The Green Tree Collection of United States Half Cents, headlining Ira
and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers’ Feb. 18 to 21 Pre-Long Beach Auction
at its offices in Los Angeles, offers a coin whose rarity overcomes
its battered appearance.
While not much to look at in terms of condition, one of the rarest
offerings in the collection is an 1802/0 Draped Bust, Reverse of 1800
half cent graded Professional Coin Grading Service About Good Details,
Damaged. The damage is obvious, most notably a small, crude puncture
near the dentils off the lower end of Liberty’s hair ribbon on the obverse.
Longtime authenticator explains how
counterfeiters up their game in their efforts to rip off the marketplace.
Also inside this issue, we provide a solution to examining those
tiny dimes in your collection.
The description adds, “Daylight does not show through the puncture,
but it certainly catches your eye.” Additional small digs on the
obverse that were strong enough to cause two tiny bumps at the
opposing areas on the reverse are also seen. On a more positive note,
the surfaces are otherwise smooth and free of corrosion and the date
The coin speaks to the resourcefulness employed by workmen at the
early Philadelphia Mint. The extremely rare variety was created when a
previously unused 1800-dated obverse die was overdated by punching a 2
over the final 0. A reverse die previously used in 1800 with a line of
die rust from the E in UNITED to the wreath was also reused to create
this die marriage.
Few examples have survived in any grades. An example considered
possibly the finest known, graded Very Fine 30 by PCGS, sold for
$97,750 at the Goldbergs’ January 2014 Pre-Long Beach sale as part of
the Missouri Cabinet, considered by specialists to be the finest U.S.
half cent collection ever assembled.
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The subject coin was offered in September 2010 as part of The Davy
Collection of Half Cent Errors, in an auction by McCawley &
Grellman Auctions and the Goldbergs, where it sold for $9,200 against
a very modest estimate of $500 and up. It was also previously offered
in an Oct. 17, 1972, fixed-price list by Roger S. Cohen Jr., and
previous owners included William K. Raymond, Ralph Pfau, and Jon
Hanson. The 2018 lot description notes that the “Davy” Collection is
actually R. Tettenhorst, who assembled the Missouri Cabinet Collection
in collaboration with Eric P. Newman.