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By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

Our Spring 2019 Baltimore Auction, taking place from February 27 through March 5, is highlighted by an exceptional group of early half eagles from the Capped Bust Right series. Among the most impressive is an incredible 1797/5 BD-7, certified MS-61 (NGC) and assigned a Rarity-6+ rating. The overdate seen on this variety is one of the boldest in the entire realm of American coinage, easily as plain as the 1942/1-D dime, 1918/7-D nickel, 1918/7-S quarter, and other well-known overdates.​​

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

The 1799 large cent and the 1804 large cent have long been recognized as the two rarest dates in the Draped Bust series. Sheldon-266 is the only known die marriage for 1804, and while the exact mintage is unknown, it is usually estimated at 96,500 pieces, derived from the final delivery of the year made on December 31. ​​

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

Proof quarter eagle mintages began to rise in the 1880s and finally crested 100 pieces in 1887 for the first time since 1860.  A relatively steady rise in output followed through the 1890s, with 106 Proof examples struck in 1893. Specialist John Dannreuther explores this issue in-depth in his new 2018 reference United States Proof Coins, Volume IV: Gold, and notes that just a single die pair is responsible for the entire mintage. ​

By Ben Orooji, Numismatist and Assistant Production Manager, U.S. Coins

Mint error collectors will surely take notice of a fantastic double struck 1959-D Franklin half dollar coming up for auction in our Baltimore Spring Expo Auction. Of special note is the large spread between the strikings. After being struck once, the coin failed to eject properly and was subsequently struck again 55% off center to 6:00 in a nearly parallel fashion. The result is visually striking with Franklin’s head and nose nearly fully replicated below on the obverse while the reverse shows about 1/3 of the Liberty Bell replicated above the original striking. The date and mintmark remain bold despite being partially flattened after the second strike, and the legends are enjoyable to decipher, considering where some portions of the design have been obliterated and others are merely flattened.

By Ben Orooji, Numismatist and Assistant Production Manager, U.S. Coins

One of the highlights of December Collectors Choice auction was a beautiful MCMVII (1907) Saint-Gaudens double eagle struck in high relief with a wire rim and certified by PCGS as Choice Mint State-63. This beautiful specimen displays fully lustrous splendid golden-yellow surfaces, a soft satin texture and a full strike. A classic 20th century design that has been eagerly sought after since its inception, the MCMVII High Relief $20 is frequently lauded as one of the most beautiful ever produced by the United States Mint. The present specimen was sold without reserve and realized $21,600.

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

The Proof 1950 Franklin half dollar represents a significant challenge for advanced specialists of the series. This issue marks the first time the Mint had struck Proof half dollars since 1942, a mintage of 51,386, which would remain the smallest Proof mintage of the series. Many problems plagued the production of Proof halves that year, resulting in overall low quality.​​

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

The 1848-D Liberty Head half eagle has one the lowest mintages of the denomination at the Dahlonega Mint in the 1840s. Just 47,465 examples were struck, amounting to nearly 17,000 fewer half eagles than were produced the year before.  Though it was once considered to be somewhat common in the context of Dahlonega issues, modern research and population reports have identified the 1848-D $5 as a truly important coin. ​​

By James McCartney, Senior Numismatist

​The 1824/2 Capped Bust quarter is an incredible condition rarity among the early quarter issues of the U.S. Mint. Just a single die pair was employed to strike this issue, producing an estimated 16,000 coins according to series specialist Steve Tompkins.

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