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Rare Original Proof 1836 Half Cent to be Featured in our May 2019 Baltimore Auction

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

Author: James McCartney / Tuesday, May 14, 2019 / Categories: United States Coin of the Week

Proof early American copper coinage is one of the most fascinating and intensely pursued series in numismatics. Mint records are largely unclear on these half cents and large cents, leaving much of the production statistics to be drawn from the surviving populations. Most issues are known by only a handful of pieces, a supply that in no way meets the demand from collectors. We are delighted to offer an exceptional   Proof-only 1836 half cent in lot 3288 of our May 2019 Baltimore auction. Certified Proof-62 BN (NGC) and struck from original dies, it is an important opportunity for both specialists and type collectors.

Breen noted about 12 surviving examples of the Original Proof 1836 issue when he wrote his Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins (1977), but counted roughly twice that many in his Encyclopedia of United States Half Cents (1983). In the four decades since, certified populations have increased our insight into the number of pieces extant. The present coin is an important survivor, with just eight graded finer by NGC in this category.

The dark steel-blue patina reveals a blend of crimson and turquoise iridescence beneath a light source. The fields are semi-reflective with more satiny luster blanketing the design elements. The strike is sharp and the surfaces are attractive.

Most recently, we offered the finest certified Original Proof 1836 half cent in our March 2017 sale of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part V. Certified Proof-66 BN (PCGS), it realized $117,500 in lot 5081. The overall scarcity of this issue ensures that it is in demand across all grades, as exemplified by the Proof-45 (PCGS) example that garnered $3,290 in our March 2016 auction.

The present Original Proof-62 BN (NGC) rarity is offered in lot 3288 of our May 2019 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Summer Expo. The auction is now available for viewing and bidding on our website www.stacksbowers.com, or you may contact our offices to secure a printed catalog. To speak with a numismatic representative, please call 800-458-4646 or email info@stacksbowers.com. Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple device.