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Trivia Questions (misc Seated)

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1. Of the halves dated 1850, 1851 and 1852, list in decreasing order their rarity in UNC. (Include the branch mints.)

 

2. Of the dollar proofs dated in the 1840s, some experts say that there are restrikes from the 1850s. Cite some evidence to this assertion.

 

3. Of the Trade Dollar varieties based on type 1 and 2 obv and rev die pairings, which unchopped business strike variety is the rarest?

 

Prize: satisfaction! (I wouldn't want to be accused of contributing to a rash of alcoholism among board members!)

 

EVP

 

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3. Of the Trade Dollar varieties based on type 1 and 2 obv and rev die pairings, which unchopped business strike variety is the rarest?

 

Based on personal experience, I'd have to say the business-strike 1876 II/II is the rarest. I've only seen three. Two were PL and one was so cleaned it was impossible to tell if it was originally PL or not. Has anyone seen one with a really satiny luster?

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Breen's encyclopedia of proof coins states something to the effect of, "it is not certain if all the proof dollars from 1840-1852 were struck contemporaneously". Bowers repeats the thought in the Long sale catalog, the definitive sale for early proof Seated dollars (May '95). This is another one of those things that Breen may have made up & that we'll never be able to prove one way or another. Breen is the ONE coin book I would want to have on a desert island, but his lack of identifying primary sources is very frustrating for everyone who has to use him.

 

I would also expect that some clues to the post striking of 1840s era proof dollars could be found by careful inspection of 19th century auction catalogs - there would be nothing conclusive, but one might find opinions from the cataloguers which could possibly be "interesting" in this regard.

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Wiley-Bugert give the following ratings for MS half dollars:

 

1852-O: R7+

1850: R6

1851: R6-

1851-O: R5+

1852: R5

1850-O: R5-

 

Now, let's see how the pop reports stack up:

 

1852-O: 3 NGC, 5 PCGS (1 of the NGCs is a proof, which EVP would call Unc)

1850: 19 NGC, 13 PCGS

1851: 11 NGC, 16 PCGS

1851-O: 16 NGC, 19 PCGS

1852: 20 NGC, 40 PCGS

1850-O: 35 NGC, 38 PCGS

 

Both lists are in the same order except that the grading services would have the 1850 and 1851 reversed. I'll put the 1851 2nd since the mintage is lower (200K vs. 227K), agreeing with the grading service list.

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EVP,

I honestly have no clue blush.gif and I dont have any reference material handy to look stuff up. I did some searching on google & came up with nothing. When I go home for turkey im bringin back a buncha my coin reference books grin.gif

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Coin-beast,

 

Thanks for the detailed response regarding the Seated Halves. I'd have to agree with you that the '51 is rarer than the '50. Otherwise, I think we're in sync.

 

As for the matter of the early date dollar proofs, there is significant evidence to show that the entire run of 1840-1850 dated proofs can be assembled where they all share the same reverse die.

 

Moreover, none of them exhibit signs of die rust.

 

I haven't checked recently, but I believe the Silverman catalog (Heritage, CSNS 2002) got into this. As I recall, the cataloger believed that all of the Silverman early proofs were restrikes.

 

There is no good record of how many ``original'' proofs were struck, nor how many dies were prepared or even used. Back then, a die could have been used for specimen strikes as well as for regular strikes.

 

It is easy to mistake an ``original'' specimen striking with a special MS piece.

 

EVP

 

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