The 1842 Seated Liberty, Small Date, Small Letters half dollar is
known by just four examples.
The type was unknown until 18 years after the 1993 publication of
Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars by Randy Wiley
and Bill Bugert; hence, it is unlisted in the reference.
The type pairs the Small Date obverse with the Small Letters reverse
design, also known as the “Reverse of 1839.”
The finest known of the four examples, graded Mint State 64 by Professional Coin Grading
Service, is one of 636 lots to be offered June 23 in New York by
Heritage Auctions. The sale is the first of four auctions dedicated to
the Eugene H. Gardner Collection of U.S. Coins.
The Small Letters reverse was used from 1839 through 1842.
Heritage reported the identification of the type on April 4, 2001,
with three more examples discovered since.
The example that became part of the Gardner Collection was
discovered by New York dealer Anthony Terranova, unattributed, in an
unnamed auction, according to the Heritage lot description.
Gardner purchased the coin from Terranova in December 2005.
Gardner, 78, a collector from Pennsylvania, spent more than two
decades assembling what some numismatists regard as one of the finest
ever collections of American silver coins.
Now, he’s relinquishing ownership of his more than 3,000 coins to a
new collecting generation, in four auctions in New York in 2014 and 2015.
The June 23 sale is scheduled to be held at the Ukrainian
Institute of America at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion, 2 E. 79th
St., in New York City.
The second auction in 2014 is expected to be held sometime in October.
For more information, visit the Heritage Auctions website.