Superb 'Boston' - Gardner 1848-O Half Dime
Valentine 3 : Date repunched, robe pendant above left side of upright of 4. Large O mintmark, placed low and closer to the right bow. This is one of two ‘Large O’ reverses for 1848, and is found paired with three different obverses.
Daniel Valentine’s work on Early Half Dimes is well known, yet his notes on Liberty Seated Half Dimes are usually not cited. And while Valentine listed only two die pairs for 1848-O, use of the ‘V-‘ prefix for newly discovered marriages is something of a tradition.
In the March 1993 “The 1848-O Half Dimes” (The Gobrecht Journal, Issue 56), William A. Harmon clarifies and organizes the confusing descriptions from Valentine, the additions from Breen, and more recent discoveries, now identifying eight die pairs for 1848-O Half Dimes from combinations of three obverses and three reverses. These are roughly grouped by mintmark size, including four with a Large ‘O’ reverse, and two each with Medium ‘O’ and Small ‘O’ mintmarks.
This 1848-O Half Dime is one of the few finest known of the issue, with only the PCGS MS68 #06666577 currently in the Tom Bender Collection possibly better. Both this and the Bender 1848-O are from Harmon’s V-3 die pair, and both show similar toning, suggesting that they may share a partial ownership history.
Additionally, my notes show the newly regraded PCGS MS68 #25020298 currently in the Hansen Collection, an example of Valentine 4 ‘Small O’, as first a PCGS MS66, then PCGS MS67, next sold by Heritage Auctions 1/2014 lot 3920 @ $12,338 as PCGS MS67+ #25020298, and now freshly elevated to MS68 which demonstrates PCGS’s new tendency to grade by color alone, as the true grade for that coin should have stopped at MS66+. Furthermore, CAC includes only three 1848-O Half Dimes in its census as MS67, with none finer, not including the Hansen MS68 which was previously included in the CAC Census as MS67.
‘Boston’ Collection of United States Half Dimes; to Joseph O’Connor (OCNUMIS) privately in early 2003, as PCGS MS67 #6382063; to Eugene Gardner privately in December 2003; Heritage Auctions ‘Eugene H. Gardner, Part III’, May 2015, lot 98170 @ $15,275 as PCGS MS67 #50069958.