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1794 HALF DOLLAR -
OVERTON 101

Rarity: Very Scarce

Significant examples:
"Choice Brilliant Uncirculated".  Stack's "Reed Hawn" 08/1973:1, $8,000.00 - Stack's "Queller Family" 10/2002:1, $170,000.00, "1794 Flowing Hair. Overton 101a. Choice Brilliant Uncirculated. Rarity-4. A magnificent specimen and without a doubt, tied with one other for the Finest Known to us. Far superior to the Overton 101 plate coin ex Downey July 1993, the 2001 Benson sale coin, Pittman's, the VF Pryor coin, and even the lovely Eliasberg O.101. The 1990 Overton revision recorded an MS-62 as the finest known then but when the late Russ Logan published his Early Date survey eight years later the best reported to him was only a Choice Extremely Fine. The only rival to this coin we have seen recently is the ex F.C.C. Boyd specimen graded PCGS MS-63. Both sides of this example are a nice, uniform pale gray in color with a trace of pale blue and rose iridescence showing. The fields have a pleasing satiny sheen, as do the central devices. Considerable original mint luster shows on the obverse encircling the stars. The reverse shows cartwheel luster that reaches almost into the center of the coin. The piece was sharply struck, with all of Liberty's hair strands clear. The obverse stars at left actually show their raised centers. On the reverse, the eagle's wings are full and the breast feathers show sharply save at the very center. Many of the leaves in the wreath show inner details, too. The eagle's head has a full eye, nostril, and other beak details. A wonderful example of the first year of issue of the denomination. Struck from the broken state of the reverse, the die cracked from rim to leaf by S1, the rim through F to leaf ending above a berry. Perfect edge lettering. Some, mostly hidden adjustment marks in the center of the obverse and at the rim above stars 11-15."

Recent appearances:
PCGS VF-30.  Purchased from Ed Hipps, 04/1977 - Goldbergs "Benson Collection, Part I", 02/2001:1719, $8,625.00, "Overton-101a"

Choice Very Fine.  Stack's "65th Anniversary Sale", 10/2000:869, "Overton 101", unsold

NGC VF-30.  Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Rarities Sale", 01/2001:190, "O-101", sold for $8,050.00

NGC VF-30.  Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Rarities Sale", 01/2001:191, "O-101a", $8,050.00

PCGS VF-25.  Superior "Pre-Long Beach" Elite Coin Auction, 05/2003:2527, $8,625.00, "Overton 101"

NGC Fine-15.  Superior "Pre-Long Beach" Elite Coin Auction, 05/2003:2528, "Overton-101", $6,900.00

PCGS Fine-15.  Goldbergs "Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", 05/2001:691, "O-101a", sold for $3,451.00

VG-10.  Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, 10/2000, Lot 1274, "Overton-101", $2,300.00

VG-8 Damaged, Tooled.  Heritage "Long Beach Sale", 10/2000:6797, "O-101a", $862.50

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Early Half Dollar Die Varieties 1794-1836", Third Edition, by Al C. Overton and Don Parsley

"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

"The PCGS Population Report, July 2004" by The Professional Coin Grading Service