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1839 Drapery Seated Liberty Half Dollar PCGS MS65

2023-11-01 18:11:00
1839 Drapery Seated Liberty Half Dollar PCGS MS65

1839 Drapery Seated Liberty Half Dollar PCGS MS65

Jack McNamara's Live Auction Featured Coin

Thursday, November 2nd, 2023


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  • Mintage: 1,872,400
  • NGC Population: 6/0
  • PCGS Population: 6/0
  • Collectors Universe Price Guide = $25,000
  • Numismatists today consider Mint engraver Christian Gobrecht to be one of the most talented and accomplished engravers in the history of the United States Mint.
  • His Seated Liberty and Liberty Head masterpieces were the featured designs on two denominations that had been out of circulation for more than thirty-years, the nation’s silver dollar and ten-dollar gold eagle.
  • With the last silver dollar having been struck in 1803, and the last gold eagle minted in 1804, resuming production for each denomination were important numismatic events, especially considering both were considered the flagship silver and gold coins of America when the U.S. developed its own monetary system in the late 18th century.
  • From 1836 through 1891, Christian Gobrecht’s Seated Liberty design was implemented on all U.S. silver coinage. Among the five silver coins in circulation (half dime, dime, quarter dollar, half dollar and dollar) the half dollar was the last to witness a design change in 1839, possibly due to its extensive use in day-to-day commerce and the reluctancy to cause any disruption in production.
  • The Seated Liberty design was evolutionary artistry being that it was the first full-figure representation of Liberty in United States Mint history. Additional designs would soon follow such as the Standing Liberty design seen on the quarter dollar, the Walking Liberty design seen on the half dollar and Saint Gaudens’ double eagle design.
  • In the first year of production for the Seated Liberty Half Dollar two variations were struck by the Mint. A fold of drapery at the crook of Liberty’s left elbow was added to the design to balance it out part way through 1839.
  • A recorded mintage of 100,000 coins were minted without drapery and another 1,872,400 with drapery, but on the scale of rarity, the two types are rather comparable.
  • PCGS has certified roughly 400 examples for the No Drapery type and 350 for the With Drapery type, of which 43 and 55 Mint State examples exist, respectively.
  • However, the price points that each trade for in the same grade is anything but comparable. Being that the 1839 No Drapery is a one-year type and technically the very first issue produced, it tends to generate significant premiums.
  • While an 1839 Drapery Seated Liberty Half Dollar has an established price guide of approximately $25,000 In MS65, the No Drapery type is listed at $175,000 and the last three examples have realized on average $135,000.
  • The present 1839 Drapery Seated Liberty Half Dollar graded MS65 by PCGS displays beautiful original surfaces with expressive cobalt-blue and russet-orange hues surrounding the peripherals of the coin.
  • It is a brilliant Gem specimen, tied for finest known for the first year of issue from one the most accomplished U.S. Mint Engraver’s most influential designs.