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I reached a long awaited milestone posted by JTO

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

I have always had my eye on reaching 1 million points but never really thought I would get there.


I have a strong predilection for New Orleans coinage. So it seems fitting that the coin the put me over 1 million point mark was a New Orleans issue. I have been looking for this coin in and circulated condition for the past 8-10 years. After careful analysis of auction records there are probably less than 20 truly Mint State examples in the market. Many have come to the auction block multiple times; they have had hammer prices for MS-62 examples range from $4500 to > $10, 000.

The 1838--O half dime was, potentially, the very first circulating coin to be produced by the new Branch Mint in New Orleans. For whatever reason, it appears that unlike many other first issue coins, this one was not saved or set aside. This may be because concurrently there was the 1838--O dime. It had both a larger mintage as well as being the larger coin. Because the designs are essentially identical it might of made sense to save the dime and not worry about saving any examples of the half dime.

Regardless of the reason the 1838-O half dime is rare in any grade but particularly uncommon in Mint State condition. I've lost this coin at auction more times and I care to remember, has the bidding rose above my comfort zone. This time I put in my bid on Heritage Live and walked away for the computer. When I could wait no longer I found that not only had I won the coin but for the reserve, that was less that the last time it changed hands. I have added it to my custom New Orleans issue type set. And, by adding it to my feeble half dime set it bumped my overall point total over the 1 Mil mark.

As a self-admitted coin nerd I know that this must seem pretty sad that something like this would register and an actual milestone for me. But there you have it in all my nerd glory and what a coin!



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