US Coins

Despite pedigree, 1897 Barber half dollar goes unsold

Among toned silver coins, bigger is often better, with collectors gravitating toward toned Morgan dollars.

The Legend Rare Coin Auctions Regency XVI sale in Las Vegas, held Feb. 18 in conjunction with the Professional Coin Grading Service Members Only Show, offered some monster toned Morgan dollars — such as an 1880-S dollar graded MS-66 by PCGS with bold shades of magenta, azure, and turquoise that brought $4,465.

The sale had some impressive half dollars as well. Below is one of three we're featuring in this week's Market Analysis. The firm’s next auction is scheduled for May 19, in New Orleans at Harrah’s hotel and casino. 

The Coin:

1897 Barber Half Dollar, Proof 68 Deep Cameo, green CAC sticker

The Price:


The Story: 

At auction, not all coins are able to meet the expectations set by consignors with a reserve price, which is the minimum amount that a consignor is willing to receive for a coin. This was the case for a handsome 1897 Barber half dollar graded PCGS Proof 68 Deep Cameo, with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker, that went unsold at an estimate of $25,000 to $28,000.

It previously sold for $27,025 in 2013 at Heritage’s sale of the Eric P. Newman collection where it was then-graded Proof 68 Ultra Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. with a green CAC sticker. Long ago Newman had purchased it from the E.H.R. Green estate for $12.50.

COIN VALUES: What your Barber half dollar is worth

Legend placed it as one of the finest known, commenting, “Even though there are one or two PR69 Barber Halves out there, we unhesitatingly rank this coin equal to them while calling it by far one of the best in existence! We cannot understand why PCGS at the very least did not + this wonder gem.” Perhaps it came back to auction too soon.

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