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Extraordinary 1831 Full Brockage Obverse Half Dollar to be Featured in our November 2016 Baltimore Auction

Highlighting our upcoming November 2016
Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo is an exceedingly
rare and extremely important major early half dollar Mint error. The obverse is
properly struck but off center a few degrees at 3 to 4 o’clock with no
denticulation along the lower right border. The reverse, on the other hand,
displays a full, well-centered incuse mirror image from the obverse of a
previously struck 1831 half dollar that had remained on the reverse die when
the present example was struck. The error, known as a brockage, is rotated 180
degrees from normal coin alignment. The detail to the brockage is excellent,
sharper than that seen on the obverse, which displays moderate wear appropriate
for the VF grade from PCGS. Lovely golden-gray patina blankets the brockage
side, while the obverse is a bit lighter silver gray. A short, thin scratch in
the left obverse field before Liberty’s nose is noted, as are a few equally
trivial marks on Liberty’s cheek and behind the portrait on the brockage side.
Visually stunning and of the utmost rarity, this phenomenal coin would serve as
the centerpiece in the finest collection of early half dollars or major Mint
errors.


There are only two full obverse
brockage errors known for the entire early U.S. half dollar series, 1794 to
1836, and interestingly they are both examples of the 1831 Capped Bust issue.
As follows:


1 – PCGS VF-25The present example.
A newcomer to the modern numismatic market, this piece is not listed in the
Spring 2016 revision to Stephen J. Herrman’s Auction & Mail Bid Prices Realized
for Bust Half Dollars: 1794-1839
. It is far finer than the
following example, not only with more detail remaining on the obverse but, more
significantly, with virtually all definition to the brockage full and
complete. The only mentionable lack of detail is confined to the letters RTY in
LIBERTY, which are faint, yet still discernible. The obverse is that of the
Overton-103 variety, identifiable by the positions of stars 1 and 7 relative to
the denticles, the base of the digit 8 in the date slightly lower than that of
the 1, and faint traces of a delicate die crack connecting the bases of those
two digits.


2 – Good-6. Ex our (Bowers
and Merena’s) sale of the James D. Brilliant Collection, January 1992, lot 407;
Charlton Meyer; Sheridan Downey, 2009; Henry Hilgard; Charles Link. Prior to
the discovery of the example being offered here, this coin was the only known
obverse brockage in the early half dollar series, 1794 to 1836. This coin is
more heavily worn on the obverse than the present piece, hence the Good-6
grade, and the brockage lacks considerable detail to portions of Liberty’s
portrait and several of the stars. The obverse die is that of the O-111 variety
(Obverse 7).


One of the most important early half
dollars that we have ever offered, this piece is sure to see spirited bidding
in its first auction appearance. It will be featured among numerous world-class
rarities in our November 2016 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles
Expo. To obtain your copy of the catalog or to consign your rarities to a
future showcase event, please contact our offices today at 1-800-458-4646 to
speak with a Consignment Director and see what Stack’s Bowers Galleries can do
for you.


 




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