The finest known 1797 Draped Bust half dollar sold for $1.68 million in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries March 2021 Las Vegas Auction, setting a new record as the most valuable United States half dollar. Graded MS-66 by PCGS with provenance to the magnificent Pogue Collection, it was offered on March 25th in the firm’s Rarities Night session which will be remembered as an historic evening for American numismatics.
Produced for only two years in 1796 and 1797, the Draped Bust, Small Eagle half dollar is considered the rarest design type among American silver coinage. It is an incredible challenge at all grade levels and is typically encountered well-worn in Fine or Very Fine condition, often with surface problems. Fewer than 200 examples survive from the 1797 issue, only about 10 of which are in Mint State.
The Pogue specimen is considered the finest known from this exclusive group and has long been recognized as very significant. It is traced back to the legendary collection of Virgil Brand formed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This record $1.68 million result represents only the third time this piece has sold at auction since it entered the Brand cabinet over 100 years ago – each of these three sales was conducted by Stack’s Bowers Galleries.
The Pogue 1797 half dollar was one of several records achieved in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries March 2021 sale, including an $8.4 million result for the finest known 1822 half eagle, also from the Pogue Collection, now the most valuable U.S. Mint gold coin.
With the success of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries March 2021 Las Vegas Auction, the firm is looking ahead to their June 2-4, 2021 Showcase Auction to be hosted in their new state-of-the-art headquarters and auction gallery in Costa Mesa, California. Consignments of U.S. coins, tokens and medals for the June auction are invited through April 8. For more information on the outstanding results from the March sale or to consign your collection to the Stack’s Bowers Galleries June 2021 Auction, visit StacksBowers.com or call 800-458-4646 to speak with a numismatic specialist.