US Coins

Rollo Fox halves in May GreatCollections online auctions

GreatCollections will present the finest Professional Coin Grading Service Registry Set of Certified Acceptance Corp. stickered Walking Liberty half dollars in two auctions ending on May 22 and May 29.

The offered set was collected by Rollo Fox including both circulation strikes from 1916 to 1947 and the Proof strikes issued from 1936 to 1942. Nearly half of the coins rank as the highest numerical grades at PCGS with CAC-approval for their issues.

Two highlights are rare Mint marked halves from 1921: A 1921-D Walking Liberty half dollar graded Mint State 65+ and a 1921-S half dollar in MS-65, both graded by PCGS and with green CAC stickers.

The former enjoys a status as the lowest mintage Walking Liberty half dollar in the series with 208,000 issued and it is the key date in lower grades. Q. David Bowers wrote in the Guide Book of Mercury Dimes, Standing Liberty Quarters, and Walking Liberty Half Dollars that most Mint State examples “are quite well-struck, but cherrypicking will result in finding examples with better head, hand and feather definition.” The 1921-D Walking Liberty half dollar closes on May 22.

Closing on May 29 is Fox’s exceptional 1921-S half dollar, with a mintage of 548,000.

Bowers explained, “Traditionally the 1921-S was considered to be the rarest and most valuable variety in the series, but in later years the 1919-S has taken over that position due to published population reports.”

The Fox example shows a bolder than typical strike and booming luster, with a slight golden tone.

Heritage called the issue the “King of the Walkers” when it offered another MS-65+ example also with a green CAC example as part of the Steven L. Duckor Collection at the January 2018 Florida United Numismatists auctions, where it realized $120,000. That cataloger explained, “It is thought that somehow this issue escaped the attention of contemporary dealers and collectors and was not saved in significant numbers at the time of striking. Perhaps this was because so few people were interested in or able to save coins during the economic decline that followed World War I.”

Two top 1940 half dollars

Beyond the keys in the series, the collection has some wonderful later issues in top grades including a duo of 1940 issues from the Philadelphia Mint.

The circulation strike representative graded MS-68 has a green CAC sticker and copper color at the rims, which transitions to milky golden iridescence across the fields that will be offered on May 22. This one is uncommonly fine and is one of the top graded examples in the entire series.

The Philadelphia Mint also struck Proof half dollars for collectors that year and perhaps the most visually intriguing coin in the Fox collection is the 1940 half dollar graded Proof 68+ with a green CAC sticker that is characterized by otherworldly neon blue, green and purple colors that are especially dynamic on the obverse. The unique color identifies it as the example that sold at a June 17, 2021, Heritage auction for $19,200. There the cataloger observed, “The coin is sharp throughout, complementing the deep reflectivity of the fields, with no sign of surface contact,” adding, “Lovely champagne and iridescent toning graces each side.” It is one of five certified by PCGS in this grade with none finer.

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