SOLD–Pattern 50c – 1839, J-98 Restrike PCGS PR64+RB CAC

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SOLD–Pattern 50c – 1839, J-98 Restrike PCGS PR64+RB CAC


Serial Number 11420.64+/26783790

PCGS Lookup Number 11421

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Judd-98, High R-7 (probably 5 known). Copper, Reeded Edge. Restrike, believed to have been produced ca. 1870 as a fantasy for collectors.

The design on this issue is one of my absolute favorites in all of American numismatics. The obverse shows Christian Gobrecht’s Liberty Head, as on the 1838 ten dollar gold piece, facing towards the right; the reverse uses a regular issue half dollar with Large Letters as on the 1842-1853 issues.

There are five or so known including one impounded in the Byron Reed /Omaha City Library collection and another in the Simpson collection. Bass had a PCGS PR64 Brown while the forthcoming Newman offering is graded PR66 RB by NGC.

This borderline Gem has a very reflective obverse with mellowed red color below iridescent chocolate brown; the reverse is a lighter shade of brown with much faded red below. A few minor flecks are seen on the obverse but the eye appeal is exceptional and this is a truly beautiful example of this enigmatic design.

The most recent auction record is Heritage 1/09: 1524, graded PR67 Brown by NGC, which went for a reasonable $37,375. That piece is now owned by uber-collector Bob Simpson.

The current market for patterns is not as robust as it was a few years ago but it may be re-invigorated by the upcoming offering from the Newman collection. At today’s levels, superb quality truly rare issues such as this 1839 half dollar are true bargains.