Finest Known 1835 Half Dime
Logan McCloskey 10 : Small Date with ‘fancy’ 8 high and 3 low. Reverse with Small 5C denomination, small triangular flag on 5, and even spacing between C, A, and the top arrowhead. This die pair includes the first and only use of this obverse die and the first use of reverse die EE, which was later resurrected to strike 1837 LM.4.
Capped Bust Half Dimes are an easy type coin to locate in the Choice to Gem grades due to the small hoards which have appeared over time, including the group of “about 100” 1835 Half Dimes reported by Logan and McCloskey as discovered in 1969 in a Boston bank. Additionally, every date in this short series can be found up and down most of the grading spectrum with little effort. Yet, specialists will encounter enough die marriages, remarriages, and die stages to keep a collector busy for decades, and type collectors at the highest grade levels will have a difficult time locating a gem, original coin without any artificial additions or subtractions.
This is clearly the finest known, not only of this die pair, but for all 1835 Half Dimes inclusive. Furthermore, this is at least the second finest of the Capped Bust Half Dime type, possibly bested only by the ex James Lull 1832 MS68+.
PCGS reports a total of now six Capped Bust Half Dimes graded MS68/68+, including 1830 MS68 #06666540, 1831 MS68 #06666541, 1832 MS68+ #06666542, 1832 MS68 #25311017, 1834 MS68 #06666545, and this 1835. Of these, only the ex James Lull 1832 MS68+ and this 1835 can be considered ‘Superb Gem’, as all of the other four have significant issues which should have prevented MS68 grades.
‘Boston’ Collection of United States Half Dimes; to Joseph O’Connor (OCNUMIS) privately in early 2003.