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1836 reeded edge half dollars---mystery patterns released into circulation ??

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are they considered patterns 893scratchchin-thumb.gif


the mintage is 1200 or really approx. 2500 893scratchchin-thumb.gif


why are the rims weak on these coins in circ. to unc. grades 893scratchchin-thumb.gif


are they the first coin struck on the steam press 893scratchchin-thumb.gif


if they are patterns why were they released into circulation after being struck really late in the year 1836 893scratchchin-thumb.gif


any other comments or information on the controversal and highly collectible 1836 reeded edge half??


post a photo or your coin thumbsup2.gif


why are they so really rare in true unc 893scratchchin-thumb.gif i take it not many saved 893scratchchin-thumb.gif



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I've thought about the excellent questions you pose, but really do not have an acceptable answer for them. Here is my AU55-



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Beautiful reeded edge Tom.


I have found that the following grading services have graded this amount in all grades.


PCGS 219

NGC 162


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Here is what I know (or at least think I know about the RE's from 36!!)


The ACTUAL number minted is an unknown because of a "temporary" change of

the recording procedures, for some reason (pressure?)

From Apr 4, 2006 numismatic news:

"The problem with the mintage figure for this coin is that we do not have the 1836 internal records of the chief coiner's department showing daily production. Rather, in 1836 Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt and Mint Treasurer William Findlay agreed that, for the time being, once-a-month deliveries of silver and gold coin would be acceptable in lieu of every few days." Mint records show that 738,000 half dollars were delivered by the chief coiner in November and 1,034,200 in December. There is really no way of knowing how many of these were the "standard" open collar CBH's and how many were the new Reeded Edge type.


The first coins made on the steam press were the smaller denoms - halfdime thru quarter. They had problems with the big coins. Apparently even the quarters were even an issue, since almost every variety has many die cracks, and very few early die state (no cracks) examples remain. I believe that the first CBH's on the new press were probably the famous but elusive crushed lettered edge proofs, but maybe not. They might have just been used to test the first closed collar CBH's on the old hand press? At any rate, there are VERY FEW of these, and none of them that I know of are actually dated 1836.


My guess as to why they were released is because they NEEDED them to fill a bank

order, late in the year. From what I can dig out of the available (to me ) information, they

still built to order in 1836, and did not "project" quantities like they do today. I believe that there was a strong need for actual silver in all the banks that were formed that year when they shutdown the Bank of the United States. I seem to recall reading that the new banks had to have actual silver and gold on hand to cover all the paper money that had been issued over the years - but I don't know where I read it??


Here is a pic of mine - I'd call it an XF:


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I wish I knew the answers to these questions. I owned a straight-graded MS-60 in an ANACS holder years ago, but sold it. It wasn't weakly struck at all, but was a bit ":scrubby".

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The mint did not get their own bullion accounts for puchasing silver and gold on the open market for the governments account until 1837. So the silver for the 1836 reeded edge halves would have had to come from a depositor. And they tended to strike the denominations the depositor requested. Although the coiners records don't help, I wonder if the deposit records are still available and if so would they shed some light on the subject?

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