‘One of the greatest’ 1858 Seated Liberty half dimes still looks brand new

Market Analysis: Small diameter U.S. coins in exceptionally high grades perform well
By , Coin World
Published : 04/17/18
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A newly discovered example of an 1854-O Coronet gold double eagle graded Extremely Fine 45 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. realized $204,000 and topped bidding at Heritage’s March 29 Premier Session of its Dallas U.S. Coin Auction. It was one of two dozen examples of this rare New Orleans Mint issue individually traced by Heritage in its catalog entry for the three-day auction that realized nearly $6.2 million.


Isn’t there more to talk about at a show than grades? Brad Karoleff laments the changing nature of conversations at shows, which have veered toward incessant discussions of grade. Also this week, some points to consider before bidding.


But not all of the big prices were for large-sized, high-denomination coins. Here is a silver half dime in a top grade, one of several small coins that impressed bidders.

The Lot:

1858 Seated Liberty half dime, MS-68, NGC Star, CAC sticker

 

The Price:

$8,700

The Story:

It can seem incredible that a coin more than 150 years old looks almost as good today as when it left the Philadelphia Mint. This 1858 Seated Liberty half dime graded Mint State 68 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. with both an NGC star and a green sticker from Certified Acceptance Corp. attesting to its tremendous appeal. Its diameter of 15.5 millimeters places it among the smallest U.S. coins. For comparison, other small coins include the Coronet gold dollar (Type 1 , 1849 to 1854) measuring 13 millimeters, later Type 2 and Type 3 small-sized gold dollars measuring 15 millimeters, and the silver 3-cent coin that measured 14 millimeters. A current circulating Roosevelt dime is nearly 18 millimeters in diameter.

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Heritage writes, “This is one of the greatest Stars Obverse, No Arrows type coins known to exist,” praising its bold strike, full luster and — of special interest to numismatists — prominent die clash marks visible on both sides. It brought $8,700 and is perhaps destined for an exceptional type set.

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