2013 active year for finds of rare die varieties of U.S. coins

Specialists report new die marriages, new examples of rare pieces
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Published : 01/01/14
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The year 2013 was an active one for the discovery or reporting of new die varieties or additional examples of rare varieties of United States coins.

In January 2013, an 1806 Draped Bust, Knobbed 6, No Stem Through Claw half dollar kept by its then owner for more than 60 years was reported publicly for the first time. Fewer than 10 examples are known for the variety, identified by specialists as Overton 108.

The Pennsylvania owner received the coin at age 12 from her father who allowed her to pick some of his coins out of a jar.

Professional Coin Grading Service certified the coin as Fine 12.

Other 2013 reports included:

➤ An 1825/4/1 Capped Head, Large Letters Reverse gold $5 half eagle from a new die marriage. The new marriage was discovered through an Internet search of auction records, 188 years after the coin’s production. The reverse die used to strike the newly attributed coin is the same die first used for the 1820 Capped Head, Large Letters Reverse half eagle.

➤ A Very Fine 25 example of an Overton 127a 1806 Draped Bust half dollar, of which fewer than 20 examples are known. The obverse is the same as that for 1806 O-127 coin, “except for a die crack [on the O-127a] that develops from milling through lower points of star 6 which becomes much heavier later and extends to ribbon.”

➤ A Newcomb 5 1825 Coronet cent, fewer than a half dozen known; the owner found out what he had when a number of eBay bidders wanted him to end his auction early and sell the coin directly to them.

➤ Only the second known John Reich 1 variety of 1802 Draped Bust half dime, reported by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. The JR-1 variety combines an obverse die used for three different die marriages of 1802 dimes with a reverse that is unique to the JR-1 marriage. Certified NGC Good Details, with surfaces repaired and whizzed.

➤ A Sheldon 15 variety of 1793 Liberty Cap cent. Fewer than 15 examples are known. This first discovery of an example of the variety reported in 80 years has a technical grade of Very Good 7.

➤ A previously unknown half dollar variety, given the attribution Graham 26, is a new die pairing for the 1837 Capped Bust, Reeded Edge half dollar, identified by NGC and graded Mint State 61. The variety resulted from a pairing of the obverse used to strike the GR-23 marriage and the reverse used to strike the GR-25 die marriage.

➤ Third known example of 1794 Liberty Cap, Head of 1794 cent, Noncollectible 11 variety. Cherry-
picked from a dealer’s inventory Sept. 19 at a Philadelphia show. The coin is graded PCGS Genuine, Good Details, Rim Damage. ■

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