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YOU NEVER KNOW.....

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Wissahickon Collection

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WHAT MIGHT POP UP!!!

A recent purchase was an 1861 Half Dime, MS-62 NGC. It's initial appeal was primarily nice luster and very pretty, light gold toning.

Once I had the coin in hand, it had a rather unusual look; so out comes the loupe, and here's what I found:

-Very strong die clashing on both sides of the coin.

-The obverse strike was especially sharp on central devices (head, torso, and foot details).

I'm now thinking, "this little beauty is really undergraded!"

-Obverse periphery is not struck as well, but not notably weak.

-Reverse central device has an acceptable strike.

-Upper left quadrant of reverse periphery is extremely weak.

-Upper right quadrant is somewhat weak.

-Lower periphery is well struck.

My thoughts- so much for being undergraded. MS-62 is just about right, for eye appeal is good.

Could these alternating areas of strengths and weaknesses in strike be due to attempts to polish clash marks from the dies?

My last check was to scrutinize the date for a possible 1861/0 waiting to be discovered. Darn! No such luck, but the date did look a bit "different".

Under the microscope, a repunched last "1" was clearly visible- the underdigit lies just above the left foot of the overdate, and shows a parallel shaft up to the flag. Out comes my copy of Al Blythe's Half Dime reference, and there he describes my find! It is the V-7, the latest variety identified at the time of publishing (1990's).

I have no idea how many have been identified, or if this is any great rarity. I'd love to hear from any LSCCS members, or anyone else who might know.

This is my second repunching find in the last 3 weeks. Coins never cease to surprise and entertain!

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