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Sheridan Downey Numismatist - Coins

Mail Bid Auction 50

Auction ended on January 10, 2020

Lot Number 1

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1795 -  O.106 R.6 PCGS F.12 CAC

A rare and sexy die pair hallmarked by a disfiguring reverse die break.  My introduction to the variety dates to May 1989.  I was in Beverly Hills for Superior Galleries’ Casterline/Hall sale.  Don Parsley was in the front row. Don, of course, is Al Overton’s son-in-law.  He and wife Bonnie owned Al’s reference collection of bust half-dollars.  Don was intent upon completing a die variety set of 1795s.  The 1970 2nd Edition of Overton’s reference work listed 32 die pairs.  Three were missing from the Overton collection when Al passed away in 1972. The O.118 was and is unknown in any collection and probably does not exist.  An O.132 had not appeared since M.L. Beistle published a photo in his 1929 Register of Half-Dollar Die Varieties.  (A VG example turned up in 2000.  I bought it on behalf of a client at a Goldberg auction in February 2001.)  The third die pair missing from the Overton Collection was the O.106.  Remarkably, Superior had uncovered an AU example.  Don did not let it escape!  That coin, later encapsulated and graded AU 50 by NGC, is the plate coin in Don’s 3rd, 4th and 5th revised editions of Overton’s standard reference work; it is 20 points better than any other example and remains in the firm hands of the present-day owner of the Overton Collection.  The current offering is a charming example, respite from the morass of scratched, damaged, cleaned and homely 106s offered in recent times.  It is one of just three O.106s blessed with a CAC sticker.  A CAC approved PCGS VF 25 sold for $12,650 in August 2010; a PCGS VF 20 with a little green bean brought $6,900 at Heritage’s April 2010 sale of Don Frederick’s collection; and the coin offered here traded hands at a bargain price, $3,900, in March 2019.  Antique grey toning blankets the evenly worn, generally smooth surfaces.  Detail in Liberty’s curls and the eagle’s left wing argue for something better than the current F.12 designation.  Est. $3,500 to $5,000.

Auction Ended

High Bid Maximum Bid Total Price
Reserve met
$5,000 $4,235

Sheridan Downey, Numismatist
4400 Keller Ave., Suite 140, PMB 398
Oakland, California 94605
(510) 479-1585

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