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Rare Money Blog

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist and Consignment Director

​The half dime is significant as the first denomination struck by the United States Mint, starting with the "small beginning" of 1,500 half dismes delivered to Thomas Jefferson on July 13, 1792. The next issue of half dimes featured the Flowing Hair type designed by Robert Scot. While the dies for 1794 half dimes were ready by year's end, they were not put into service until 1795. All told, 86,416 Flowing Hair half dimes were struck that year, of which 78,660 were dated 1795. In 1796, the obverse was replaced with the Draped Bust motif.

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist and Consignment Director

​Italian artist Jean-Baptiste Nini is most famous for his series of terra cotta medallions of Benjamin Franklin produced circa 1777. These medallions have proven very popular over the past two centuries and are still prized by collectors today. They have also inspired several series of reproductions or aftercasts, largely produced in the mid-to-late 19th century. We are delighted to present an important example from these aftercast issues in our March 2020 Baltimore Auction, which will be offered alongside several important pieces of medallic Frankliniana.

To be on Display at the 2020 FUN Convention in Orlando, Florida

​Stack's Bowers Galleries is proud  to continue our tradition of presenting world-class rarities at auction by featuring 1884 and 1885 Proof trade dollars in the March 18-20, 2020 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo in Baltimore.

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

​Assistant Engraver John Reich’s Classic Head design type was introduced on the large cents of 1808 and debuted on the half cents of the following year. It was relatively short lived on the larger denomination and lasted only through 1814, although it was employed on the half cent for nearly 30 years culminating with the Proof issues of 1836.

By Ben Orooji, Senior Numismatist

​Our January Collectors Choice Online sale is coming up in a few weeks and, as usual, features a number of exciting coins perfectly suited to collectors of popular United States issues. One of the highlights of this sale is a premium quality 1927-S Walking Liberty half dollar with lovely mint frost and very smooth surfaces that has been certified MS-65 by PCGS. The real treat, however, is the outstanding eye appeal created by splashes of golden-orange and pink toning on both sides, a rather unusual feature for this issue. Softness of strike to the central high points is noted, but should be considered in the context of the overall issue for which a soft strike was endemic.

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

​Though often overlooked by seasoned collectors, the "modern" US series struck in the mid-to-late 20th century can offer a considerable challenge at the very highest levels of production quality and preservation. The Franklin half dollar is one of these series, featuring a surprising number of condition and strike rarities despite mintages as high as 35.4 million pieces (1962-D). In our March 2020 Baltimore auction we are delighted to offer a stunning 1953-S Franklin half dollar that ranks among the most desirable survivors of just 4.14 million struck.

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

The large cents struck by the United States Mint in the 18th century were crucial to the fledging economy of young America. They were extensively used in everyday transactions and many were damaged, lost, or worn smooth as a result. Few collectors will ever own a Mint State example from this era, let along anything approaching Gem condition.

By Ben Orooji, Senior Numismatist

Though our March Baltimore 2020 Auction is three months away, consignments have been rolling in for this popular and exciting event. One of the highlights received thus far is an exceptionally rare so-called dollar, the famous Erie Canal Completion medal struck in gold.

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