14 December 2000
Choice Mint State 1857-S Half Eagle
Low Date, Small S
$5, 1857-S MS-64 (PCGS). Low Date, Small S. Three different 1857-S half eagles in the present sale are each from a different die combination! Reflective light yellow gold lustre with considerable cameo contrast.
A few marks are noted and, of course, prompt the assigning of the MS-64 grade rather than a higher value-but, never mind, generations of specialists have been born and have died without seeing a coin which even closely approaches the present piece in quality! Indeed, this is a fantastic opportunity. This is an extremely attractive example that is sure to gain the specialist's attention.
Low date with digit 1 approximately centered between bust and border, and with right corner of 7 touching the bust. Small S mintmark left of center with corner of arrow feather over right serif. In his Complete Encyclopedia, Walter Breen divided the 87,000 coin mintage into two groups with 40,000 of this Small S variety and 47,000 Large S. Breen also mentioned that these are all prohibitively rare above EF. The two MS-64 examples in the current offering are the only two such certified by PCGS with none finer. [SSCA 6093].
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Post Lot Text
This and the other MS-64 in the present sale are tied for finest certified by PCGS from the S.S. Central America treasure.
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