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All Posts Tagged With: "Half Dollars"

Pinnacle Rarities Trades Finest Known Walking Liberty Half

Elusive 1921-S PCGS MS66 is Placed through Private Treaty

Pinnacle Rarities is proud to announce the private treaty sale of the finest known 1921-S Walking Liberty half. The coin is graded MS66 and is the single finest graded at PCGS. The 1921-S is by far the rarest Walking Liberty half in the uncirculated grades, and is very elusive in the top gem grades.

Most of the early Walkers are tough, especially in gem or better. With the end of WWI, the early twenties saw a decrease in demand for circulating coinage. As such, the mintage figures for 1921 are low. The years surrounding the end of the war produced the series’ most prized dates.

For 1921 all three mint marks are elusive, and despite the slightly higher mintage from San Francisco, the bulk of them were heavily circulated or lost to attrition. Today surviving quality examples are scarce, Coinfacts gives this date a 9.1 in MS65 on a rarity scale of 1 – 10.

In relation to the other series keys, the 1921-S has a bit higher mintage. The lower circulated grades are more available than some more common dates. But as the condition reaches the extra-fine (XF) level, the date becomes increasingly tough. No date in the series has fewer coins graded in the uncirculated grades. Nothing is even close.

The 1919-D is considered by some the King of the Walker series. However, there are just 202 1921-S coins graded in the uncirculated grades and the next closest is the 19-D with 344. So, there are 142 more 19-D halves grading in MS60 or better then there are uncirculated 21-S halves.

In fact, Jeff Ambio author of Collecting & Strategies for Walking Liberty Half Dollars agrees, describing the date as “the rarest Walking Liberty Half in Mint State, (with) Choice examples having tremendous appeal in virtually any numismatic market.”

At Pinnacle Rarities, nothing gets sold on our website that we don’t want to buy back. Pinnacle Rarities takes pride in the fact that after decades of placing some of numismatic’s finest material, many of these rarities come back through our offices. This is a prime example. We have been lucky enough to trade this coin several times. We originally purchased this example from late numismatic icon – Jack Lee. We then placed it into the PCGS Hall of Fame GBW Collection. Although retired, that set still ranks as the all-time finest.

In 2004, we were fortunate enough to buy that collection. We again sold this example privately. When it was time to sell, that collector knew to call us first. And again, we found it a home in a very astute collector’s cabinet. We are unlikely to see this superb example again anytime soon. But rest assured, it has found a good home – no a GREAT home.

The coin has fabulous in hand eye appeal. It is the sharpest struck 1921-S example we’ve encountered. While there is some weakness evident in the central devices, it has great detail with good hand definition and crisp eagle leg feathers. The surfaces are extremely clean with only a couple light hits on the obverse.

The reverse is faultless. Some light toning in the peripheries provides a pleasing palette of color represented along the rims. This coin has been the centerpiece to every collection it’s been in, and will likely never find an equal.

All-Time Greatest Collection of Barber Half Dollars to be Auctioned in Boston, Part 2

by Greg Reynolds

In part 1, I introduced Dr. Duckor’s set of Barber Halves, mentioned the last two coins that he added, focused on his 1904-S half, and discussed the building of his set of Barber halves. Here in part 2, the historical and cultural importance of this set will be analyzed, with references to other landmark sets of Barber Halves. In my last weekly column, on Wed. Aug 4th, I discussed two other halves in Dr. Duckor’s set, both of which were previously in the Thaine Price collection, his 1893-O and 1895-S. (As usual, clickable links are in blue.)

IV. Gem Sets of Business Strike Barbers

Only a small number of collectors have attempted to assemble a set of gem quality Barber Half Dollars. These were minted from 1892 to 1915. Barber Dimes and Quarters were also first minted in 1892, though these continued until 1916. In low grades, Good-04 to Fine-12, a set of Barber Halves is easy to complete. Without consideration of the 1892 Micro O variety, Numismedia.com suggests that a whole set, in Good-04 grade, could be assembled for around $2500.

Generally, many collectors choose Barber Halves over Barber Quarters because a set of Barber Halves is easier to complete. An 1896-S quarter may cost as much as $1000 in Good condition, while a 1901-S quarter could easily cost more than $5000. So, kids and other beginners are often discouraged from Barber Quarters because they are concerned that they will never be able to complete a set. In grades of MS-65 and higher, though, Barber Halves are much more expensive than the quarters overall.

In many instances, when a collector becomes wealthy, he (or she) returns to some of the series that he collected when he had far less money, often to coin types that he collected as a kid or as a relatively young adult. As sets of circulated Barber Halves have been completed by so many collectors, I am surprised that so few advanced, wealthy collectors have sought to complete sets of gem quality Barber Halves. Such a quest may be very exciting.

Yes, gem quality Barber Halves have been worth significant sums of money since the late 1980s. From then to the present, however, it has often been type coin collectors and speculators that have demanded gem quality Barber Halves. Over the last century, there have been very few collectors, who strongly focused upon completing sets of gem quality, business strike Barber coins.

A perusal of catalogues of auctions of especially great collections from the 1940s to the 1970s demonstrates that minimal attention was given to Barber Halves. It seems that, in decades past, collectors of half dollars felt an obligation to include Barber Halves because traditional rules stipulate that a collection of classic half dollars should include all the dates that the respective collector could afford. In the traditions of coin collecting in the U.S., completion is a value of a high order.

Only in rare instances was a collection of business strike Barber Halves a focus. In addition to being the foremost researcher of U.S. Patterns, Saul Teichman has engaged in a tremendous amount of general research regarding great collections. “One point to remember is that Barber Halves were no big deal in the 1960s and early 1970s,” Teichman remarks, “many of these were under $100 in gem grade back then.”

Several of those who built the greatest U.S. coin collections of all time did, in fact, very much appreciate Barber Halves. Their respective collections featured numerous gem quality Barber Halves. (more…)

Collecting Date Sets of Liberty Seated Coinage – Part 1: Dollars and Half Dollars

By Dennis Hengeveld

Collecting seated coins can be fun, rewarding, and above all very challenging. Not many people can afford both the time and cost to search, find, and have the opportunity to buy the hard to find coins which are included in every seated series due to the many dates and mintmarks included in the series. Examples could be the 1878-S half dollar and various Carson City coins. These coins, “stoppers” as they are called, are expensive and very hard to find, often causing collectors to fail in their final goal of completing a series they have specialized in for a long time.
Seated Liberty Dollar and Half Dollar
Although I love seated coins, as a 19 year old I just can’t afford to complete any of the seated series in the grades I like, mainly AU50 to MS64 or higher in as original condition as I can find them. Of course, I might be able to buy those coins later in my life but I am not really the person who has the patience to buy coins for a set I know won’t be complete within an acceptable period time (“acceptable” for me is 8-10 years).

As you might guess, I had to find a solution. So, after buying my first certified seated coin (and my first seated coin anyway), which happened to be a wonderful and very original PCGS MS64 1871 Half Dime, I decided to try a very complete type set, with every single type in there (including coins with different weights but the same design). After buying my second Half Dime (1843 PCGS MS63 which after studying proved to be V-6a, the well-known repunched date) before buying any other seated coin, I got hooked to that series.

Yet, I already knew that the series was not possible to complete in both the time period in those grades I had in mind. So I searched for other solutions, with one of them described in this article: collecting the date-set; each date just one time without paying attention to mint marks. This technique is affordable and possible to complete, even for me with a limited budget.

In this article, all seated series, with the exception of the 20-cent series and the Trade Dollar (a series I personally do not consider a real seated type coin), are discussed. The 20-cent series is relatively easy but not fun to complete with only two business strike dates. Thus, for now, it is not included in this article. I will shortly describe the coins in the set and the difficulty of completing a date-set. For the first series of the seated type, this article will start with the highest denomination in the series, the Silver Dollar. (more…)

PCGS To Dispaly All-Time Finest Registry Set of Early U.S. Half Dollars at FUN

1794 half dollar, PCGS MS61 finest known, from the Dale Friend Collection.More than 100 coins from the all-time finest registry set of early U.S. half dollars in the PCGS Set RegistrySM will be displayed at the Professional Coin Grading Service booth, January 7 – 9, 2010, during the first three days of the Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando. The coins are from the collection of Dale Friend of Nevada, and 20 of them are either the finest or tied for the finest ever graded by PCGS.

“This wonderful collection has been assembled over many years. Dale has always attempted to combine the finest technical grade with the choicest eye appeal. Most of these early half dollars have gorgeous, original toning and luster, and are a pleasure to examine,” said Donald E. Willis, Jr., President of PCGS, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

Friend’s basic set collection of circulation strike early half dollars, 1794 – 1839, has been ranked number one in the PCGS Set Registry the past six years. His set with major varieties has been the best the past four years. Both sets have earned the honor of being the number one all-time finest in their category.

“The basic set is 100 percent complete and has a weighted grade point average of 59.831. The early half dollars set with varieties is nearly 90 percent complete and has a weighted GPA of 59.104,” said BJ Searls, PCGS Set Registry Manager.

A total of 101 coins from Friend’s award-winning early half dollars collections will be exhibited at the PCGS booth, #138, at the FUN convention. (more…)