Seated Liberty half dollar pattern with damage affordable: Market Analysis

Heritage’s Houston Money Show auction brings more than $8 million
By , Coin World
Published : 12/17/15
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Below is the second of three posts from our own Steve Roach on rare coins that spike collector's interest, despite their errors:

Indian Head $5 half eagles led Heritage’s Dec. 3 to 6 auctions held in conjunction with the Houston Money Show. The top lot of the sale was Leon Hendrickson’s 1915-S Indian Head $5 half eagle graded Mint State 64 by Professional Coin Grading Service with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker that brought $94,000. The total for the auction exceeded $8 million and it’s Heritage’s last major coin auction of 2015, as the firm preps for its massive Florida United Numismatists auction in January 2016. Here are three coins with some problems that sold, each with its unique charms. 

The Coin:
1862 Seated Liberty half dollar pattern, Proof, Very Fine details, Rim Damage

The Price:
$1,116.25

The Story:
This unusual 1862 Seated Liberty half dollar pattern combines the regular obverse die of that year with a modified version of the regular reverse die, but adds the motto GOD OUR TRUST on a scroll above the eagle’s head on the reverse. It is struck from copper, rather than the usual silver composition.

Listed as Judd 294 and Pollock 352 in the reference books to the series, it is unusual in that it shows heavy, even wear that gives it a details grade of Very Fine. It was struck as a Proof, and even though the surfaces are no longer reflective, it keeps its status as a Proof even through wear. This one has some rim damage at 3:00 relative to the obverse that, combined with wear, makes it an affordable pattern. It brought $1,116.25.

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