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Half Dime Discovery by Electric Peak Collection

3 posts in this topic

  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

Having fun examining things closely...


Another coin I got from the Heritage auctions associated with the recent FUN show is an 1871 proof half dime. I already had one graded PF 64 Cameo, and wanted to upgrade to this new PF 66 Cameo. But there is a difference more important to me than the TPG grade.


The Redbook and other references say that 960 1871 proof half dimes were struck. In his book on Liberty Seated Half Dimes, Al Blythe stated that many of them were melted in July 1873, a few months after the denomination had been discontinued. In the era of proof production for collectors, from 1858 on, references indicate that one die pair was used for proofs in 11 of the years (including 1871), and that two proof varieties exist for the other five years.


My two 1871 proofs were not made from the same obverse die. In the images below, you can see that the date is farther to the left in the right-hand image. When I reported this on the Liberty Seated Collectors Club chat boards, one of the other members took it upon himself to examine about fifteen other recently sold 1871 proof half dimes in the Heritage archives. All of them match the coin on the left below, except for my new one on the right.


Although fifteen coins is not the entire sample of extant 1871 proof half dimes, for the time being, I think it is pretty cool to own the only currently known example of this new proof variety. Unfortunately, half dimes are not popular enough for this to be especially valuable. But I plan to hold on to it for a long time regardless.


I hope all of you have as much fun with our hobby as I do...





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That's is very interesting. I can see that the date on the right coin is further to the left of the shield and it appears that the first 1 of the date maybe a little more robust then the one pictured on the left coin as well also the U in united appears to be closer to the seat in the coin on the right ,,,the last two difference maybe due to the depth of the strike. I'm no expert by any means but I do find these differences interesting to say the least. Congrats on your new coin and I hope this will be a new variety for you.

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