’s 10/1989:693 - RARCOA, sold privately in 3/1993 - Douglas L. Noblet Collection - Bowers & Merena 1/1999:1, $288,500 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack’s/Bowers & Sotheby’s 5/2015:1095, $763,750

2 MS63 estimated grade

Reed Hawn Collection - Stack’s 8/1973:1 - Queller Family Collection - Stack’s 10/2002:1, $195,500

3 MS62 estimated grade
4 MS61 PCGS grade MS61 PCGS grade

Richard B. Winsor Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 12/1895:598 - John M. Clapp Collection - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/7/1997:1660, $77,000 - Dale Friend Collection

4 MS61 PCGS grade MS61 PCGS grade

Stack's "Empire Collection" 11/1957:1264 - John R. Gregg, Jr. Collection - Stack's 1/2004:3303, $132,250 - American Numismatic Rarities 8/2006:544, $195,500 - Simpson Collection