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Obverse of 1806 Half Dollar - Overton 108     Reverse of 1806 Half Dollar - Overton 108


1806 HALF DOLLAR -
OVERTON 108

Rarity: Extremely Rare

Notes:
The obverse die of this variety was also used on:
1806 Overton 106 
1806 Overton 107

Images courtesy of Ron Guth

Known examples (7):
1. Fine 12, obverse scratch.  The Overton Specimen.  Discovered by Walter Breen in the Philip Straus collection in 1951. After Straus died, Stack's sold portions of his collection, completely overlooking the importance of this unique piece.  Lot 1866 of Stack's May 1-3, 1959 Metr. N.Y. Conv. Sale reads, in its entirety: "1806 Obverse B 13, Reverse A (sic - Beistle reverse "A" appears on the Overton-109, not Overton-108.)  Unlisted combination.  Round top 6.  Strictly Fine and very rare.  Price realized - $36!"  The coin was privately held until 1970 when plated, catalogued (by Breen) and offered by New Netherlands Coin Co., June 30, 1970, lot 369 as "just Fine."  The coin went to a mail bidder.  The winner was a local college student.  When he received the coin from New Netherlands, he got "cold feet."  He had just spent an enormous sum - for the time, and especially, to him - for a coin that had just been listed in the Red Book.  He called Charles Wormser and obtained permission to rescind his purchase.  Wormser was not happy.  "Now I'll have to put the coin on the market, " he said.  In fact, he called Al Overton and arranged a quick sale.  To Donald Parsley upon Overton's death in February 1972.  To the purchaser of the Overton collection in July 1993.   

2. VF-30, wiped.  The Munson Specimen.  Identified by Oklahoma dealer Charles Raymond Ross in 1965.  Ross did not know he held the Holy Grail of Draped Bust half dollars.  He sold his find to specialist Pat Munson on February 17, 1966 for $85!  Thin die break across the top of United.  Sold to dealer Larry Briggs in the Superior Galleries October, 1989 sale, lot 462, sold for $50,600; thereafter to a collector by Private Treaty.

3. Fine 12.  The Schertz/Meyer Specimen.  Late die state, exhibiting a heavy cud along the reverse rim, through the upper serifs of UNITE.  Discovered in the mid-1970s by vest-pocket dealer Harry Bernstein of Brooklyn, NY.  Sold privately to Dr. Jeffrey Friedman, a noted student and collector of the series, in July 1979.  Friedman sold the coin to Dr. Gerald Schertz, on April 1, 1985.  In 1996, Schertz consigned the piece to Sheridan Downey, who sold it to Charlton Meyer.

4. VG-10.  The Frederick Specimen.  Discovered in Hawaii in December 1976 by a mainland dealer.  Promptly resold in January 1977, to noted dealer-collector Donald Frederick.  Late die state, comparable to the Schertz/Meyer specimen.

5. PCGS XF-40 (formerly ANACS VF-30).  The El Paso Specimen.  Reportedly found in El Paso, TX; purchased unattributed in 1979 for $375.  The coin popped up in 2002 in Florida and was sold to the present consignor through one or two intermediaries.  No die crack across the top of UNITED; softly struck on the tip of the bust and on the upper right reverse.

6. Fine-12/VG-10.  The Pennsylvania Specimen.  In 1984 a 6th example surfaced at a Pennsylvania coin show.  Examined, attributed and appraised by a specialist with impeccable credentials who called it a "no problem coin."  The owner preferred to remain anonymous and was not heard from until 1997 when the coin was again displayed to a (different) Pennsylvania dealer. 

7. PCGS VF-35, without problems.  The Greer/Schertz Specimen.  Early die state, comparable to the preceding Munson specimen (thin die break across top of UNITED).  Light gray toning, somewhat darker through stars and legend.  Ubiquitous (striking) weakness at drapery lines and Clouds opposite.  Discovered by Brian Greer January 4, 1995 during the FUN Show in Orlando, Florida.  Immediately sold to Sheridan Downey, who resold the piece to Dr. Gerald Schertz.  Dr. Schertz the coin to Sheridan Downey, who sold the coin to a private collector for an undisclosed sum.

Sources and/or recommended reading:
Pedigree information courtesy of Sheridan Downey

"Early Half Dollar Die Varieties 1794-1836", Third Edition, by Al C. Overton (purchase a copy by clicking on the title)

"The PCGS Population Report, July 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service