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Obverse of 1773 Virginia Halfpenny - With Period after GEORGIVS     Reverse of 1773 Virginia Halfpenny - With Period after GEORGIVS



Images courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.

Recent appearances:
(illustrated above).  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The Benson Collection" Sale - Part 1, February 18-20, 2001

PCGS MS-64 Red.  Ex - Paul Arthur Norris - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Pre-Long Beach Sale", September 23 & 24, 2002, Lot 28, illustrated, where it was described as follows: "PCGS graded MS-64 Red. A delightful example that boasts full original mint red! Splendid surfaces throughout, with an excellent strike and a very clean planchet. Both sides have just a couple of very trivial specks, but they are microscopic and not at all distracting. PCGS has graded 18 this high, with just one coin graded a notch higher in Red. Almost certainly from a keg that was found in Richmond, Virginia just prior to the Civil War. The hoard ended up in the hands of Col. Mendes I. Cohen of Baltimore, and eventually the keg was sold piecemeal until Wayte Raymond purchased the remaining 2,200 or so pieces in 1929. The hoard was uncirculated, and most were mint red but spotted or stained. An exciting coin to view and no doubt own, as rich in history as it is in color.
The Virginia colony had the only royal authorization for coinage (since 1609). However, no one ever bothered making coins, and tobacco was the standard medium of exchange along with various local and non local coinage imports. Finally, on May 20, 1773 the Virginia Assembly passed legislation authorizing the Tower Mint in London to coin halfpence pursuant to the royal authorization. Soon five tons of halfpennys arrived in Richmond, where the local Treasurer, Robert C. Nicholas, in classic bureaucratic fashion, decided not to release them pending the receipt of a Royal Proclamation authorizing him to do so (Breen). A year later, when the desired Royal Proclamation did arrive the Revolution was about to erupt. Coins of all types were hoarded, fearing the worst. As the war dragged on, many Virginia halfpennys were spent, and they have turned up in various archeological sites in circulated grades."

PCGS MS-64 Red and Brown.  Ex - Superior Galleries "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 2 at $718.75, "Breen-180 with 7 Harpstrings and Stop after S...small carbon spot at the right bottom of G in GEORGIVS..."

"MS-63" (illustrated below).  Ex - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Coin Sale", May 27-29, 2001, Lot 1006, plated, where it was described as follows: "1773 Virginia Halfpenny Breen-180 MS63. Frosty light steel brown with underlying slightly faded mint red on both sides. No spots, contact marks, or any other defects. A choice mint state example. Weight 115.6 grains."

"Uncirculated".  Ex - Early American History Auctions, Inc.'s Mail Bid Sale, August 25, 2001, Lot 1349, where it was described as follows: "1773 VA Halfpenny, Period after GEORGIVS, Uncirculated.    An otherwise Choice coin except for a dark granular area at the base of the obverse and a smaller, similar area on the upper left reverse."

Fine-12.  Ex - Ira S. Reed, June 1944 at $.50 - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The Benson Collection - Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 23

Sources and/or recommended reading:

Obverse of 1773 Virginia Halfpenny, Period after "GEORGIVS"     Reverse of 1773 Virginia Halfpenny, Period after "GEORGIVS"

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries